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Holiday Decorating on the Cheap


It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Decorating the house while listening to festive music and smelling cookies baking in the oven just might be my favorite part of the holiday season.

Our family has a memory tree that we decorate together every year. This tree is placed in the window of our dining room and holds all of our most cherished ornaments. The kid’s handmade ornaments, ornaments purchased on vacations, and treasured ornaments passed down from generations all reside on this tree. We add ornaments every year, but it’s the tradition of reminiscing about ornaments from prior years that we love most. 

The selection is best before most people are even thinking about the holidays.

Our memory tree returns each holiday season, but the rest of the house is up for holiday remodeling. Every room in our house is decorated, and much to my husband’s chagrin, the look often changes every year. Mostly I just rearrange our existing decorations for a fresh look, but I can’t pass up the latest and greatest decorations being put out on the store shelves. To keep costs down, I find the best deals I can and, in the spirit of giving, I’m sharing my favorite tricks

Holiday Decorating

First, shop early. The selection is best before most people are even thinking about the holidays. My first stop for discount deals on decor is Hobby Lobby. They begin putting out Christmas décor in September. Their Christmas décor is normally 40 percent off, and by October, the stores are usually fully stocked. As the calendar gets closer to December, the discount will go up to 50 percent off. Hobby Lobby doesn’t often restock items, so if you see something you like, it’s best not to wait or you may miss out. No worries if you don’t have a Hobby Lobby nearby. They have a website, and quite often offer free shipping for purchases of more than $49. 

I also like to shop at discount retailers like Home Goods, Marshalls, and T.J. Maxx. These types of stores deeply discount décor that is normally seen at higher-end stores with higher ticketed prices.

Another tip is to “mix” your purchases. Buy one or two high ticket items that you really love and fill in with items from your local dollar store. Supplement more expensive ornaments with dollar-store ornaments for a luxury look without a major price tag. Greenery available at most dollar stores can also be used for fillers. I like to add Dollar Tree florals to the stockings on our mantle (until they’re replaced with gifts on Christmas Eve!). 

Holiday Decorating

Food can also be used as décor. A vase filled with cranberries or a bowl filled with oranges adds festive color to your table and can double as a centerpiece. Plus, you can use the food later or incorporate it into your holiday meal.

Another tip: use what you have! Last year’s table runner can be made into this year’s mantle decoration. If you have tons of shipping boxes laying around (hello, online shopping), wrap them with pretty paper, add a bow, and you have an instant decoration. Wrap boxes in different shapes and sizes for various locations throughout your home.

Lastly, don’t forget to use coupons! Many places have their own coupons that you can find online or on a savings app. Some stores, including Michaels, even take competitors’ coupons, so be sure to ask. You can save a bunch of money by planning ahead and using a coupon whenever possible.

When all is said and done, the most precious decorations are the people who fill our homes with love and laughter. And, that is priceless.