‘Tis the Season to Be Frugal: Saving on Holiday Spending

  • By Jillian Taylor-Mancusi, B.A., C.I.R.P

By Jillian Taylor-Mancusi,

You can have a very merry and frugal holiday this year by looking for creative ways to manage your holiday spending. Celebrate and save money by trying some of these budget friendly ideas.

Don’t be afraid to regift. 

Regifting is a great way to give gifts and stay within your holiday budget. Just follow these regifting rules.

  • Regift only gifts you have not used.
  • Rewrap gifts to be regifted, removing all notes and cards.
  • Regift items you liked but didn’t use.
  • Regift to those who are not acquainted with person who gave you the gift.
  • Regift only gifts that are unbroken and contain all necessary parts.

Cash in credit card reward points. 

Using credit card reward points to purchase gifts is a great way to save on holiday spending—it’s like getting the gift for free. Before your rewards expire, turn them into gift cards and then use them as holiday gifts. Your perks can also be spent online at your card’s perk center.

Trim your list. 

It’s easy to get caught up in the spirit of the season and start shopping for gifts for just about anyone and everyone. Pare down the list of those you’ll be spending money on to a few close friends and family, and opt for homemade gifts and baked goods for friends and coworkers.

Save on shipping costs. 

Shipping gifts to friends and family can cost more than the gifts themselves. Before you shop, visit Canada Post’s website and click on the “find a rate” tab to determine the cost of sending a gift.  Prepaid envelopes cost less than sending a box and can be used to mail things like a thin book or a DVD. For a more affordable option, choose gifts that fit into standard envelope, like gift cards or movie tickets.

Get crafty. 

Handcrafted gifts are a fun and frugal way to provide gifts to those you care about. If you love the thought of making gifts but are short on ideas, get inspiration on crafty or DIY sites like

  • Pinterest
  • Craftgawker
  • Instructable

Get ready for next year.

Don’t let leftover wrapping paper and bows go to waste. Designate a closet or box where you store gift wrapping supplies, gifts you won’t use, and other items for use next year. Also, wrapping supplies are often sold at huge discounts after the holiday season has passed, offering you a chance to save on next year’s gift packaging.

Remember the real meaning of the season.

It’s easy to get caught up in shopping for gifts and lose sight of the real meaning of the holidays. The true spirit of the holidays has less to do with money and most to do with spending time with family and close friends.

Celebrate the season with a new and frugal approach to holiday spending this year. The holiday will be more enjoyable and less stressful as you look for ways to give gifts that cost less and mean more.

Jillian Taylor-Mancusi, B.A., C.I.R.P

Jillian has worked in the insolvency field since 1992. She is a graduate of the University of Manitoba. She received her Insolvency Counselor’s Qualification Certificate from Ryerson Polytechnic University in 1998, and in 2007 she attained her license as a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. Jillian is a Read More Jillian has worked in the insolvency field since 1992. She is a graduate of the University of Manitoba. She received her Insolvency Counselor’s Qualification Certificate from Ryerson Polytechnic University in 1998, and in 2007 she attained her license as a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. Jillian is a member of the Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals (CAIRP). She is Past President of the Manitoba Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals (MAIRP).Jillian has held positions on the Armstrong Point Association, Executive of her local EDA Riding Association, Manitoba Highland Dance Association, and the Continuing Education Committee of CAIRP. Previously, Jillian was the Treasurer for the Parent Association at her daughter’s school. Currently, Jillian serves as the Vice Chair for Dressage Winnipeg. Close

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