19 Budget Friendly Pantry Meals Recipes

pantry meals recipes

Pantry Meals Recipes

In this article I share some of the best and easiest (and quickest!) to make pantry meals recipes. Making these inexpensive pantry meals recipes is a great way to use food from your pantry to save money on groceries or use up food that you need to. And making cheap pantry meals is an easy way to save time, too, especially if the alternative is to run to the store or run to a drive-through or to pick up takeout!

Using food you already have is also a great way to save money in order to be able to pay down a debt more quickly!

Your family, even the kids, will love the meals you create with these pantry recipes!

These quick, easy, and tasty pantry meals recipes will help you stretch your money and lower your grocery budget!

Save the image above to Pinterest so that you can easily find these ideas for pantry meals recipes later!


Make Your Pantry Meals Even Cheaper!

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19 Pantry Meals Recipes

Below are awesome ideas for budget-friendly pantry meals recipes (cheap pantry meals) you can make for your family. These simple dinner recipes are ready in 30 minutes or less!

1. Chicken or Tuna Ranch Mac and Cheese

This is one of my favorite ways to eat good old macaroni and cheese from a box, or you can of course make homemade mac and cheese, too. To traditional macaroni and cheese you add a can or two of chicken or tuna and ranch dressing to taste. (If you are making two boxes of mac and cheese, you can try adding 1/4 cup of ranch to start.)  Yum!


Here is a simple homemade macaroni and cheese recipe:

12 ounces elbow macaroni (or other pasta)
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 cups milk
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese 


  1. Boil noodles as directed.
  2. In a separate pan, melt butter and sprinkle in flour to make a roux.
  3. Add milk, cheese, salt, and pepper.
  4. Combine with noodles. For a creamier texture, add more milk.



2. Vegetable Ramen Pad Thai

For a fun twist on a cheap-dinner staple, try this Thai-inspired dish. All you need are ramen noodles, vegetables, soy sauce, peanut butter, sriracha, and red pepper flakes. If you want a milder version, reduce or leave out the sriracha and red pepper flakes (like I do).

2 packages ramen noodles, Oriental flavor
1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cans mixed vegetables (or 1 15 oz. bag frozen mixed vegetables)
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons peanut butter
1/4 tsp sriracha
2 tablespoons hot water

1. Add vegetable oil, canned vegetables, and seasoning packets. Cook for 3 minutes.
2. In a pot, cook Maruchan ramen Oriental flavor noodles in boiling water for 3 minutes.
3. Drain noodles, and add to pan.
4. Mix soy sauce, peanut butter, sriracha, and hot water. Add to pan, and mix together.
5. Divide into bowls, and serve.


3. Pasta Alfredo or Chicken Pasta Alfredo

This is a simple and tasty dish, ready in 30 minutes. It’s great as a one-pot dinner, or we often eat it with toasted garlic bread. Eat with green salad to get in more veggies.


12 oz. linguine or spaghetti noodles
tablespoons butter or margarine
can (10 1/2 ounces) cream of mushroom soup
1 large can chicken breast (optional)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon pepper


  1. Prepare the linguine or spaghetti noodles according to the package directions in a large saucepan. Drain the linguine mixture well in a colander.
  2. Heat the butter or margarine in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, if desired, and cook just until it is heated through, stirring often. You could also add frozen spinach at this point, if you have it, to get in more vegetables.
  3. Stir the soup, milk, cheese, pepper, and linguine mixture in the skillet and cook until the mixture is hot and bubbling, stirring occasionally.  Serve with additional Parmesan cheese.


4. Creamy Herb Pasta

This is another tasty pasta dish perfect for a pantry meal! This simple, quick dish is rich and creamy and ready in 30 minutes or less!


8 oz can sliced mushrooms (or 2 4 oz cans)
12 oz fettuccine
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons margarine or butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup whole milk
salt and pepper to taste


1. Cook the fettuccine according to the package directions, and then drain in a colander.
2. While the pasta is cooking, add the margarine and minced garlic to a large skillet. Sauté the garlic over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or just until fragrant and tender. Do not let the margarine or garlic turn brown.
3. Add the sliced mushrooms, and continue to cook until the mushrooms are heated through and are starting to brown. Turn the heat down slightly to medium-low, add the flour, and continue to sauté until the flour begins to coat the bottom of the skillet and turns golden brown (about 2-3 minutes).
4. Whisk the broth into the skillet with the flour and mushrooms. Whisk until all the flour has dissolved off the bottom of the skillet. Add the basil, oregano, and some pepper. Turn the heat up to medium, and bring the sauce to a simmer to thicken.
5. Stir the milk into the sauce and allow it to return to a simmer. Add about 1/4 teaspoon salt. Taste the sauce and adjust the salt or pepper as needed.
6. Add the drained pasta to the sauce in the skillet. Stir to coat, and cook the pasta over medium low heat until heated through. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cooks.


5. Black Bean Taco Salad

Black bean taco salad is another budget-friendly and tasty, easy, and pretty 🙂 pantry meal recipe that you can make in 30 minutes or less! 


For the salad:
  • 3 cups chopped lettuce
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained well
  • 1 15 oz can corn, rinsed and drained well
  • 1 green, red, or yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 medium red onion chopped
For the dressing:
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 3/4 to 1 tsp ground cumin



1. Place lettuce, black beans, corn, peppers, and onion in a large mixing bowl. Toss gently together.
2. In a small mixing bowl, combine sour cream, salsa and cumin. Stir until smooth. Pour dressing over salad.
3. Toss gently to coat.


Check out these related articles:

100+ Cheap and Easy Meals for When Money Is Tight
25 Cheap Slow Cooker Meals for under $5
75 Easy Ways to Save Money on Groceries without Coupons!
7 Simple Steps to Use a Meal Plan to Save Money on Groceries
19 Top Tips to Save Money Eating Out
How to Use a Grocery Item Price Comparison Cheat Sheet to Save a Ton of Money!
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6. Bean and Rice Burritos

This is a great way to use leftover rice. With the precooked rice, this easy recipe is ready in under 30 minutes. (Or you can use minute rice in a pinch, or just cook the rice before you start preparing the rest of the meal.)


1 can (16 ounces) refried beans
1 cup salsa
1 cup cooked rice
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
12 flour tortillas (6 to 7 inches)


1. In a bowl, combine the refried beans, salsa, rice, and 1 cup of the cheese.
2. Spoon about 1/3 cup of the mixture off-center on each tortilla.
3. Fold the sides and ends of the tortillas over the filling, and roll them up.
4. Arrange the burritos in a greased 13x9 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Cover and bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until heated through.



7. Easy Stovetop Tuna Casserole

This was a meal that my mom made regularly for my family when I was growing up. And this meal is ready just 20 minutes, too. Yay!


2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 or 2 tablespoons parsley (optional)
2 6 oz cans tuna, drained
1 15 oz can or 2 cups frozen peas or peas and carrots
8 oz wide egg noodles


  1. Cook the egg noodles.
  2. During the last couple of minutes, add the frozen or canned peas or peas and carrots to the simmering noodles, and then drain.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the butter or margarine in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  4. Whisk in the flour, and continue whisking for about 2 minutes or until the flour butter mixture starts to turn a beige color.
  5. Continue whisking and slowly add 1 of the cups of milk, incorporating the liquid as you whisk; then add the remaining 1 cup of milk.
  6. Let the mixture come to a gentle boil, stirring regularly to keep from burning on the bottom of the pan as it thickens.
  7. Break up the solid tuna chunks with a fork and mix throughout the sauce.
  8. Add the salt, pepper, and other seasonings.
  9. Pour the tuna sauce over the noodles and peas, stir until combined well, and serve.


8. Fried Rice

You can make this simple, cheap dinner in just 15 minutes, so it is perfect for those busy evenings after work and school. There are many variations, but I like this simple recipe.


2 tablespoons cooking oil, divided
1 cup diced red or white onion (about 1 small onion)
1 1/3 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
3 green onions, sliced
4 cups cooked rice
2 tablespoons soy sauce


  1. Crack 3 eggs into a small bowl, and beat them together. Beat the last egg in a separate bowl.
  2. Heat a large frying pan or a wok with 1/2 tablespoon of the cooking oil over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the 3 beaten eggs and scramble them for about a minute. Transfer the eggs to a dish, and turn off the heat. Wipe off the pan or wok with a kitchen towel.
  3. Pour the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil in the pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the onions, and cook them for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the mixed vegetables and green onions, and cook for another minute. Save some of the green onions (the dark green part) for garnish, if desired.
  4. Add the cooked rice into the pan or wok, and cook for a few minutes, until the rice is heated through. If you have large clumps of rice, break them apart with the back of your spatula. Pour the single beaten egg over the rice and stir to coat the rice with the egg. Cook for another minute.
  5. Add the soy sauce, and stir. Add the 3 scrambled eggs, and stir to mix again. Serve immediately.


9. Baked Potatoes with Chili or Cheddar Soup

This is a super easy pantry meal, and it is one of my favorite super cheap and easy go-to meals. All you need are baked potatoes, one or more cans of chili and/or cheddar soup (or use cream of chicken, mushroom, or celery soup, if you prefer), and your favorite toppings like bacon bits, canned olives or tomatoes, salsa, or corn.

Pro tip: Enjoy baked potatoes in just minutes by cooking them in the microwave in these awesome cooking pouches. Get perfectly cooked potatoes in just four minutes! I love them!


10. Corn and Bean Quesadillas

This easy pantry meals is a fun twist on traditional quesadillas. Plus, this quick dish is ready in 20 minutes or less!

1 can (15 oz. each) black beans, drained
1 can (15 oz. each) corn, drained
1 cup salsa
2 cups shredded cheese
8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
1/3 cup sour cream (optional)

1. Mash the can of beans. Mix in the can of corn and salsa.
2. Spread the mixture evenly on 4 tortillas; top with the cheese. Cover with the remaining 4 tortillas.
3. Heat the skillet, and cook the quesadillas for 2 minutes. Flip, and cook for another minute or two.
4. Cut into wedges, and serve with salsa and sour cream on the side.

11. Spaghetti or Meatless Spaghetti

Spaghetti is one of our favorite meals! We most often make spaghetti the way my mother did. To make it meatless and a true pantry meal, we simply omit the pound of ground beef that would normally be included.

