How to Stretch a Dollar During the Holidays

Dollars and Sense

10 ways working moms can save money during the holidays and beyond

Working moms share their tips for stretching a dollar. And you’re more than welcome to
steal at will.

By Sylvie Tremblay December 08, 2021

Fact: Retail experts predict that the average consumer will spend nearly $1,000 on holiday purchases this year. But there’s no reason you need to spend that much, if it doesn’t fit within your budget. Plus, knowing you stuck to your financial goals over the holiday season can only add to the holiday cheer. So, how can you get the most out of your money and avoid blowing your budget ?

We asked working moms to share their money-saving tips for the holidays—and all year long.  

“Holiday decor can get expensive. I use a rich red color as a base, which works for nearly every holiday. That way I can keep using the same tableware, dining items, etc., and just spend a little on a few statement pieces for each holiday.” — Christine Michel Carter, activist for working moms 

“Shop at dollar stores. I find plenty of items there, from decorations and table settings to stocking stuffers. Sometimes, the items are ready to go as-is; other times, I get creative. Either way, you can’t go wrong at $1 a pop!” — Michelle Keldgord, co-founder at BakingHow 

“Always try to buy second-hand. I've found hugely sought-after toys on Facebook Marketplace for a fraction of the price.” — Kyrie Luke, founder of HealthFully Rooted Home

“Shop very early or too late. I let my dollars work hard by starting Christmas shopping for gifts in July. Also, look around for discounts on Christmas decor around February to March.” — Francine Kaye Acelar, VP of PR and Communications at Formicidae

 “Shop at the end of each season. We purchased our son's summer wardrobe for the next two years and spent less than $100. How can you pass up clearance shorts and shirts for $2? — Corritta Lewis, blogger at It's a Family Thing  

“I give my sons a homemade book that includes coupons they can redeem to 'stay up all night,' 'get double dessert,' 'extend gaming time by 30 minutes,' etc." — Mandy Crawford, realtor at Perfect Valley Homes

“We shop for baking supplies a few items at a time throughout the fall, until our pantry is stocked for the holidays. Baking supplies can cost a small fortune if you need to purchase them all at once!” — Kim Ainsley, founder of MomOfKids 

“I love doubling a recipe but using chopped vegetables instead of a second portion of meat to bulk up the serving size. You double your portions but save money since veggies typically cost much less than meat.” — Marissa Zen, founder of Squirrels of a Feather

“I use my cash back earning credit card for regular expenses throughout the year and around Christmastime, I use my earned cash back to help pay for gifts.” —Jessica Clark, founder of Gluten Free Supper 

“Use a cash-back app to shop: You download an app, link your store loyalty cards and earn cash back when you shop at partner merchants. It's a super-simple way to save on almost anything.” — Rebecca Lake, freelance writer 


No matter which savings tip you choose, Upwise challenges can help you reach your financial goals over the holidays and into the new year. Challenges help you form positive financial habits, so you can feel confident about your finances and make your dollars work harder for you all year long.   


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