Your money-saving holiday tips
The Bank Note’s savvy readers came though again with a host of ideas for getting through the holidays without breaking the bank. Thanks to everyone who wrote in.Ten of our readers each received a $25 Nationwide Bank Visa® gift card for their cost-cutting tips.
Find next issue’s question at the bottom of this page.Instead of buying gifts for friends or neighbors, prepare a gourmet meal together and have everyone bring something. Enjoying time together is the most valuable gift of all.
– Margie N.If you have a large extended family, instead of buying everyone a gift, choose someone’s name out of a hat. You can learn more about that person – and get them a nicer gift.
– Emily V.When shopping for food, presents, decorations or any of your other holiday needs, be sure to plan ahead. If there's a particular item you have your heart set on, go to the website for that item to see if there are any discounts, rebates, coupons or sales coming up for it. It’s a great way to avoid any after-holiday debt!
– Sharon H.One of the things that we've done on my side of the family is give gift baskets. Instead of drawing names for individual family members, we draw names of families. It can be a little more difficult to come up with ideas the entire family would like, but it becomes a fun family project, especially if it involves making homemade items.
– Steve S.By opening a holiday club account, you can have money taken right from your paycheck. Right before the holidays, you will receive a check or have the money deposited to your account for worry-free holiday shopping. I have been doing this for several years, and it really comes in handy.
– Jennifer P.Make gifts rather than buy them – the gift of your time and caring is really more significant than an extravagant cash outlay. A pair of hand-knit mittens doesn’t really take long, and the love stitched into them makes them 100% warmer than store-bought.
– Catherine E.Our entire family – over 30 people – comes to our home for Christmas. This year, everyone will bring a covered dish so one person doesn't have to cook. The only gifts are for the kids 16 and under. The adults feel that just being with the entire family on this day is worth all the gifts we used to give each other. The family is our strength and our gift to each other.
– Trisha G.Although sometimes I go shopping on “Black Friday,” I usually find the best deals online on “Black Monday.” I don’t have to worry about traffic, parking, crowds or lines, and I get the same or better deals! The items often ship free, and I can often avoid paying sales tax (when shopping at stores without a location in my state).
– Lauren D.I collect “rewards” throughout the year. This includes cash back from credit cards, rebate money, store gift cards given when filling a prescription, etc. It adds up to a nice sum that I can dedicate to holiday shopping.
– Lisa S.For adult family members, we do a white elephant gift exchange with whatever that person wanted to give. We save money, get rid of something we don’t use and everyone laughs so hard. (Some are very creative!)
– Amy B.
Next question: What’s your best energy-saving tip?
Let us know how you get through the cold-weather months and keep your energy bills down. Email us at email@example.com with your energy tips.
We’ll select 10 ideas to be featured in our next issue, and the winners will get a $25 Nationwide Bank Visa® gift card!*
Missed an article? Find it in our story archive.
* All submissions received by January 15, 2010, will be considered for inclusion in newsletter and on nationwidebank.com. We will contact winning entrants by email no later than February 1, 2010. This email will request you to call a phone number and provide your current mailing address so we can properly mail you your $25 Nationwide Bank Visa gift card. Please allow 8-10 weeks from the time you provide a valid mailing address for receipt of gift card by mail. Tips may be edited for length.
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