For the meatless sauce, mix a small can of tomato sauce with about half a can of water, a packet of spaghetti seasoning (though we have also made our own spaghetti seasoning, which is cheap and easy!), and a small can of cream of mushroom soup. Sometimes we include mushrooms (fresh or canned) and chopped peppers (most often green peppers, since they are the least expensive) and onions, as well.

If you are including the vegetables and are not including hamburger, then heat up about a tablespoon of oil in the frying pan. (if you do want to include ground beef, then brown and drain the hamburger, and then follow the rest of the directions.) Add the chopped green pepper if you are going to use it; you could also add the chopped onion at this point, too. Cook the vegetables until they are softened. Then add the tomato sauce and the water. Add the spaghetti seasoning, and stir. Then add the can of cream of mushroom soup, and stir it in. Add the mushrooms at this point, if you are going to include them. Serve over warm spaghetti noodles.


12. Garlic Fettuccine Alfredo

For another 30-minute meatless pasta dish, give this garlic fettuccine alfredo a try. This recipe calls for Fettuccine (or substitute a pasta of your choice), butter, minced garlic, diced shallot, half and half (or we just substitute whole milk or whatever milk we have on hand), cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper and parsley to taste.

16 oz. fettuccine or penne pasta
4 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 cloves garlic, minced (or use minced garlic from the jar)
1 small yellow onion, diced (or use dried, chopped onions)
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish (fresh or from the bottle)
salt and pepper
fresh parsley

1. Make pasta according to the box directions. Drain and set aside.
2. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter, and add onions. Cook for 2 minutes, and then add garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
3. Add milk and cream cheese, and heat just until bubbly (do not boil).
4. Remove from heat, and add in Parmesan cheese and mix until the cheese is melted.
5. Add pasta to the skillet, and toss until combined. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese and fresh chopped parsley.


13. Quick Bean and Rice Burritos

This is another great beans and rice recipe that is perfect for a cheap and easy pantry meal. 🙂 These burritos are tasty and filling and can be on your table in less than 30 minutes.

1 1/2 cups water
3 cups cooked rice
1 medium green or red pepper (or half and half), diced
1 can or 2 cups of frozen corn
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
8 flour tortillas (8 inches), warmed
1 cup salsa

Optional toppings: shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream


  1. In a large skillet, saute green pepper and onion in oil until tender, 3-4 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the chili powder and cumin until combined. Add beans, corn, and cooked rice; cook and stir until heated through, about 4 to 6 minutes.
  2. Spoon about 1/2 cup of filling off-center on each tortilla; top with 2 tablespoons salsa. Fold sides and ends over filling and roll up.
  3. Serve with cheese and sour cream if desired.


14. Ramen Noodles with Vegetables

I know that ramen noodles are not really healthy, but they are super cheap and they are super easy.

We make eating them healthier by adding our favorite vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, corn, and sometimes peppers. You can also add canned chicken or tuna to this cheap pantry meal recipe to get in some protein for this meal!

Cook the vegetables, drain off some of the water if needed, and then add the noodles (and the chicken or tuna if you want to include one of those) and cook a few minutes until the noodles are soft. Add the seasoning packet (or omit), and stir to combine.

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15. Black Beans and Rice

This is another classic American beans and rice dish. Like the other easy pantry meals recipes in this list, it takes only about 30 minutes to prepare and a great option for after school or busy weeknights.


1 teaspoon cooking oil
1 chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
3/4 cup uncooked white rice
1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 teaspoon cumin
3 1/2 cups canned black beans (or other beans; about 2 cans)


1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat the oil.
2. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 4 minutes.
3. Add the rice and saute for 2 minutes.
4. Add the broth.
5. B
ring to a boil, cover, and lower the heat. Cook for 20 minutes.
6. Add the spices and black beans.
7. Stir, and serve.

16. Orange Teriyaki Chicken

This is another great cheap and easy pantry meal with chicken. 


1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons dried onion
2 cloves minced garlic or crushed garlic (1/2 t = 1 clove)
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)
1/2 cup orange marmelade (or more, to taste)
4 to 6 chicken breasts (cubed) or 2 large cans chicken
Cooked rice, for serving


  1. Combine all ingredients except chicken in a large bowl, and mix. Set aside.
    2. Brown chicken breasts in a large skillet in a little oil.
    3. Once browned, add sauce.
    4. Cook until heated through.
    5. Serve over cooked rice.


 17. Barbecue Chicken Pizza

Pizza can be another great cheap and easy pantry meal.



3 cups flour
2 1/4 teaspoon yeast, or 1 packet (1/4 ounce) yeast
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon oil


2 to 3 large canschicken
2 to 3 cups favorite barbecue sauce  (or more, as needed to adequately coat chicken)
5 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 can chopped pineapple, mushrooms, or other toppings of choice


1. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, yeast, and salt. Add water and oil, and beat until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
2. Place the dough on a floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine chicken and barbecue sauce, and stir to coat evenly.
3. Divide the dough in half, and then press into two 15 x 10 x 1 inch baking pans coated with cooking spray.
4. Spread chicken and sauce over crusts, and then top with cheese.
5. Bake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes, or longer as needed.

18. Pepperoni Pan Pizza

Pepperoni pizza is another fun dish that you can make primarily from items in your pantry! (If you don’t have any pepperoni, make cheese pizza, instead!)



3 cups flour
2 1/4 teaspoon yeast, or 1 packet (1/4 ounce) yeast
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon oil


1 to 2 cans tomato sauce
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon season salt


1 package (3 1/2 oz) sliced pepperoni
5 cups shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (optional)


1. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, yeast, and salt. Add water and oil, and beat until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
2. Place the dough on a floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine tomato sauce, oil, and seasonings.
3. Divide the dough in half, and then press into two 15 x 10 x 1 inch baking pans coated with cooking spray.
4. Spread sauce over crusts, and then top with pepperoni and cheeses.
5. Bake pizzas at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes or longer, as needed. 


19. Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken pot pie is another awesome dish you can make as an easy and cheap pantry meal!


1 to 2 large cans chicken
1 can peas
1 can carrots 
1/2 cup dried minced onion
1 can chicken broth
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2  (1 top and 1 bottom) unbaked pie crusts, homemade or from the store


1. Put the chicken. vegetables, broth, and milk in a large bowl, and stir until well combined.
2.  If store bought, remove the store-bought pie crusts from the packages and allow them to come to room temperature.
3. Place the pie crusts in a pie pan, and then spoon the filling equally between the two pans.
4. Top with the second pie crusts, and seal the edges by pressing together with a fork or your fingers. Poke a few holes into the crust with a fork.
5. Bake for about 45 to 55 minutes or until top of pie is golden and inside is bubbling. Tip: You may want to cover the edges with foil to protect them from over browning.
6. Cool for 10 minutes, and then cut into slices and serve.


Final Thoughts on Cheap Pantry Meal Recipes

These 15 cheap pantry meal recipes will help you use your pantry staples to get  inexpensive food on the table fast to feed your family! All ready in 30 minutes or less, these simple pantry meal recipes are great for busy families!


What do you like to prepare for your pantry meal recipes? Do you have quick and inexpensive go-to pantry meal recipes that you love?

Give these recipes a try, and let me know how it goes by leaving a comment below! I would love to hear your thoughts! 


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30+ Cheap Christmas Gift Ideas for under $10!

cheap Christmas gifts under $10

Awesome Cheap Christmas Gift Ideas for under $10!

Find information and links below for awesome Christmas gift ideas for under $10! These are great Christmas presents that your family, friends, and others will love!

Make your Christmas gift giving a snap with these cheap Christmas gift ideas for under $10!


The Benefits of Buying Inexpensive Christmas Gifts for under $10

You probably know how quickly the costs for Christmas can add up! It seems like we have to include everyone we know on our Christmas gift lists these days! While you definitely can shorten your Christmas gift recipient list (and that may be a very good idea to help you stay on budget for Christmas), another way to be able to give to all of those you care about and want to show you remember this Christmas season is to give less expensive Christmas gifts.


Tip: Why not help to eliminate the stress of Christmas shopping and gift giving by planning for a debt-free Christmas next year (or this year!)? Also be sure to check out these 15 simple ideas for how to save money on Christmas this year!

And be sure to grab the free Christmas planner printables below to help keep you organized this Christmas season! Save money and time this holiday season!


The point here is that you can still give wonderful gifts that are from the heart without spending a ton of money. Find great ideas for easy and cheap Christmas gifts for under $10 by clicking the links in the headings  or the images below.


Tip: Pin the image above so that you can easily find later these ideas for cheap Christmas gift ideas for under $10!

30+ Cheap Christmas Gifts for under $10 That Your Favorite People Will Love!

Below are some of the best cheap Christmas gifts for under $10 that your family and others will love!

1. Hot Cocoa in a Jar

Hot cocoa in a jar is one of my very favorite DIY Christmas gifts. One thing I love about this one, besides how festive it looks, is the white chocolate chips. So delish!

Found on The Farmgirl Gabs (link is in the title above)

Hot Cocoa In A Jar Gift Idea


 2. Christmas Cookies in a Jar

Another of my favorite Christmas DIY gifts is Christmas cookies in a jar. These Chocolate peppermint cookies, featured on Sally’s Baking Addiction, are a great example of a fun and super budget friendly Christmas gift (link is in the title above).

Christmas cookies in a jar with free printable recipe card


3.  DIY Peppermint Sugar Scrub

Let’s continue with the peppermint theme; why not?! This awesome DIY peppermint sugar scrub is perfect for the ladies on your list. And it is another super cheap Christmas gift idea for under $10.

Found on MommyMusings.com


peppermint sugar scrub recipe


4. Peppermint Bath Bombs

OK, I admit I may have a slight obsession with peppermint. <3 But it is just so perfect for the holidays! You can find lots of great ideas for peppermint bath bombs at the link above. One of my favorites is the one pictured here:


Or if you want to keep the DIY possibilities going, this awesome homemade holiday bath bomb from Fleece Fun is a great option.

I love this easy to follow tutorial on how to make homemade bath bombs Great holiday gift DIY idea.



These candy cane bath bombs are another great option (and a fun science project for the kids, if you want to enlist their help!).

Christmas Candy Cane Bath Bomb Recipe


Here is one more fun bath bomb cheap Christmas gift idea; this one is from IHeartNaptime.net.

Christmas Bath Bombs are a cute and simple gift that your friends and family will love this holiday season!


5. Spa in a Jar

This Spa in a Jar from TheGunnySack.com is another great inexpensive DIY Christmas gift idea for the favorite women on your list.

