Let’s face it: December is expensive.

So how do you save money and still enjoy the holidays? Here are some easy and foolproof ways to do just that!

 

1. Save over 60% when you buy an American Girl Doll from Costco.

During the holidays, I definitely shop Costco toys.

Let’s do an American Girl case study and compare Costco prices with Amazon prices. Here’s an example of a current deal:

American Girl Kit Kittredge 18-inch doll set:

  • Costco: $129.99
  • Amazon: $199.29

American Girl Bitty Baby 12-piece set:

  • Costco: $99.99
  • Amazon: $172.98

 

2. Don’t pay for shipping–shop online on December 14th.

December 14th is Free Shipping Day. Shop participating merchants and avoid all shipping fees, plus you’re guaranteed the package will be delivered by Christmas Eve. The list of participating stores is long. Here are a few of our favorites:

TIP: Don’t pay for shipping at Macy’s either! Just add an inexpensive beauty item to your online order and you’ll get free shipping! (Think: Buy a $3.00 face mask to avoid a $10.95 shipping fee.)

 

3. Use Canva or PicMonkey to create free holiday cards.

Put your creative pants on and design your own holiday cards for free with the help of Canva or PicMonkey. Just choose your favorite pre-made design, upload a family photo, change the text, and you’re done!

Send digital files to family and friends for free, or print them yourself for pennies on the dollar.

 

4. Use Cardpool kiosks to turn unwanted gift cards into cash you can put into your holiday budget.

Everyone has a gift card (or 12) to a store they don’t frequent. So, turn them into cash through Cardpool.

Find a self-serve kiosk in your city, and put in your card’s details to get up to 92% of your gift card’s value back in the form of cash.

 

 

5. Buy your artificial tree during the first two weeks in December.

Get your under-$80 tree during the first two weeks of December if you missed Black Friday deals.

The first two weeks of December, Home Depot, K-Mart and Sears all have artificial trees at discounted prices.

 

6. Only eat at restaurants that offer a free gift card with a gift card purchase.

Restaurants like Applebee’s, Chili’s, Olive Garden, PF Chang’s, and many more offer deals for a free gift card when you buy a gift card during December.

Promos vary but the range for a free gift card is between $10 – $20 for a $25 – $100 purchase.

 

UP NEXT: 9 Gift Card Secrets That’ll Save You Time and Money