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Decorating on a Budget

Isn't it wonderful to have your home looking festive and welcoming for the holidays? However, buying new decorations for the various celebrations that take place between Thanksgiving and New Year can quickly add up. The following eight tips can help you can decorate without breaking the bank.

Person crafting fall decorations with a glue gun in their hand.

  • Use items you already have. Go through the holiday decorations you already own and select the ones that aren't damaged or outdated. Often, simply by polishing them a little, they'll look as good as new.
  • Decorate for the entire season — not each individual holiday. Specific holidays traditionally come with their own specific symbols and types of decorations. You can save substantially by decorating in one overarching theme that works for both. For example, instead of using gourds and pumpkins for Thanksgiving and a tree for Christmas, opt for strings of festive holiday lights combined with evergreen wreaths and garlands that will last the entire season. In addition to saving money, you'll also save time, since you only have to decorate once.
  • Add some bling to inexpensive, basic decorations. Better Homes & Gardens recommends using glitter to adorn basic ornaments. Apply glue to an item using a paintbrush, then sprinkle glitter over it. For a more intricate design, you can punch a festive shape — like a star or tree — in a piece of cardstock and use it as a stencil to apply the glitter.
  • Make DIY ornaments. If you enjoy crafts, why not make your own ornaments? You can make homemade wreaths out of real pine cuttings, little Christmas trees out of felt, garlands from ribbons and family photos — and much more.
  • Use coupons. CNBC advises looking for coupons online, which offer downloadable coupons and coupon codes for a wide range of items. And if you're shopping online, it's also a good idea to look for items with free shipping.
  • Shop at thrift stores or discount stores. If you don't mind your decorations not being in step with the latest in interior design, thrift stores and discount stores are a good place to look. You can often find things like artificial wreaths and trees, as well as holiday lights here for significantly less than you would pay elsewhere. Keep in mind that some of these items may be damaged, so examine them carefully before buying them.
  • Look on eBay. This online auction site offers a wealth of discounted and/or unique holiday decorations. Note that while sometimes you have to participate in an auction, other times there's the option to purchase the item right away. Just remember to check sellers' reviews to see if other people were satisfied with their purchases.
  • Use the post-holiday sales to your advantage. Don't forget that when the holidays are over and you've taken down all of your decorations, you can still save money by stocking up on marked down items in the post-holiday sales.

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