6. Christmas M&M Cookie Mix in a Jar

This is another great cookie mix gift idea, from CelebratingSweets.com.

M & M Cookie Mix in a Jar - M&M Cookie Mix in a Jar - A jar filled with pre-measured ingredients for M&M cookies to give as a gift.


7. Burt’s Bees Gift Set

Our family have long been fans of the Burt’s Bees products. This is a fun and unique gift set and another great option for a Christmas gift for under $10!


8. Men’s Long Sleeve Shirt

These very popular men’s shirts are a great buy at a great price, and they are available in a lot of great colors.


9. 2020 Commemoration Gifts

The year 2020 will be one that we will never forget. If you want to have some fun with some budget frinedly Christmas gifts, give one of these unique gifts for this unique time.

This is a fun Santa emblazoned face covering.

And thiis fun ornament is a great memento for this unprecedented year. 🙂

And this is another fun ornament commemorating this year.


10. Fun Socks

Going along with the theme of unique Christmas gifts that will bring a chuckle, here are some his and her socks.


Lavley Nerd Socks

And this is another fun pair of socks that is a perfect Christmas gift for under $10!


And here is one more set of Christmas-themed socks that would make a fun Christmas gift for under $10.

11. Kids Knock Knock Jokes Book

The kids on your Christmas list will love the laughs they get from this fun knock knock joke book. If they are anything like my kiddos, these fun jokes could keep them entertained for hours.


12. Microwavable Brownie Pan and Mix

And if you have someone on your Christmas list who loves brownies, this fun microwavable brownies pan set is a great gift idea! I have one that I love (though I admit it’s a little big dangerous, because it means you can have delecious, warm brownies ready in just a few minutes …)


13. Sea Salt Christmas Caramels

Caramels are another one of my personal favorite cheap Christmas gift ideas for under $10!

The ones featured here are from The Yummy Life.

Sea Salt Caramel Gift Ideas &amp; Printable Tags



14. Oven Mitt Christmas Gift Set

Give this thoughtful and inexpensive Christmas gift to your favorite bakers (or baker wannabes :)).




15. Brownie Mix in a Jar

Here we are back to the peppermint theme. Making (OK, eating; let’s be honest) peppermint brownies is another one of my favorite Christmas pastimes. 🙂

This peppermint brownie mix in a jar Christmas gift idea is  from IHeartNaptime.com.

peppermint brownie mix in a jar


And for a great traditional brownie mix in a jar, visit Party Inpsiration:

DIY Holiday Gift Idea: Layered Brownie Mix in a Jar | Evermine Blog | www.evermine.com



16. Texting Gloves

Texting gloves are another super useful and inexpensive Christmas gift idea. Help your favorite teen go back to power texting even when it’s cold outside.


17. Car Wash Holiday Basket

This is a great cheap Christmas gift for under $10 idea for the favorite guys on your list! Gift idea found on Savvy Honey.

Cheap Christmas Baskets



18. DIY Spa in a Basket

This super cute DIY spa set is also from SavvyHoney.com.

Christmas Gifts



19. Christmas Potpourri

I love this DIY Christmas potpourri from Yellow Bliss Road.

DIY Christmas Gift for Friends | Christmas Potpourri in a Jar with Free Printable Gift Tag




Or if you would rather buy some great Christmas potpourri rather than making it, there are some awesome products out there. Just be aware that you will probably spend more money than if you make them.

One of my favorite bags of Christmas potpourri is this best-selling one from Andaluca.


20. Cozy Christmas Slippers

Another fun DIY cheap Christmas gift for under $10 are some fun Christmas slippers stuffed with even more awesome Christmas gifts like nail polish, bath bombs, or chocolates.

This fun one pictured below and linked to above (in the title) is from Hoosier Homemade.

Slipper Gift Idea


21. Fleece Blanket

Another one of my favorite cheap Christmas gifts you can get for under $10? Fleece blankets. The fun one pictured below and linked to in the title above is found at TauniEverett.com.

Fleece blanket christmas gift idea © tauni everett pin

Check out these related articles:

How to Plan Your Holiday Budget

Get the Free Christmas Budget Planner to Save Money, Time, and Stress This Christmas Season!

25 Non Toy Christmas Gifts Your Kids Will Love!

101+ Awesome Stocking Stuffer Ideas (for the Whole Family!)

45+ Christmas Gifts for Kids under $25!

Perfect Christmas Gift Ideas for Mom

Best Christmas Gift Ideas for Dad

40+ Awesome Christmas Gifts for Kids

 15 Awesome Ideas for Christmas Gifts for Men

15 Christmas Gift Ideas for Outdoor Enthusiasts

5 Simple Ways to Save $500 or More for Christmas in Just a Few Weeks!

11 Easy Ways to Save Money on Christmas!

61 Awesome Free and Cheap Winter Activities for Kids!

101 Free Fall Activities!

103 Best Fun Free and Cheap Fall Activities for Kids and Families!

5 Cheap and Easy Fall Slow Cooker Meals

11 Super Easy CrockPot Meals for $5 or Less!


Final Thoughts on Great Christmas Gifts for under $10

These 30+ awesome cheap Christmas gifts for under $10 will help you save money on Christmas and will help ensure you stay within your holiday budget! They may even help make it possible for you to enjoy a debt-free Christmas. (<<Tip: read this article now and plan for this next year to make your holidays so much less stressful and so much more merry and bright! :))


What are your favorite cheap Christmas gifts? I would love to know your favorite ideas for cheap Christmas gifts for under $10, as well! Leave a comment below and let me know!


Invitation to Share

Was there something in this article that inspired you to change something about your money? Are there ideas or tips that you feel could help others? Would you please take a minute to share this article via email or social media? I would love your help to share these principles of financial well-being. Thank you!

Join Our Facebook Group!

Join our closed Families for Financial Freedom Facebook group to get support and share ideas for how we can all improve our financial well-being by earning more, spending less, saving more, and investing more and reach our financial goals. You can do this! And we are here to help.

75+ Awesome Free and Cheap Winter Activities for Kids and Families!

Cheap and Free Winter Activities for Kids

In this article I am going to share 75+ fun cheap and free winter activities for kids and families!

These are great ideas for cheap and free winter activities that will help you keep your kiddos entertained throughout the winter months! Find both activities to do at home and activities to do when you are ready to get out of the house and enjoy some outdoor fun or fun on the go!

And you can definitely use this list of fun cheap and free winter activities to make an awesome winter bucket list for your family!


Tip: Pin the image above so that you can easily refer to this article on cheap and free winter activities for kids and families later!



75+ Cheap and Free Winter Activities for Kids and Families

Honestly, even though I enjoy a lot of different winter activities for kids, I kind of dread the colder weather and being largely cooped up inside. During the summer (and the warmer parts of spring and fall) my kids spend much of the day outside in the backyard.

The kids still enjoy doing things outside during the winter, but it sometimes feels like the options are more limited when there is three inches of snow on the ground—or worse, when it’s just bitterly cold and there’s no snow to play in but instead just mud and slush and ice.

But there really are a lot of fun free and cheap winter activities for kids. Here I mention more than 75 of our favorite cheap and free winter activities for kids and families. 


Free and Cheap Winter Activities for Kids That You Can Do at Home

Build a snowman (or a whole snow family!).

Make snow angels.

Make ice cream (use snow, milk, sugar, and any added flavorings of your choice).

Paint the snow (add a few drops of food coloring to water in a spray bottle—so fun for the kiddos!).

Make hot cocoa and make and decorate homemade donuts.

Do a hot cocoa bar, where you get out all of your favorite hot cocoa toppings: marshmallows, candy canes, peppermint candies, whipped cream, and so on.

Make and decorate Christmas cookies.

Make banana splits or hot fudge sundaes.

Make caramel popcorn.

Make and decorate gingerbread men or gingerbread houses.

Make Christmas cards for family or friends.

Play dolls or superheroes.

Play pirates or ships.

Build a race track and have a race.

Sing Christmas carols.

Sing other favorite Christian songs.

Read the Bible together.

Read the Christmas story (the story of Christ’s birth, such as from Luke 2), The Night before Christmas, or other favorite Christmas classics.

Make a gratitutde chain or box, where you have your children write down one thing each evening that they are grateful, and add it to the chain or box.

Decorate Christmas stockings that you get from the dollar store (or another store).

Watch a favorite Christmas movie.

Do a family Christmas movie marathon.

Make Christmas-colored (red and green) pancakes or waffles.

Make Christmas-colored Jell-o waffle cookies (they’re delish!).

Make a Christmas bucket list, and schedule time to do your top Christmas-related activities.

Plan a family campout under the Christmas tree.

Make or put up Christmas decorations.

Decorate the Christmas tree.

Make homemade Christmas tree ornaments.

Help the kids plan and host a simple Christmas party for their friends.

Write and act out a simple Christmas or other play.

Act out the Christmas story (the story of the birth of Christ).

Color or marker together, such as a Nativity or winter scene.

Play house (or family, as my five-year-old daughter likes to call it) or school or bakery (or ice cream shop—you get the idea :)).

Make construction-paper chains out of green and red paper to count down the days until Christmas.

Make dinner, a plate of cookies, or another treat to share with a neighbor.

Go on a Christmas-themed scavenger hunt.

Go on a treasure hunt for candy canes. (Like an Easter egg hunt.)

Draw a map and go on a treasure hunt to find ornaments (nonbreakable) or other fun items.

Paint together.

Do finger painting.

Have your children invite a handful of friends over to play simple games like “Duck, Duck, Goose,” “Musical Chairs,” “Hot Potato,” “London Bridges,” “Follow the Leader,” and so on.

Have a tea party.

Play dress-up.

Learn about Saint Nicholas (you can learn all about Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, and Santa Claus here).

Celebrate St. Nick’s Day.

Write letters to Santa (and if you want your child to receive a reply from Santa, go here to learn how!).

Have a chocolate fondue fountain.

Form a band (create or gather together simple musical instruments to play together as a family or with friends).

Dance together.

Host a simple Christmas luau.

Do aerobics or other exercises together.

Do simple (sometimes edible) Christmas (or other) crafts together.

Give the kids a bubble bath.

Play age-appropriate board games and card games together. (Check out these fun Christmas-themed games!)

Build the town of Bethlehem or a Nativity scene out of wooden blocks.

Play with marble tube games.

Build a winter scene out of plastic building blocks.

Do Christmas, winter, or other puzzles together.

Do chalk art to build a winter or Christmas-related picture.

Blow bubbles.

