If you celebrate Hanukkah, but like many of us had to tighten the ole budget belt this year, this post is for you. Though the focus of my blog is mainly how to make money or work at home — most of us want to save money too! And holiday celebrations can really eat away any disposable income you might have set aside. Or worse, there just isn't room in the budget to celebrate the way you'd like to.
I completely understand. I feel like most of my “extra” money, which is not much — is now going in my gas tank to get to work. I've always been a budget-er — but it seems I'm having to really be cautious with my spending. On ANYTHING, that's not a necessity.
Hanukkah – Budget Friendly Ways to Celebrate
1. Get Crafty and Make Your Own Hanukkah Decorations
Get the kiddoes involved and grab some craft supplies that you already have (or pick some up at the Dollar Store), and have a fun family night creating your own decorations. There is a great post, 42 Simple Hanukkah Crafts for Kids to Make at HandsOnAsWeGrow.com
2. Making Your Own Rugelach
There is a bakery in my town that makes the most delicious rugelach. It is one of my most favorite treats. But, I kid not it's $3.27 for one. I'm sorry, but even with my favorite filling (apricot), I can make this at home much cheaper. And you can too! Flour, milk, eggs, sugar… and few more ingredients and you can make 4 DOZEN of these delicious treats! The Food Network has an awesome rugelach recipe courtesy of Ina Garten (the delightful Barefoot Contessa).
3. Eight Gifts are Nice, but Not Mandatory
Even if you hit Black Friday and Cyber Monday and every sale prior, giving eight gifts is a lot. Maybe just one nice gift and the rest small, meaningful mementos. Or even gifts that are handmade. I have several hand crocheted blankets my Mom has made me and my kids over the years. I feel close to my Mom every time I see them and use them. She lives 600 miles away. My son brought me back a small keychain from his trip to Japan years ago. Every time I look at it (daily), I think of him and smile. Now that he is in the military, it's hard. I haven't seen him in two years — that little, cheap keychain is precious to me.
4. Promo Codes and Coupons
With the holidays, come bargains and sales. Whether you are shopping online or heading out to all the retailers, be sure to check for promo codes. Heck, you should do this not just during the holidays, but all year long. I would be absolutely lost without my app, Flipp. You can see all the weekly flyers for your area. Everything from drugstores to specialty stores. It's amazing!
5. Save on Groceries
Food is more expensive this year. And when it comes to the holidays, it can be very stressful just trying to stick with your regular grocery budget. Throughout the year, I always use iBotta. You wouldn't think an app would save you so much money, but the image below is a screenshot of my account that I just took. I've gotten over $500 in cash, right into my PayPal account just for using it. And it could not be easier. Buy your groceries, upload your receipt by taking a picture of it with your phone.
6. Freebies That Can be Re-Gifted
If you shop on “Black Friday” — then you are probably aware of freebies that are given to the first “so-many” shoppers. Or, freebies given if you spend “this amount” in the store. There are also, buy one, get one free sales. I'll admit, I haven't done Black Friday in YEARS. But the last time I did, my daughter and I planned the entire day. And we planned it around freebies. We got blankets from American Eagle, perfume and planners from Aerie, free PJ bottoms from Old Navy and a free book from Barnes and Noble that day. These items were all re-gifted to co-workers and friends.
Even after Black Friday, many retailers offer freebies. Thinking back, I believe Bath and Body Works did. And maybe even Victoria's Secret. But I am sure there were many others.
7. Hanukkah Activities Don't Have to Cost a Dime
There are tons of Hanukkah themed activities , especially kids that won't cost you anything. There are games, crafts and fun to be had that are budget friendly. A quick search on Pinterest for “free Hanukkah activities“, and you have so much to choose from! Coloring pages, printable games and more. See the screenshot below!
8. Gifts for Those Less Fortunate
You're asking, “How is giving gifts to anyone else gonna save me money?” I know, it seems strange. But hear me out. What if you make one day of your Hanukkah celebration a day of giving. Not to each other, but to those in need. Instead of splurging on gifts for each other, go to your local Aldi, Big Lots, Dollar Store — or another discount store and buy some can goods or pet food and donate it to a local food/pet pantry. You'll spend maybe $10-$20 and make a huge difference.
9. Your Time is Priceless
Give of your time. It sounds simple and silly — but my fondest memories with my kids are holidays and board games. Just being together. Some cocoa and a movie. Or baking cookies together with holiday music playing. I gave my time. And they gave me theirs. And I cannot tell you how I treasure those moments know that the kids are grown. Create a Family Night tradition. NO gifts… just time together. I promise, no money can buy this.
10. Family Movies or Scrapbooking
Instead of gifts — how about a trip down memory lane. Or stories of days gone by? Get out photo albums or old family videos or movies. Have everyone gather around one night with some fresh rugelach that you just made and create new memories while looking at old memories. Kids love the stories. And everyone loves looking at old pictures and/or movies. It's heartwarming, affordable good fun!