It’s the holiday season, and when it comes to the holidays you need to have a plan in place to not only survive the holidays, but to stick to you budget! I’ve put together a list of ALL the posts we have to help you thrive this holiday season, and we’ll be adding to it as we share new info!
Ultimate Holiday Planning Guide
Get the free printable holiday checlist below. Just right click the checklist below to save it and print it out.
Everything You Need For The Holidays
Centsible Life Gift Guides
Find all our gift guides below! Just click the image and you’ll find all our favorite ideas.
Need ideas for the beauty lover? We’ve got you covered.
Experience gifts are a great idea for everyone on your list. We shared some ideas last year that you can still use this holiday season.
Looking for creative gifts on a budget? We’ve got ideas for under $20 that will bring out creativity for whoever you’re gifting. Adults or kids!
Need gift ideas for the work at home person on your list? We’ve got them!
Giving back is great to do year round but especially at the holidays. These are just a few great gift ideas that give back.
Need some fun photo gift ideas? We have a great gift guide from Vistaprint.
We’ve got all kinds of gift ideas for everyone on your holiday list.
Check out Steph’s review of the Little Scholar Tablet-a great way to give a tablet that’s fun + educational.
Need a gift idea to save someone time + money or the gadget obsessed? We’ve got it with iRobot.
Want to give a gift that keeps giving? Try Rocksbox for a fun way to give her jewelry all year long.
Need some DIY and craft ideas? We’ve got lots of great ideas for you to DIY.
These adorable reindeer lollipops are a great classroom gifts or stocking stuffers.
Handmade gift bags of recycled materials are great for giving gifts.
Need a cute DIY container you can use to wrap small gifts? Make these adorable matchbox holiday gift boxes.
Need advice on how to manage your money this holiday season? I’ve got you covered with advice on everything from who is spending the most to tips to shop smarter.
Earning for college while you shop? Yes, you can.
Should you regift at the holidays? I weigh in.
Who is really spending the most this holiday season? I share the scoop.
Want advice on shopping smarter (and spending less)? We’ve got 5 tips that will help you right now!
Frugal food and menus are a perfect way to save during the holidays. You’ll find menus and more below.
Eating healthy during the holidays can be challenging, but with these tips from GIANT you’ll have a happy and healthy holiday.
Looking for ways to save on holiday cooking? We’ve got 8 ways to help you save big money on holiday meals.
What should you eat the week of Christmas? I share ideas to keep the family fed before the holiday.
Need tips or recipes to stay gluten-free for the holidays? I’ve got ideas for your to have a great holiday and stay on the gluten-free track.
Tips + Tricks To Keep You Organized For The Holidays
Put It On The Calendar
A calendar is essential to keep track of when you travel, days when school isn’t in session, and whose party is where and when. Our family calendar includes days dedicated to shopping for holiday supplies, a weekend for decorating the house for the holidays, and a few family traditions like visiting Santa, and driving around to see holiday lights.
Budget, Budget, Budget
You can’t plan for the holidays without a budget! It’s best to set aside budget in several categories:
- food and drink– whether you’re hosting a party or not you’ll likely spend more on holiday meals
- gifts– including wrapping paper, bows, etc.
- holiday cards or stamps
Most families spend an average of $800 on the holidays including gifts, food, and miscellaneous stuff. You can look through last year’s bank statements to find out how much you typically spend.
Plan it Out
Create monthly, weekly, and daily chores that can prep your home for the holidays is a great way to break down what can be an overwhelmingly busy time of year. For instance, one day each week may be dedicated to decluttering, while another day can focus on shopping for decor and things you may need for the season such as extra bedsheets, gifts, etc.
Weekly chores should be more focused such as doing a deep clean of your guest room, stocking you bathroom with extra toiletries, or cleaning up your entryway.
Daily chores can be quick items, with more intense days marked on your calendar. These can include 15 minute quick cleanups, decluttering one room for 15 minutes, or polishing silverware.
Menu Plan to Save Big
Menu planning is an essential part of entertaining and feeding your family at the holidays. Use your typical menu plan, but you’ll have to increase serving size if you have lots of folks to entertain. Consider potlucks, and dishes you can make ahead to stretch your budget and your time. In our family even if no one else is joining us for a holiday meal I like to give everyone a dish to make (with help for the younger kids), and a job to do like setting the table.
Creating a comprehensive gift list and coming up with ideas for those hard to shop for folks on your list may be challenging. These ideas will help you check everyone off your list.
- Copy Santa’s Letter:
If you celebrate Christmas make sure before you send that letter off to Santa make sure you photocopy it!
- Create Gift Lists for Friends/Family:
You can create online gift lists at places like Amazon for family that is spread out. Many relatives request this now, so it’s worth an hour or two of your time to craft a wish list.
- Price Check:
If you know how much something costs you’ll be able to know a deal when you see it. Keep an eye out for coupons, deals, and discounts on things you already plan to buy.
- Make a List of Gift Ideas:
Make a list, and check it twice. This is especially helpful if you are making any gifts so you can plan ahead.
- Keep Extras on Hand:
Just in case a friendly neighbor or the need for a hostess gift arises you’ll be covered. Ideal options include chocolates, candles, wine (if you know they drink), and gift cards.
Use Tech to Track:
Use your smartphone or email to keep track of spending, items you have your eye on (photos help), and more. If you’re REALLY into organization consider a spreadsheet to track who is responsible for what, where you got an item, how much you paid, and who or what an item will be used for.
If you and your spouse (or kids) split duties make a GoogleDoc so everyone can see what they need to do. No more excuses that they ‘forgot’!
Most importantly make sure to plan some downtime to enjoy catching up with friends who are home for the holidays or take some time off to enjoy your family. For instance many families make sure to have time between visiting relatives to spend at home so their kids can play with new toys, sleep in, and have a few lazy days off to recover from the hustle and bustle.
How do you plan for the holidays?
Over the next several weeks I’ll be sharing holiday gift picks on a budget. You’ll find everything you need for a centsible holiday. Start with our Ultimate Holiday Planning Guide and explore our holiday gift guide posts and gift ideas for everyone on your list.