Build a fort out of chairs or sectional furniture and large sheets or blankets.

Let the kids help to make a simple meal.

Go “camping” in your family room for the night.

Watch a movie together (let your kids pick it).

Ask your children what they want to do, and then do it.

Free and Cheap Winter Activities for Kids on the Go

Go sledding or tubing.

Visit cousins or set up a play date with friends.

Go to a live Nativity or to an exhibit of Nativities.

Go to a free or inexpensive music or Christmas concert.

Drive around to see Christmas lights.

Go to an indoor pool.

Go out for (inexpensive) ice cream.

Go to a kid-friendly restaurant with a play area and buy ice cream or inexpensive food the kids can eat for a snack, and then let them play for an hour (or three).

Go to an inexpensive movie (dollar theater).

Bundle up and go for a walk (or short hike if you can do so safely).

Make simple snowshoes and go for a walk on the snow.

Visit free or inexpensive museums or aquariums (or go on a day when admission is free or reduced).

Go to activities or to read at the library.

Go to an inexpensive, indoor fun center or trampoline park.


Final Thoughts on the Best Winter Activities for Kids

Even though it’s cold outside, there are still a ton of free and cheap winter activities you can do to have fun with your kids and help keep them entertained (without sitting in front of the TV or other electronic device all evening long).


Let me know in the comments below the fun free and cheap winter activities for kids that you and your family do during the colder months! I’d love to hear your ideas!

Invitation to Share

Was there something in this article that inspired you to change something about your money? Are there ideas or tips that you feel could help others? Would you please take a minute to share this article via email or social media? I would love your help to share these principles of financial well-being. Thank you!

Join Our Facebook Group!

Join our new, closed Families for Financial Freedom Facebook group to get support and share ideas for how we can all improve our financial well-being by earning more, spending less, saving more, and investing more and reach our financial goals. You can do this! And we are here to help.

75+ Awesome Christmas Traditions You’ll Love!

Christmas traditions

Christmas Traditions

In this article I am going to share some of the best Christmas traditions! These Christmas traditions are perfect for families, for those with young kids, those with older kids, and for couples.

The Christmas activities included in this list are perfect for making a Christmas bucket list! If you know that there are fun Christmas traditions and activities that you want your family to participate in this year, then use the items listed in this article to create the perfect Christmas bucket list for your family!


Tip: Save the image above to Pinterest so that you can easily refer to this article on the best Christmas traditions and Christmas activities later!


Awesome Christmas Traditions You Will Love!

In so many ways, Christmas truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

And the wonderful Christmas traditions for families and others are part of what makes the holiday season so magical! From making Christmas cookies and other Christmas treats, singing and listening to Christmas carols, watching favorite Christmas movies, decorating Christmas trees and stringing Christmas lights, and more, there are Christmas traditions that every member of the family can participate in and enjoy.

The holiday season is also a great time to enjoy traditional winter pastimes like building snowmen, making snow angels, going sledding and ice skating, drinking hot cocoa and reading by the fire, and making gingerbread houses.


Family Christmas Traditions

These fun and festive activities can bring you closer together as a family and give you a chance to build special memories that you and your children can look on and remember for decades.

The Christmas season is so much more than giving and receiving gifts. Even though kids wait for Christmas morning with incredible anticipation, you can teach them that the gifts of Christmas morning are just one (small) part of the amazing Christmas season.

And one of my favorite things about the Christmas traditions I share below? Most of them you can do for free or very inexpensively. You do not have to spend a lot of money to have a wonderful Christmas season.


Also be sure to check out these related articles for awesome ideas on how to save money on Christmas and ways to make more money for Christmas!

***Pro Saving Tip! Use the free Christmas planning printables just below to help you plan a frugal but awesome Christmas!***


Why Have Christmas Traditions?

One of the things that holds families together (which in turn help to hold our society together) are family traditions. And Christmas is one of the best times to participate in and nurture those family traditions.

In December, life seems to slow down a little. People focus a little more on others and less on themselves. They think about serving and giving back.

Many people take vacation time during the Christmas season to have more time with family and loved ones. That means they have more time for those traditions that can really help to glue a family together, like cooking together, playing games together, singing together, talking together, laughing together, and doing fun recreational activities together.So read on to learn some of my best ideas for how to save money and still have a great Christmas!


Interested in budget-friendly Christmas gift ideas? Check out these gift guide posts:


And be sure to also check out these related articles! 


The Best Kind of Christmas Traditions for Families

I truly feel that most of the time, simpler is better. And especially when you have younger kids like we do, it’s good to keep things fairly simple and not have too high of expectations the first time you do things.

Even though I know this is a huge list of potential Christmas traditions activities, don’t try to cram in too much during your holiday season. Just pick the things that you feel are most important for your family, schedule them on the calendar, and then be flexible about things when some of your plans inevitably change. (I like to use pencil to write things on the calendar. 😊)

Many of these activities are cheap or even free, and I think those are some of the best activities of all. Remember—it’s not how much you spend. It’s the type of bonds you are forming as you spend crucial family time together as you talk and laugh and play and work that matters much more than anything else.


Check out this related articles with awesome ideas for budget-friendly Christmas gifts: 20+ Awesome Ideas for Christmas Gifts for $10 or Less!


***Pro tip: Grab the free Christmas budget printable above ☝️ (and other awesome free Christmas planning printables!) to help you stay on budget and plan an awesome, joyful, and stress-free Christmas this year!***


75+ Best Christmas Traditions (for Families and Everyone!)

Start the holiday festivities on Thanksgiving weekend (or even sooner, if you want! I start listening to Christmas music right after Halloween is over! 😊)

Give yourself plenty of time. Don’t feel rushed. Start decorating early, and get done early, so you can have the whole season to enjoy the shining Christmas tree lights at night, the tinsel, the holly, the garland, the mistletoe, the cinnamon-scented pinecones—all of it!



1. Make a Christmas season bucket list to help you choose your favorite Christmas traditions.

As you consider the Christmas traditions to participate in this Christmas season, make a Christmas season bucket list!

You may not have time to do everything that you would like to, so make note of the activities that you would most like to participate in, and schedule those activities first. Remember, too, that you don’t have to try and do everything that you would like to. Your family might have more fun

Get the free Christmas planning printables above to help you plan the perfect Christmas season! ☝️



Crafting Fun! (Christmas Traditions Making Awesome Crafts!)


2. Make or decorate Christmas tree ornaments.

Making or decorating your own Christmas tree ornaments can be a lot of fun, and it is something that kids of all ages can enjoy!

We loved to make potpourri-filled ornaments when I was growing up.

Another easy idea for decorating ornaments that I would love to do is to buy solid-colored ornaments, have the kids put their hands in paint, and then make a handprint on the ornament. You could even do this each year as a way to record how they grow.



3. Make a keepsake ornament each year as a fun Christmas tradition.

This is another fun ornament-themed potential Christmas bucket list activity. For example, you could make Christmas tree ornaments out of green construction paper and add your kiddos’ photos to them. We have done that before when the kids were younger, and it’s so fun to look at those pictures now when we pull out the ornaments. We really need to do it again!



4. Make salt dough handprint ornaments.

This is another fun Christmas tradition involving ornaments. For this one, you use a simple salt dough recipe. All you need is salt and flour and some optional food coloring. Find instructions here (the precious image just below is also from mommymoment.ca).

salt dough handprint


5. Cut out snowflakes and hang them on the windows.

I loved to do this as a kid, and now I love to make snowflakes with my kids!


6. Make Christmas crafts for kids.

I love making crafts for kids (because they are easy enough that I can actually do them :)). This article has tons of ideas of easy Christmas crafts for kids to make.


7. Count down the days till Christmas with red and green construction paper chains.

I think this activity is like a rite of passage that every child must do before passing on to adulthood. Right?


8. Decorate Christmas stockings.

For another fun Christmas activity, you can decorate Christmas stockings. One of the fun ways that we liked to decorate stockings when I was a kid was with glue and glitter, but you can also decorate them with fabric paint or use hot glue to adhere fun decorations.

You can even go easier than that and use markers to create fun designs or glue or sew on fun buttons or pieces of fabric.

Google or search Pinterest to find lots of ideas!


9. Make homemade Christmas cards.

This is another fun Christmas tradition that the kids can have fun with! You can do this really simply with construction paper or computer paper and crayons or colored pencils or markers. You can add stickers or stamps and use stencils to add decorations, too. Snowmen out of white buttons is another fun option.

Glitter and glue are also a great addition to make your Christmas card festive and fun.

Or you can get more fancy and use cut out wreaths or Christmas trees or snowmen to make your cards festive.

You can also use yarn to make cards that looks like hats, scarves, or mittens.

Another fun addition is to use Christmas wrapping paper to make DIY envelopes.


10. Make a gratitude chain or box.

 Help your children learn the importance of gratitude by helping them to create a gratitude chain or box. 

For this simple but awesome activity, you can use green and red (or whatever color you want) construction paper to write something you are grateful for each night, and then add them to the chain each night. 

For a gratitude box, each person can write something they are grateful for each night on a piece of paper, and then add it to the box. Then on Christmas (or Christmas Eve, or New Year’s Eve, or whenever you want), you could sit down and read what everyone said that they were grateful for.


Special Keepsakes


11. Make a record of the year’s highlights.

In a special diary, journal, or notebook, write the highlights for the year for each of your children. Plan to give the journal to the kiddos when they’re grown.

You could also write these highlights as a letter to your children. (You could make photocopies for the kiddos and keep the original in a special binder, for example.)

You might include fun things you did as a family, fun and funny things they have said that you remember, things they love to do, character traits you love about them, and so on.


12. Keep a Christmas diary.

In the same vein as the idea just above, another great Christmas tradition that will bless your family for years to come is to keep a Christmas diary where you write the activities that you enjoyed as a family during the Christmas season so that you can share these fun memories with your children as they get older.



13. Trace your children’s handprints each year on a tree skirt.

This is another great way to catalog the passing years. You could use just black permanent marker, or you could use green and red, or whatever fun colors you want.


14. Write 25 notes to your kids.

For this Christmas tradition, write a note each day leading up to Christmas to each of your children saying something you love and appreciate about them. I love this one!



15. Take a holiday-themed Christmas photo.

Taking a family photo for the holidays is a common Christmas tradition, particularly if you like to send out holiday greeting cards or a family Christmas letter or newsletter with hightlights about your family.


16. Take a family photo in front of the Christmas tree.

Each year, take a family picture in front of the Christmas tree. Then look at the collection of photos over the years to see how the kids are growing.



