We can all agree that one of the most stressful parts about Christmas is budgeting – for home decorations, presents, and last-minute family trips. You want to give your significant other or favorite sibling the best Christmas present ever, but you’re falling short on funds.

Spare yourself the heartbreak of not fulfilling their wish lists with these tips on how to cut down on decoration costs. Tis’ the season for giving, not grieving.

1. Reuse, Repurpose, or DIY

Why buy when you can make your own?

The money you use to buy gift wraps, labels, and ribbons can be used to buy an actual present instead. If you kept the previous year’s wrappings, bows and ribbons, they can be reused as labels and gift tags.

Have a stack of outdated newspapers rotting away in your attic? Use them as gift wrap instead.  90% of the time, people just rip away at the packaging anyways.

Think about what you already have and can reuse. Make stockings out of old sweaters, this way, you can easily recognize which sock is whose. Out of ideas? Pinterest provides a plethora of inspiration and tutorials.

2. Shop for Decoration Early

How early is too early to starting decorating for Christmas?

One great determining factor is usually location. Most Canadians refrain from putting up anything Christmas related until after November 11, in commemoration of Remembrance Day. In the United States, homeowners prefer decorating just after the Halloween hype wears off.

There’s nothing wrong with stores selling ornaments as early as they want. No one asked you to buy them immediately. On the other hand, others choose to buy early, hang later, to avoid the December rush.  Hit up dollar stores or garage sales for the cheapest deals, too.

You can also purchase Christmas décor right after the holidays if you’re sure the ornaments can handle being stored for another 12 months. After all, that’s what our garages are for. Stores will be cutting down prices to almost half since they want their shelves emptied as soon as possible to make room for next season’s new items.

3. Invest in Quality Décor That Can Be Used Year Round

Your tableware doesn’t really need to be Christmas themed.

Its Christmas-y vibes can be brought out by tablecloths, placemats and glassware.

Reuse those baskets for Easter. When St. Patrick’s Day rolls around, you can pull out your green ornaments. On Valentine’s Day or the Fourth of July, feel free to make use of your red knick-knacks.

4. Go Eco-Friendly

Take advantage of what nature has to offer.

The great Christmas debate between artificial trees and natural ones arises yearly. Both have its pros and cons. Artificial trees can easily be transported from store to home and are available for re-use year after year. The catch? They are harder to recycle.

Natural trees on the other hand, may put forests in danger, but can be replanted or recycled afterwards.  Eco-friendly faux trees are also available. If you have an extensive supply of plants or live near a forest, there’s no reason why you can’t go and pick some flowers, acorns, pine cones, or tree trimmings for your centerpieces.

Opt for LED lights or those with timers, solar powered lawn figures, or rechargeable lights. They might cost more than the generic types, but they will save you more in the long run, whether it is in terms of electricity/power bills or overall budget.

Despite all the holiday rush, Christmas is more about the people you spend it with, rather than the place. Aunt Sally probably won’t even notice that you’ve been using the same ornaments three years in a row.

The atmosphere is just the icing on the cake. What are other methods do you use to cut down on holiday décor expenditures?

About the Author:
Ayah Danica V. Granada is currently a content writer and editor for Scoopfed.com.  She is a former student journalist/writer who graduated with a degree in Literature. Currently a full time writer, grad school student and part time bibliophile. As a TV series hoarder-slash-enthusiast, when she isn’t binge-watching episodes, she tries to make up for lost sleep. You can find her on Twitter @ayahgranada.