10 Ways to a “Debt Free” Christmas

Written by Mary Lutz

IMG_35882Creative Commons License photo credit: eric731

My family and I are working on becoming debt free, and this Christmas we do not want to incur any more debt during the Holidays. Here are a few of the things I’m doing to help insure this:

1. Bargain shop, bargain shop, bargain shop! I went to Walmart’s clearance section online and found a ton of stuff for under $10 that will suit just about everyone on my list. Good stuff, like Star Wars t-shirts for my nephews, sports team tee’s, long-sleeve tee’s and hoodies for my brother, nephew and husband, sports team trucker hats and baseball caps, pajama tops and bottoms for the women on your list, and lots of baby and toddler items.

2. Give coupons or certificates for acts of service. Create them on your computer or by hand. Make the envelopes out of construction paper and use stickers, stamps and other materials you have around the house. Or if you’re artistic (my kids are, I’m not) hand draw your art on them. People will probably keep the envelopes, coupons and certificates just for the artwork!

3. Speaking of artwork, hand-create your Christmas cards. Or use your computer (my choice). Try not to use graphics that will use large amounts of ink, because that can get costly. Or make photo cards from photos on your computer. Again, loved ones will keep these and probably scrapbook them.

4. Another inexpensive, but lasting memory gift is a photo of your family, or new baby in the family. You can purchase nice, inexpensive frames at Walmart or the dollar store. These make great treasures for loved ones.

5. Christmas meal planning: start looking at your local grocer’s newspaper ads, or online ads. Our local store has a nice web site where you receive the weekly ad in your email, and as you go through it, you can click on each item you wish to purchase and it saves it in a printable grocery list for you. You can choose quantities and even add your own items not listed in the weekly ad. I found turkey for $.79/lb through this method!

6. Look for on-line giveaways and bargains. One WAHM site promoted a free photobook, all you pay is shipping! That’s an awesome gift. I made one of my grandsons for my daughter and her hubby. That’s an inexpensive gift they’ll treasure forever! And to purchase a photobook isn’t too expensive either for the 8X10 square books-less than $14! The promo ends Nov. 30 so click on the link above, get your code and head on over to Inkubook.

7. Keep Christ in Christmas. Center all your celebrations on Jesus and why he was born. One idea might be to only give your children three gifts each; three represents the trinity, the three gifts of the wisemen, the three wisemen, Christ rose on the third day, etc.

8. Give the gift of music. We have iPods, so this year we may give $15 iTunes cards. CD’s are also fairly inexpensive.

9. Buy gifts that are necessities, like new sheets (that are on sale of course), or room décor. Our walls are in need of painting in a bad way, so I’d be thrilled with a Home Depot or Lowe’s gift card.

10. Find treasures around your home that would make nice gifts. If someone really likes that angel knick-knack sitting on your shelf collecting dust, clean it off and wrap it up as a gift for them. Other items would be jewelry, books, CD’s and DVD’s. I think if you suggest these ideas to your loved ones they will love the idea too and maybe even do the same thing.

The idea is to remember why we should celebrate Christmas, not to go into more debt than we already are, but to give from the heart and remember why Jesus came to the earth and gave his life for us.

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