17. Get a picture with Santa.

Another fun annual Christmas tradition for many kids is to get pictures with Santa. And one thing great about this tradition is that you can do it for free! Many malls, stores, libraries, church or work family Christmas parties, and similar venues provide opportunties to get a photo with the man in red. 



Do unto Others

The holiday season is a great time to give back to others, and making a plan to help other people is a wonderful Christmas tradition to instill positive values in your children.

Consider including one or more of these Christmas service project ideas on your Christmas bucket list!


18. Find simple ways to serve others.

One of the things that I really love about the Christmas season is the fact that people are more inclined to give and to be kind and to serve one another. For example, you could do one or more of the following:

  • Take someone dinner.
  • Visit someone who is ill or homebound.
  • Take a plate of cookies to a neighbor.
  • Give a family winter hats, scarves, and mittens.
  • Leave a gift card in someone’s mailbox
  • Ring the bell (make sure they’re home first!) and leave cash in an envelope on someone’s door.

The possibilities are endless!


19. Do a service scavenger hunt.

A service scavenger hunt is a fun way to serve those around you.

Some of actvivies you could include in your service scavenger hunt include:

  • Shovel walks
  • Take a meal to an elderly couple
  • Take cookies to your neighbors
  • Take toys or winter clothes to a homeless shelter
  • Donate money to a favorite charity
  • Leave dollar bills around the dollar store
  • Give gift cards to police officers or fire fighters
  • Leave a big tip to your server
  • Pay for the food of the vehicle behind you in the drive-through
  • Pay for the groceries of the person or family behind you


20. Make a list of ideas of random acts of kindness you can do, and then do them.

This idea is similar to the one just above, where you make a list of kind acts you can do for others throughout the holiday season, and then you cross each one off the list as you do them.


21. Participate in Sub for Santa.

 Participating in a Sub for Santa with your work, your church, or as a family can be another great Christmas tradition where you can help those in need.


22. Participate in an annual toy drive.

 Participating in an annual toy drive is another great Christmas activity for kids to help them think of others and serve children in the community.

There are many organizations who participate in annual toy drives, including many local stores. Generally, you purchase toys and deliver them, unwrapped, to the collection place.


23. Take your kids shopping to buy a toy to donate to a local charity.

 Similar to the idea just above, you could take your children shopping to each buy a toy to donate to a local charity.


24. Donate money to causes you care about.

 Another great way to serve those in need that you can do easily (you can even do it online, if you choose, and not even have to leave your house!) is to donate montey to local churches or charitable organizations.


25. Do the 12 Days of Christmas for a family.

Any family would appreciate being a recipient of the 12 Days of Christmas, and this another fun Christmas tradition that your whole family can be involved with.

You could even do the 12 Days for a family in need, where the gift or gifts for each day are something the family could really use, such as warm winter wear, a box of nonperishable food, a gift card with money or to a local grocery store or Walmart, cash, clothes (if you know the members of the family well enough to do that), and the like.


26. Serve a meal at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter.

If you have older children, or just want an activity to do with your spuse or even your friends, then serving a meal in a soup kitchen or homeless shelter is a wonderful way to help out in the community. In some cases they ask the volunteers to provide the meal, too, so you are serving in two important ways.


27. Start a tradition with the Kindness Elves.

As a fun twist on the Elf on the Shelf tradition, you could start a tradition with the Kindness Elves.

I got this idea from The Imagination Tree, where they share that the Kindness Elves is “an alternative to the popular Elf on the Shelf idea, and place the focus instead on positive, character-building activities for kids. [Their goal is] teaching love, kindness and gratitude with a hope to raise kids who move away from the entitlement attitude which is creeping into our modern generation.”

With the Kindness Elves, you could give daily (or however often you want) ideas for simple kind deeds or acts of servce that your chldren could do for others or for each other.

I love that their goal s to help put the focus back on serving others and away from the commecialism that often seems to permeate the Christmas season. 


28. Fill a Christmas sack with toys to give away.

For this fun service-oriented Christmas tradition, you give the kids a Christmas bag to fill with toys and items to give away to children in need. (You’ll probably want to go through them before the delivery day so you make sure they’re not giving away anything that you really would like to keep. :))


29. Give Christmas chocolate coins out as a reward for your kids when they do good deeds.

Though the joy of giving and helping others is reward enough, if you want, you could give an additional small incentive to your children to encourage them to do good deeds during the holiday season, such as chocolate coins.


***Pro tip: Grab the free Christmas planning printables just below to help you plan an awesome, joyful, and stress-free Christmas this year!***


Bake It Up (Best Treats to Make Part of Your Christmas Tradition)

Another of my favorite categories of fun Christmas traditions is to make yummy treats during the holidays! Below are some of our own family favorites.


30. Make homemade hot chocolate.

If you love hot cocoa, why not try making your own for your family to enjoy during the holiday season?

You can find one of my favorite hot chocolate recipes here; it’s fast and easy, and you should have all of the ingredients already on hand.

And if you love white chocolate like me, then check out this awesome recipe for white hot chocolate, too!


31. Make caramel popcorn balls.

Caramel popcorn is another fun traditional holiday treat. You can find a simple and tasty caramel popcorn balls recipe here.


32. Make Christmas pancakes as a fun holiday tradition.

Making Christmas pancakes is another fun Christmas tradition that your family will enjoy. We do this for some of the other fun holidays, too, like Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and Halloween, too!)

The way we do this is to pick a food color (like green, if you want to do Christmas trees, or green and red, to make it even more Christmasy), then make big round pancakes like you normally would, and after you let them cool a little, use cookie cutters to make them into fun shapes. Then serve with your favorite toppings, and enjoy!


33. Make your favorite varieties of Christmas cookies.

Our kids also love to make cookies as one of their favorite Christmas activities. THey particicularly like making sugar cookies because it’s fun to decorate them with red and green frosting and sprinkles, but we have also made snickerdoodles, and chcolate chip cookies with red and green candies, such as M&Ms, are fun too.

Gingerbread cookies are another fun one for this time of year, and green and red colored peanut butter cookies are fun if your kiddos love that type of cookie.

Shortbread cookies are another of my personal favorites.

Another fun one (if you really like frosting, like me) is to make Christmas tree sugar cookies.

And another one that I love is chocolate peppermint cookies.

You can find lots of other fun ideas for Christmas cookies on Google and PInterest.


34. Make a gingerbread house.

Another of our favorite Christmas traditions to do with the kids is to make gingerbread houses. We have made the gingerbread from scratch before, but generally, we buy a kit.

However, a much less expensive alternative to that that I heard about recently that I want to try is to make the houses out of graham crackers. That would also be easier than making the gingerbread from scratch. (And would work well if your kiddos don’t love the taste of gingerbread, too.)

To make the houses, you can use royal frosting, which we have generally done, or again, a new method that I just learned about that I want to try this year is to use melted white sugar as glue. From what I’ve read, the melted white sugar holds the cookies or crackers together better and is easier to make and use.



35. Make other favorite Christmas treats.

There are so many fun treats that you can make during the holidays. Though it is a little trickier to make, so I don’t make it often, I do love divinity. We also love fudge, which is pretty easy to make, and Christmas crispy rice treats are another favorite. You can find tons of other ideas for Christmas on Pinterest or by Googling.


36. Create a hot chocolate bar for a fun holiday tradition.

If you love hot chocolate, delight your family or guests with a hot chocolate bar. You can use your favorite store-bought hot cocoa, or use one of the recipes above or another favorite to make homemade hot cocoa. Then put out your favorite stir-ins, suc as miniature marshmallows, whipped cream, sprinkles, crushed up cookies, mini candy canes, chocolate or white chocolate chips, peppermint sticks, and other fun treats.


37. Do a chocolate fondue fountain.

The holidays are a great time to do a chocolate fondue fountain with your kiddos, and include their  favorite fruits and treats. Some of our favorites are marshmallows, banana wedges, strawberries, shortbread, pretzels, apple slices, pineapple chunks, wafer cookies, Oreo or other sandwich cookies, cinnamon bears, and Pirouette cookies.

You can find some great chocolate fondue recipes by Googling or searching Pnterest.


 38. Plan a cookie exchange with neighbors.

A great way to enjoy a variety of holiday cookies without doing all of the work is to plan a cookie exchange with neighbors!



Deck the Halls (Decorating Christmas Traditions)


39. Decorate the Christmas tree together as a fun family Christmas tradtion.

In our family, we love to decorate the Christmas tree Thanksgiving weekend. (If it were up to me, we might decorate it any time after Halloween is over, but my husband is more of a stickler for letting Thanksgiving have its turn and then enjoying the Chrimstas holiday season.) I know of one family who likes to decorate their tree December 1. Those who have live Christmas treees may not get their trees until later in the season.

Whenever you decide is right for your family, make it a festive event by turning on the Christmas music, getting out all of the boxes of decorations, and diving in!

You can find inspiration for beautiful and fun Christmas tree ornaments and other decrations here.


40. Buy an ornament or other tree decoration each year for your kids.

Another fun holiday tradition related to decorating Chrismtas trees ins to buy a Christmas tree or other tree decoration each year for your kids. This way, they can have their own set of tree decorations when they’re grown, complete with the fun memories associated with them.

You can also buy an ormanemtn that represents something the kids did or accomplished during the year, and that makes this tradition even more meaningful.


One fun theme for your Christmas ornaments is to have Advent ornaments. Here is one example of a fun Christmas-themed advent ornament set (click the image below for information about this ornament set; these are really budget friendly!).


You can find more ideas for fun overall Christmas-themed advent ornaments here.



41. Hang some mistletoe.

Hanging mistletoe is a fun Christmas tradition for the (relatively) young and old alike, as well. For the young kiddos, you could invite them to give their sibling or you parents a high five or hug or something like that if they get caught under the mistletoe.

I love this particular style of mistletoe (click the image below for information about it):

And find many more fun ideas for mistletoe here.


42. Decorate your home for the holidays, and string lights outside.

Either at the same time as you decorate the tree or whenever it is most convenient for your family, it is a lot of fun for kids to decorate a home with Christmas knickknacks and put up lights outside, as well!

We tend to do all of our decorating on the same day, since we are going to the effort of going to the garage and getting out the decorations anyway, but you might choose to decorate the rest of your home or do the lights on a different day, and that works great, too. If you have a whole lot of holiday decorations, breaking up the decorating over a few days makes a lot of sense.


