Money

4 Smart Strategies To Sidestep Hidden Holiday Expenses

You’ve budgeted for gifts, food, and decor — but little things like cards and wrapping paper can really add up too. To dodge an unwelcome surprise, take a look at how to avoid hidden holiday expenses and save some serious cash.

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Pay 80 percent less for cards.

To save a bundle on personalized Christmas and New Year’s cards, visit a Costco or Walmart photo center. You’ll be able to create custom photo cards using your own picture, starting at just 28 cents each — that’s up to 80 percent less than what you’d pay at CVS or Walgreens.

Looking for traditional holiday greeting cards? Head to eBay! You’ll find a wide assortment of new overstock from retailers and unused cards from folks who are selling lots for as little as 6 cents per card.

Save 50 percent on gift wrapping.

Every year, Americans spend a whopping $8 billion to wrap their presents. To keep costs down, shop in the store that offers the biggest bargains on gift-wrapping supplies: Dollar General!

You’ll find holiday wrapping paper starting at just $3 per 135-square-feet and decorative gift bags, boxes, bows, and tissue paper starting at $1-easily beating out Costco, Target, and many other retailers by over 50 percent.

Don’t live near a Dollar General? A large selection of their gift-wrapping products can be ordered on their website. Also smart: Many retailers offer a free box or bag with gift purchases, but you may have to ask to get it!

Get free just-in-case gifts.

Want to have an extra present on hand in case someone unexpectedly gives you one — but don’t want to waste cash on a gift you might not need? Simply look for free-with-purchase offers for gifts you’ll be giving to loved ones already on your list, which you can find at Hip2Save.com/category/sales-deals/bogo and TheKrazyCouponLady. com/deals.

Just a few recent deals include a buy-one-get-one-free candle from Bath & Body Works, buy-one-get-two-free picture frames from Michaels, and buy-two-get-one-free beauty product from Ulta. This way, if you don’t end up needing it, you haven’t spent any extra money, and you can keep the complimentary gift for yourself.

Nab deals on kitchen supplies.

If you love whipping up your favorite holiday recipes, you’ll probably need more aluminum foil, plastic wrap, plastic containers, napkins, and paper towels to go along with them.

To save the most on these items, simply head to Walmart. In a comparison study, researchers discovered that this supermarket chain offered lower prices on non-edible kitchen essentials than competing discount chains, including Aldi and Save A Lot.

We write about products we think our readers will like. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the supplier.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.

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