How to decorate your house for the holidays on a budget

Dec 14, 2012 at 9:00 a.m. ET

Not sure where holiday decorations fit in your budget this season? Learn how to decorate your house for the holidays without cutting into your gift-giving budget. Try these tips to get your house looking festive and welcoming as Christmas approaches.

Woman decorating Christmas tree

Step 1: Check your inventory

What do you already have in the house? Dig out your holiday decoration boxes and do inventory on everything you have. Dust off decor and check the Christmas lights. When you know exactly what you have, you’re less likely to run out and buy things you don’t need. Chances are you own more decorations than you thought. While you’re going through your decorations, check your craft materials too. Items like remnant fabric, Popsicle sticks and colorful yarn can end up being part of your decor.

Step 2: Identify deals

Now that you know what you need, you can start bargain hunting. But don’t head to the store to buy the first decorations you see; check prices online to get the best deals possible. Try your local hardware and home improvement store for the best prices on lights and outside decor. Don’t forget to check your local thrift store for holiday displays and inexpensive wrapping paper and garlands. When you’re buying ornaments, buy them in bulk sets for the best prices.

Step 3: Enlist the kids

Holiday decorating is all about sharing love and celebration. It’s not about winning any awards. Let your kids create decorations for your home. Teach them how to make old-fashioned paper garlands with colorful construction paper. Get out some glue and glitter and bedazzle Popsicle sticks to make snowflakes you can hang on the walls and from the ceilings. Hang up art and crafts your kids bring home from school.

Step 4: Invest in good storage

If you play it smart this year, your next holiday season will be even more budget-friendly. The key to saving money on holiday decorations is to take good care of what you already own so you can reuse it next year. Invest in good storage for your holiday decor. Storage doesn’t have to be expensive. Look for clear stacking bins to hold ornaments, stockings, decor and lights. Remember to coil the lights carefully so they don’t get tangled or damaged. Label all of the boxes clearly once you’ve packed up your Christmas gear.

More holiday ideas

Going green with your holiday decorating
Creative Christmas card display ideas
Homemade Christmas ornament ideas