One fun and unique way to decorate your home is to have fun Christmas-themed Advent calendars that you collect over the years. There are some really fun Advent calendars, like these (click the links below for information):

Slime Advent calendar

Disney Storybook Collection Advent Calendar

Lego Harry Potter Advent calendar

Star Wars Advent calendar

LOL Surprise Advent calendar

Hot Wheels Advent calendar

Barbie Dreamptopia Advent calendar

And you can find lots of other fun ideas of Advent calendars here.


43. Hang the stockings.

Hanging Christmas stockings is another great holiday tradition. If you do not have a fireplace, like we don’t, you can hang them on nails or other hooks you have or put on or in the wall. We have hooks in the ceiling in our front room in front of a large window, so that is where we hang ours until Christmas Eve, and then that night we just prop them up in the same area where we put the presents.

These are some of my favorite stocking designs (click the image below to learn about them):


And find some more fun and some fancy stocking ideas here.


Related: 101+ great Christmas stocking stuffer ideas!



At Home Sweet Home (Fun Christmas Traditions to Enjoy at Home)


44. Do a candy cane hunt.

This activity is similar to doing an Easter egg hunt (which my kids love to do, long after and even when it’s nowhere near Easter :)), but you hunt for candy canes instead of Easter eggs.

Hide candy canes around the house for your children to find. (If it’s warm enough or you dress warm enough, this would be a fun activity for outside, too!)

You can find some great ideas for candy canes here.

And these are my personal favorite candy canes. 🙂


45. Do a Christmas tree campout.

Gather up the blankets and pillows and couch cushions, and gather near the Christmas tree for a family slumber party. Leave the Christmas lights on all night for a festive touch.


46. Do Christmas tree caroling.

Make a tent in the living room out of blankets or sheets and furniture, turn out the lights and turn on the flashlights, and sing Christmas carols together.


47. Read a Christmas book each night.

Pick a number of days to do this activity leading up to Christmas, and then read a different Christmas book each night. This can really help to get you in the Christmas spirit!

You could get great Christmas-related books from the library, from Amazon (<< check out ideas here for books to be on the lookout for!), or even collect them over time from your local thrift store.

Some of our personal favorites are Berenstein Bears Christmas books, The Polar Express, Mercer Meyer Christmas books, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

And for some Christ-centered Christmas books, check out The Christmas Story: Drawn Directly from the Bible, Twas the Evening of Christmas, The Jesus Storybook Bible: A Christmas Collection (with fun stories and songs), Jesus Calling: The Storey of Christmas, The First Christmas (beautiful board book),  and The Christmas Story (the Little Golden Book version)

You can also find more Christ-centered Christmas books here.


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48. Wrap up 25 Christmas books, and read one each night.

This idea is similar to the one just above, but with a little twist! Since kids love to open presents, wrap up 25 Christmas-related books, and open one each night to read. (Pro tip: They don’t have to be new!)

In addition to the ones listed above, a few of our other Christmas favorites are:

You can also find lots of other ideas for awesome Christmas books here.


49. Participate in the Elf on the Shelf tradition.

For this Christmas tradition, different scout elves help Santa by letting him know whether children have been naughty or nice. Each night, the elves hide in a different place. Then the next morning, children have fun finding them and the messages they share.

You can find the story of the Elf on the Shelf here.


This is one fun set of Elf on the Shelf dolls (click the image below to learn more):

And you can find more fun Elf on the Shelf dolls here.


50. Listen to Christmas music.

One of the very best things that helps me to get into the Christmas spirit is to listen to Christmas music! And I like to start early—right after Halloween is over. 🙂 Our kiddos, especially our older daughter, love listening to the Christmas music during the holiday season, as well.


51. Make a Christmas playlist of your favorite songs to listen to throughout the season.

Similar to the item just above, if you want to enjoy holiday music during the season as one of your cherished family Christmas traditions, then a great way to do that is to create your own Christmas music playlist.


52. Sing Christmas carols.

And singing Christmas carols yourselves as a family is a great way to take the joy of the music of the holiday season one step farther.

If you have a fireplace, singing in front of the fireplace with the lights turned down or turned off can be a lot of fun.

If you live in an area or a neighborhood where it is safe to do so, going around and singing Christmas carols to the neighbors can be fun, and it s a great way to spread Christmas cheer.


53. Watch your favorite Christmas movies.

For many people, watching some of the many Christmas movies available is a great way to enjoy the holidays. You could choose to watch a favorite Christmas movie each Friday and Saturday evening, for example. Or if you enjoy a lot of shorter animated Christmas films, you could choose to watch one or two several evenings of the week.

You could also choose to watch a Christmas movie each night for the week leading up to Christmas to help you count down the days to that happy event.

Budget-friendly options for accessing Christmas movies include getting them from the library (my favorite) and Netflix, Amazon Prime (very budget friendly), or similar venues.


Tip: Have you tried Amazon Prime yet? Get access to tons of movies that you can watch for free with your subscription, plus unlock unlimited free 2-day shipping when you sign up for a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime. Join today to enjoy the many benefits of this awesome service!


For those videos that you really want to have and keep, then building a Christmas movie collection is a great idea.

Here are a few of our own family favorites (or my family favorites :)):


54. Have a Christmas moviethon.

Another fun family Christmas tradition that could really kickstart your family’s Christmas spirit is to have a Christmas movie marathon on one of the days leading up to Christmas.


55. Write Christmas cards to send to family and friends.

Writing Christmas cards to send to family and friends is another fun Christmas tradition to help celebrate the Christmas season.

One of the best things about Christmas for me is when I receive Christmas cards with family photos of loved ones. And when they include a letter with an update on their lives, that is in its own way even better!


Find ideas for fun and meaningful Christmas cards to send here.


56. Learn the story of Saint Nicholas.

Have you ever wondered how Saint Nicholas became Santa Claus? Sharing this story can be a fun family Christmas tradition. You can learn all about Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, and Santa Claus here.


57. Celebrate St. Nick’s Day.

If you want to take things one step further (and add one more festive day to the hoiiday season; why not?), you can celebrate St. Nicholas Day on December 6th.

Learn smoe fun ideas for celebrating St. Nicholas Day here.


58. Write letters to Santa.

Writing letters to Santa can be another fun holiday tradition for kids. And you can find a simple and fun Santa letter template that you can print off for your kids to use here.

I do want to quickly mention, just to be true to myself, that in our family, we don’t treat Santa Clause like he is real. (You can learn why near the end of this article here.) But we still have fun with him and read books about Santa and watch movies about Santa and all of that good stuff.

To help keep your children’s Christmas expectations realistic, I think it’s a great idea to guide their letter writing a little. For example, if they are writing a letter to Santa to let him know what they would love to have for Christmas, you might suggest that they limit their requests to 3 gifts, for example, that are within a certain price range.

To help with this (and help take a lot of stress out of the holiday season!), if you are happy with your children believing that Santa is real (or if they already do), I think it’s a great idea to let your kids know that just as your family has a budget that they follow because money is finite, Santa also has a Christmas budget that he follows to make sure that all of the children throughout the world can have a few gifts that they will enjoy and love.

And if you want your child to receive a reply from Santa, go here to learn how!


59. Make copies of your letters to Santa.

If you write letters to Santa (and actually send them off), then a great idea is to make copies of the letters and keep them in a book or binder to show the kids when they are a little older.


60. Host a Christmas party.

Another fun holiday tradition for many families is to host a Christmas party.

You can of course make the event and big or small as you like, but if this is your first time hosting, you might want to start small to have less work (and probably less stress :)).

Another thing you can do to have less work and spend less money is to have a potluck dinner as part of the Christmas party, or forego dinner altogether and invite everyone to bring a plate or two of their favorite Christmas cookies, instead.

A white elephant Christmas gift exchange can be a fun party of a holiday party, or you can use this time to exchange Christmas gifts as a family. In my family, we do a Secret Santa, and we exchange the gifts at an annual Christmas party. (This helps ensure we all get together and see each other during the busy holiday season.)


Tip: Find ideas for awesome Christmas party supplies here and Christmas party decorations here!


61. Have a Christmas luau.

For a fun twist on a traditional Christmas party, do a luau theme! We have done this before in my own family, and it has been awesome!


Tp: Get ideas for fun luau party decorations and supplies here!


62. Have family game nights.

Especially with the cold nights of December, having a family game night can be a fun way to pass the time during the holiday season, so that you can stay home (and save money!) in your own cozy house!

One fun option for Christmas games are Christmas minute to win it games!

And here are some other fun Christmas-themed games!

And you can find tons of other Christmas-themed games here!

Focus on Christ This Christmas with Christ Centered Christmas Activities

Another Christmas tradition that I personally love are the Christ-centered Christmas activities that help make the Christmas spirit bright.

In our own family, we try to not let the commercialism that can seem to so easily permeate this holiday overshadow the reason that we celebrate the holiday. We try to help our children remember to think of Jesus Christ and His birth and His life and to follow His example of kindness.

Participate in these fun Christ-focused Christmas traditions to help your family remember the reason for the season.


63. Read favorite Christmas scripture verses.

Each night for as many night as you want leading up to Christmas, read favorite verses of scripture related to the birth of Christ and the life of Christ. Find ideas for inspirational Christmas Bible verses here.


64. Read the Christmas story from the Bible.

You can also read the Christmas story from the Bible, found in Luke 2. This is something my own young family does every Christmas (that we did in my family growing up, too), and it is one my favorite Christmas traditions.


65. Read cherished Christmas books about the birth of the Savior.

Another wonderful family Christmas tradition that can help your holiday season stay more focused on Christ is to read stories about the birth of Jesus Christ.

Here are some of my favorite Christ-centered Christmas books:

You can also find more Christ-centered Christmas books here.


66. Make Nativity sets a focal part of your cherished Christmas decor.

Another great idea for keeping Christ in Christmas and to have a Christ-centered Christmas is to display Nativity sets in your home.

I know many people who have collected lots of Nativity sets, and I think that is wonderful. In fact, I know of one woman who dedicates a room in her home to her various Creche sets. Our Nativity set collection isn’t huge (at least not yet :)). but we probably have a dozen Nativity sets of various sizes and made of various materials.

I think some of the most beautiful Christmas Nativity sets are these:

 Kurt S. Adler Nativity resin set

Holy Birth Nativity set

Holy Family Nativity set


Now that we have young kiddos, I love especially wooden and metal Nativity sets. Here are a few of my favorites:

Wooden Nativity ornament (we have this one or one very similar to it)

 Fun Express wooden Nativity set

Willow Tree Nativity set


You can find more fun and beautiful Christmas Nativity sets here


67. Hang Christ-centered Advent ornaments for a unique and fun family Christmas tradition.

Another fun Christmas tradition for kids is to hang Advent ornaments.

The word advent means “coming,” and it refers to the coming of Jesus Christ. It starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day (which always falls between November 27 and December 3), and it ends on Christmas Eve.

More broadly, advent now for many people refers to the coming of Christmas, not just the coming of Christ, so many advent calendars and keepsakes have Christmas-themed objects, not just Christ-themed objects.

Some of my favorite advent or Nativity ornaments that we have are carved from wood (because they are less destructible; I love our glass ones, too, but I have to be a lot more careful with those ones with our young kiddos).
For example, I like this set of wooden Nativity ornaments.

You can find more ideas for Christ-themed advent ornaments here.



68. Count down the days to Christmas with an Advent calendar.

Another fun family Christmas tradition related to Advent is to count downt he days till Christmas with an Advent calendar.

My personal favorite type of Advent calendar is one that counts down the days till Christmas with an idea for a different service project each day. I really like this colorful and bright advent service calendar geared fror kids from Nourishing Joy.


A couple of my favorite Christ-centered Advent calendars for kids and families are these:

Count Down to Christmas with Simplified Bible Verses Coloring Book

Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas


69. Practice gratitude.

Another wonderful way to have a more Christ-focused Christmas is to focus on gratitude during the holiday season. Help your children to remember how blesses they are and how everything that we have on this earth is a blessing from our loving Heavenly Father.

The month of December is a great time to practice gratitude. Some fun ways to practice gratitude are to do an Christmas activity like the gratitude chain or gratitude box mentioned above,

You could invite your children or even extended famly like aunts and uncles and cousins over to be part of a gratitude activity where you all write down and share 5 or 10 things (or as many things as you can think of) that you are grateful for.


70. Serve others.

I mention this in an earlier section of this article, but it is worth repeating.

Christmas is a wonderful time to serve others and help those in need! You can visit a senior living center, visit someone you know is ill or homebound, take dinner to a family in need, serve at a soup kitchen, write letters to lift the spirits of those going through difficult times, buy Christmas gifts for a family in need—the possibilities are endless!


71. Make Jesus a birthday cake.

This can be a particularly fun way for the kids to celebrate Christ at Christmas. Make Jesus a fun birthday cake to help you to remember Christ at Christmas.


72. Go to church.

If you already have a church that you regularly attend, be sure to go sometime during the Christmas season (at least once :)).

If you do not have a church that you regularly attend, Christmas is a wonderful time to go (or to begin going regularly! :)). You can Google Christian churches in your area to look for one that will be a great fit for your family.


73. Listen to Christian music.

You don’t have to listen to just Christmas music during the holiday season; you can listen to your favorite traditional Christmas music, as well!


74. Attend a Christmas musical performance.

Another fun family Christmas tradition to help keep the focus on Christ is to go to a Christmas musical performance about the Savior.

I know that many people love to go to Christmas musical programs every year, like Handel’s Messiah program, for example.


75. Pray with your family.

It is wonderful if you as a family say prayers over your meals or at the beginning or end of each day.

If you have fallen out of the habit of praying as a family, or have not started this tradition yet, then this is a wonderful family tradition not just during the Christmas season but during the rest of the year, as well!


76. Invite a friend or family to attend church with you or a church Christmas party.

Another great way to celebrate the Christmas season is to invite a friend or family to attend church with your family or to attend a Christmas party hosted by your church.


77. Commit to a cash-only Christmas.

One of the ways to have a more Christ-centered Christmas is to have a cash-only Christmas! (This is one of my personal favorite ideas of all of those shared in this article. :))

For a cash-only Christmas, you commit to not go into debt for Christmas. So that means no credit card debt, no personal loans, and no other debt used to pay for Christmas presents and Christmas meals and parties and activities.

Having a cash-only Christmas, a no-debt Christmas, is a wonderful Christmas tradition and legacy to pass on to your children, as well.

And to help you plan for a wonderful debt-free Christmas, grab one of these awesome Christmas savings trackers!


3 Month Christmas Savings Tracker (Save $500 or $1,000 in 3 months!)

free Christmas Savings Tracker printables











Or grab this fun Christmas savings tracker printable!





Final Thoughts on Christmas Traditions

I hope that this article has given you tons of ideas for Christmas traditions you can start with your own family! Whether you want to keep things pretty simple and low key or love to go all out during the holiday season, you can find the right balance of perfect holiday traditions that will work well for you!

As you consider fun Christmas traditions to enjoy with your family this year, consider creating a Christmas bucket list! This is a fun way to make plans for the fun holiday activities that you and your family take part in this Christmas season!

Christmas traditions can help to build stronger family connections, so take a little time this year to plan the activities and events you want to participate in. This can help you to not only have a less stressful and more joyful holiday season, but these Christmas traditions can bring your famly closer together and give you fun memories for decades to come!

What are your favorite family Christmas traditions? What holiday traditions would you love to add to your yearly list of fun activities and events? I would love to hear your ideas and thoughts, so please leave a comment below!

Invitation to Share

Was there something in this article that inspired you to change something about your money? Are there ideas or tips that you feel could help a family member or friend or people in general? Would you please take a minute to share this article via email or social media? I would love your help to share these principles of financial well-being with others. Thank you!

Join Our Facebook Group!

Join our closed Families for Financial Freedom Facebook group to get support and share ideas for how we can all improve our financial well-being by earning more, spending less, saving more, and investing more and reach our financial goals. You can do this! And we are here to help.

No-Spend November: Join the Money-Saving Challenge and Save Money for (an Awesome) Christmas!

No-Spend November Challenge

Are you looking to do a no-spend November challenge to save money? Awesome! In this article I am going to share how to do a no-spend November challenge in order to save money quickly to pay for Christmas expenses, pay off debt, or save for other purchases or expenses.


Tip: Save the image above to Pinterest so that you can refer later to this article on how to do a no spend November!


How to Do a No-Spend November Challenge

There are a lot of great benefits to doing a no-spend November. One of the main ones is that it can allow you to have a debt-free Christmas!

Christmas is right around the corner, and if you haven’t been saving up for it throughout the year (but you totally should next year; click the link just above to learn 5 simple steps on how!), you may be wondering how you are going to pay for all the gifts and festivities. You may even be a little stressed about it, especially if finances are a little tight this year.

But no fear—by participating in the no-spend November money challenge with me and my family, you can save up a lot of the money that you will need to go toward your Christmas shopping—in fact, you might be able to have it all saved up by Cyber Monday. (Or Black Friday—if you prefer that shopping day.)

A no-spend challenge has the potential not only to help you save money (sometimes a lot of money) but it can also really help you change the way you look at money and potentially even change your whole financial future. So let’s talk about a no-spend November and how to accomplish it.


Check out these related articles:

What is a no-spend challenge?

A no-spend challenge is where you go for a week, two weeks, or even a month or more either without spending any money or without spending money on anything besides the bare essentials or without spending money in a particular category.

When doing a typical no-spend challenge, you could start with a one-week no-spend challenge the first time, and then do two weeks, and then go for a whole month. Or if you really want to turbocharge your savings and short-circuit your spending habits, you could go all in and start with a one-month no-spend challenge. Or, as mentioned earlier, you could do a no-spend challenge in just a particular category, if you have a particular budget-busting area such as clothing or entertainment.


How do I participate in the no-spend challenge?

For this no-spend November challenge, let’s see if you can go until Thanksgiving weekend without spending money on anything but the necessities. So use food from your cupboards, pantry, fridge, and freezer. Don’t buy any clothes or toys. Don’t eat at any restaurants or order pizza or takeout. Don’t spend any money on entertainment. Don’t spend any money that you don’t absolutely have to.

Tip: Need some ideas for free fall activities for you and the kids? Read this article with more than 100 ideas for fall family fun.

And then start to see the Christmas (or other) savings start to add up. If you don’t have a Christmas fund set up all ready, then set one up now. If you don’t have a bank or credit union that lets you easily open multiple savings accounts, then check out an online bank like Capital One 360. We’ve been banking with Capital One 360 for close to 15 years (since they were still ING Direct), and even after the purchase by Cap One, they’ve still been a great bank.

We’ve never had any problems with them, and the couple of times when I’ve had a minor issue with an account (due to my user error 😊) they’ve resolved it in a matter of minutes with a simple phone call. They also have one of the best savings interest rates around.

If you want to grow your Christmas fund or other savings even faster, look for things around the house that you can sell. You might have sports equipment, electronics, toys, clothes, cookware, or other items that you could sell at a garage sale, through the online classifieds or Craigslist, or on eBay.


What are the benefits of a no-spend November?

There are many awesome benefits of doing a no spend November. One benefit of a no-spend challenge is that doing it can you save a significant amount of money. But an even bigger benefit is that it can also help you to break money habits that you want to give up.

Say, for example, that you have gotten into the habit of buying clothes every week online at Target. Or toys for the kids. Or you’ve gotten into the habit of stopping at the store nearly every day after work for just “one or two things,” and then you inevitably leave the supermarket or big box store with more than you planned.

All of that frequent or maybe even nearly constant shopping, even if it’s not a bunch of money at one time, will really bust your budget. But you can change your financial course more quickly than you think if you’ll get serious. And a great way to do that is with a no-spend challenge.

Are you ready to really reset your financial habits? Then do a no-spend money challenge and begin to change your life today!

How much money can I save during the no-spend November?

The amount of money you can save during a no-spend November challenge depends on how long you choose to do the no-spend challenge for and how much you normally spend during that time. But let’s imagine that you’ve decided to go all in, and so you’re going to reduce all spending except for monthly bills like rent or mortgage and utilities and cell phone and fuel for your cars and such, as well as essential foods like some fresh produce.

And let’s say you’re a family of four and that in a given month that you typically spend $600 on groceries, $200 on gas, $200 on entertainment, $100 on clothes, $100 on eating out, and $100 on stuff for the kids and other miscellaneous household items or other purchases. And let’s say that you decide to eat what’s in your fridge, freezer, and cupboards and pantry and save $400 on groceries, you cut down on your driving to save $100 on gas, and then you spend nothing on entertainment, clothes, or eating out for the month.

So you could save $1,000 during that no-spend November! And that awesome amount of money you just saved can become your Christmas fund. And guess how much the average American family spends on Christmas? A little over $900. So we just paid for your Christmas! Score!


Tips to Make Your No-Spend November Successful

Here are some pointers that can help ensure that you have a successful no-spend November.

First, be sure to plan what you will do about the Thanksgiving holiday. I realize that with Thanksgiving coming at the end of the month you’re probably going to need to buy some things for that holiday, as well, such as items for Thanksgiving dinner. If you’re in the habit of hosting a big, lavish Thanksgiving, would you consider doing a potluck-style meal this year, where you ask everyone who comes to bring something? That will cut the cost significantly.

And if you generally fly to see family or drive long distances, you might want to consider staying closer to home this year. (Especially if you have nonmortgage debt, please do consider staying close by in order to save money—money that you might use toward paying off your debt! Woo hoo!)

Now, I’d also love to encourage you to spend less than $1,000 on Christmas and to put the additional money you don’t spend toward other financial priorities and goals. (You can be sure we’ve never spent anywhere close to that amount on Christmas, and the idea of spending that much for one day—though a very important day, but not because of all the shopping and buying that goes on and the giving and receiving of gifts that occurs—makes me a little woozy. You can read this article for 11 simple ideas (all things that we ourselves also do) to save big on Christmas expenses.


How can I succeed in doing a no-spend November money challenge?

It probably won’t be as hard as you might think to be able to succeed at your no-spend challenge. First, if you do a full no-spend challenge, you will need to get organized and do some meal planning. But you should do that anyway! Sign up for my handy meal planning worksheet below!

And you will probably need to get creative with your meal planning, if you decide (as I would recommend you do) to cut your grocery budget during that time. You can of course search online for some great ideas for recipes that have the ingredients you have on hand that you are trying to use up, or you can just wing it and see what concoctions you can create. You’ll likely even find some new family favorites!

You can even make the no-spend November into a game, to help keep things from getting too serious. With your family, once you have determined a goal for how much you want to plan to save, see how quickly you can do it or if you can even exceed your savings goal—or even better, do both! And then maybe give yourselves an inexpensive reward—like going out for inexpensive ice cream, or buying a variety of toppings and making homemade banana splits.

Other than that, being successful with your no-spend November mostly requires just staying out of stores and restaurants and movie theaters and so forth and staying offline. Figure out what your triggers are for spending money, and then set yourself up for success by avoiding those trigger points.

Setting and then working toward your financial goals and dreams will also help you stay on track to reduce your spending. When you know what your financial priorities and goals are, it’s easier to stay the course and keep your resolve to go for a time without spending because you know that whatever you might be giving up now is a small sacrifice compared to the big financial goals you can reach if you will stay strong and follow through.

Also work on finding new hobbies and activities that don’t cost money or that don’t cost a lot of money. For ideas, see this huge list of more than 90 free activities you can do during a no spend challenge

What else can I do to start to get a handle on my financial situation?

In addition to doing a no-spend challenge, you should create and start to follow a budget or spending plan. I know that sometimes budgets have negative emotions attached to them, but a spending plan or budget is simply where you tell your money where you want it to go. It’s that simple. You control the budget, so that your spending won’t control you. See this article for more information on how to create your first budget. And learn how to stick to a budget here.

As you work to get your financial life in order, you should start tracking your spending. Sign up for the free expense tracking and budget forms below! 


The Save Your Money, Change Your Life 7-Day Challenge

To learn how to start getting control of your finances and really start winning with money, take my free financial success course, Save Your Money, Change Your Life. In this course you will learn how to earn more, save more, spend less, and invest more in order to right your financial ship, gain financial stability, and work toward building prosperity and wealth.

Final Thoughts on No Spend November

Maybe the idea of doing a no-spend November is a little daunting—but you can do it! And when you do, it really could change the way you look at money and even change your whole life. It will strengthen your resolve to make positive financial changes in your life. Most things in life that are worth achieving require a little hard work or sacrifice, or both, and winning with your money is no different. But the rewards are so worth it!

Changing your money habits so that you really succeed with your finances will have a bigger impact than most other things in your life. So the sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll reach the finish line! Get ready, get set, go!

And I’ll help you all along the way! Leave a comment below or post a comment in our Facebook group. I can’t wait to see the great things that you will accomplish with your money!

Are you ready to do a no spend November? What questions do you have? Have you done a no spend challenge before? How did it go? Leave a comment below and let me know!

Invitation to Share

 Was there something in this article that inspired you to change something about your money? Are there ideas or tips that you feel could help a family member or friend or people in general? Would you please take a minute to share this article via email or social media? I would love your help to share these principles of financial well-being with others. Thank you!

Join Facebook Group!

Join our new, closed Families for Financial Freedom Facebook group to get support and share ideas for how we can all improve our financial well-being by earning more, spending less, saving more, and investing more and reach our financial goals. You can do this! And we are here to help.

20+ Best Budget Christmas Gifts for Her!

cheap Christmas gifts for her


Budget Friendly Christmas Gifts for Her

In this article I am going to share some of the best ideas for cheap Christmas gifts for her!

In this list you will find some of the best Christmas gift ideas for women. Find frugal Christmas gifts your favorite women and ladies will love!


Tip: Do you want your gift delivered fast and free? Have you tried Amazon Prime yet? Get free 2-day shipping when you sign up for a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime, and enjoy the many benefits of this awesome service!


Also be sure to check out this article with 13 must-do tips to save money on Christmas! And learn 5 super simple ways to save $500 or more for Christmas! And also learn how to enjoy an awesome, debt-free Christmas! #win No Christmas spending hangover come January!


And be sure to check out these other articles on more budget-friendly Christmas gift ideas:


Tip: Save the image above to Pinterest so that you can easily refer to this article on cheap Christmas gifts for her later!


Making Christmas Special for Her!

Help to make Christmas special for the special woman in your life as you consider the best gifts to bring a smile to her face! You can find awesome heartfelt gifts that she will love, and you don’t have to spend a ton of money to do it!

Find some of the best Christmas gift ideas for women to make the season extra special this year! Whether she likes art, jewelry, candles, mugs, T-shirts, tools, or novelties, there is something perfect for her in this list!

And don’t forget Christmas presents for your favorite guy! You can find some of the best Christmas presents for guys here!


20+ Top Christmas Budget Friendly Gift Ideas for Her

Here are some of the best Christmas gift ideas for women! If you are looking for budget-friendly Christmas gifts for the special woman or women in your life, then check out these awesome gifts at a great price!

Click the images and links below for more information about each gift idea!

Genteele Sherpa Plush Throw Blankets

Your special someone will love this super soft, reversible, and warm throw blanket. Available in a wide variety of colors!



Austrian Crystal Snowflake Earrings

These beautiful crystal snowflake earrings are a wonderful way to tell the special lady in your life how special she is! These are perfect for holiday parties, dinners, and other fun occasions!

Crystal Multiteardrop Necklace and Earrings

This is another beautiful set of jewelry that will be a cheap Christmas gift that your favorite lady will be sure to love.


Heart Pendant Necklaces

This is another beautiful and budget friendly Christmas gift for her.



Sterling Silver Heart-Shaped Necklace

This is another beautiful piece of jewlry perfect for the woman that you love.

You can also find more ideas for beautiful jewelry Chirstmas gifts for your favorite women here.


Infusion Water Bottle

This is a high-quality, 100% leak-proof infusion water bottle. Makes a great stocking stuffer!

Flickering Flameless Candles

These beautiful flameless candles will set the perfect mood, whether you want a relaxing evening or a romantic one.


Winter Scented Aromatherapy Candles

These 4 aromatherapy candles are a perfect Christmas gift for women to help them relax and unwind at the end of a long day. Each candle has a wonderful and distinctive fragrance (click to learn what they are!).


Bath Bombs Gift Set

These awesome bath bombs are another great way to set the perfect mood. Simply throw the bath bombs in warm water to create a wonderfully luxurious atmosphere.


Bronze Family Tree with 6 Hanging Picture Frames

This beautiful bronze set of 6 hanging picture frames is perfect for displaying your cherished family photos!


Fun and Funny Mugs

There are so many fun mugs and tumblers for women! This stainless steel tumbler is one that I love. It is another of my favorite ideas for cheap Christmas gifts for her!


Car and Trunk Organizer

This is a practical and very functional cheap Christmas gift for her! It is a great way to get back more storage space and cut down on clutter in your trunk or SUV! I love this simple trunk organizer!



Tools are another awesome and practical Christmas gift idea for women. When my sisters and I were in college and high school my dad bought us tools sets, and I still have it today!

So whether the woman you are shopping for is super handy already or wants to learn to be, you can find great deals on  tools to make sure she can get done what she needs to.

This is a great, high quality, durable tool set with hammer, precision screwdrivers, tape measure, pliers, wrenches, sockets, ratches, and more!

In addition to the tool sets above, you can find tons of other great tool sets here.

Gifts for Moms

Is that special woman in your life is a mom, that she is sure to love these cheap Christmas gifts for her that are specifically catered to moms!


A Prayer for Mom Wall Art

If you are looking for a gift for a mom, this beautiful (and still budget friendly!) wall art will show your favorite lady how much you appreciate and love her.

This classy, versatile version of the wall art above is great for hanging on the wall or setting on your end table.


Funny Socks

And also for moms, your favorite lady will get a kick out of these funny (but also warm and comfy!) socks! Great stocking stuffer, too!


Best Books for Moms

Books are another great option for Christmas gift ideas for mom. Give mom the gift of remembering to take a few minutes for mindfulness each day.


This is a wonderful gift idea for moms with teens and tweens. I love the idea of sharing a journal like this with my daughters when they are older.

You can also find tons of great ideas for books for mom here.



Home Decor

I have to admit, this is one of my favorite ideas for gifts for mom!


And I love this one, too!

This is another fun one. (You can also get a set with matching mug and tumbler for mom and dad. :))

This is another one of my personal favorites. Show mom you appreciate the many, many important roles she plays.

You can check out more fun and funny mugs for mom here..



Another fun Christmas gift idea for mom is T-shirts. With so many options for awesome mom’s T-shirts to choose from, you are sure to find one that she will loves!


Final Thoughts on Cheap Christmas Gifts for Her

These ideas for cheap Christmas gifts for women will give you lots of great gift options for your favorite women or moms this Christmas season!


What are your favorite ideas for cheap Christmas gifts for herthis year? What Christmas gifts for women do you recommend? I would love to hear your ideas! Leave a comment below and let me know!


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