I adore holiday decor!  In fact, if I wasn’t such a stickler for Christmas being ONLY between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, I would want the world decorated with twinkly lights and mistletoe year round! Wise financial decisions and planning shouldn’t be neglected during the holidays. Decorating our homes for the holidays shouldn’t be an excuse to splurge extensively and forget all our frugal plans. It’s so tempting to aim towards a lavishly decorated home, exquisite food menu and gorgeous holiday attire for us and our munchkins, but the financial effects will be felt for many months after our expensive spending sprees are over. Decorating for the Holidays on a Budget - Kids Activities Blog Family budgets are tight these days which is why I adore this series  Creating Family Memories on a Budget  inspired and sponsored by  Dave Ramsey’s Endorsed Local Providers  (ELP)  program which can help you find trustworthy and competent investment advisors, realtors, insurance agents or tax services in your hometown.  You can sit down and create a custom financial plan with someone you are comfortable with and that your neighbors would recommend making it easier for you to set aside money for what is important to your family. Related: 53 Frugal Living Tips Don’t fret. You can still have a gorgeously decorated home without overspending. Just a few creative touches will get your home holiday-ready in no time. Try these ideas to start your creative thoughts churning!

Decorate for the Holidays on a Budget with Frugal Ornaments

With each store-bought ornament costing around $10 a piece, it’s no wonder you get stressed thinking about holiday décor. Try something new that involves your kids. Many ornaments can be made right in your own home. You can choose the colors and patterns you want as well as create holiday memories for the years to come.

Baked Holiday Ornaments

These are simple ornaments you and your munchkins can make, bake and decorate!  It makes a fun family activity that can become a family tradition. You will need:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Toothpick
  • Cookie cutters
  • Acrylic paints (optional)
  • Glitter and jewels (optional)
  • Ribbon
Directions: Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. Mix all ingredients together and then place on a floured surface. Knead dough until it is smooth and elastic. If dough is too sticky, add a smidge more flour. If the dough is too dry, add a tiny bit more of water until the perfect consistency is reached. Roll dough to ¼ thickness. Then, cut out ornament shapes with cookie cutters. Use a toothpick or other pointed object to create a small hole in the top of the ornament for easy hanging. Place ornaments on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for two hours. Remove from oven and let cool completely. You can leave these natural, and then hang or embellish with paint glitter or other accessories. After the paint is dry, thread ribbon or twine through the hole in the top to hang on the tree. Congratulations! You just conquered a craft, holiday decorating and frugal living — all in one activity! Frugal holiday decorating tips from Kids Activities Blog

Popcorn Garland

Who can forget the Christmas trees on our favorite old movies and shows? For sure, we all expected to see popcorn garland around the tree. Reminisce and share the nostalgia with your kiddos by popping some popcorn and stringing it together! You will need:
  • Popped pop-corn
  • Fresh cranberries
  • Heavy thread, embroidery floss or any durable, thin string or thread
  • Needle
Directions: Cut your thread into 4 feet lengths for easy handling. Make a double knot in the bottom of your thread and then begin with one cranberry. Thread the cranberry and push the berry all the way to the bottom, beside the thick knot you made. Pick a pattern and stick with it. You can do two cranberries and then three pieces of popcorn and repeat, or any pattern you choose. Be sure to choose firm cranberries and quality popcorn — and keep your patience! Depending on the size of your tree, this may take a while. Perfect activity for a family night!

Take a Rest Break from Decorating

Whew.  Did you know that 24% of people working after retirement age are doing so because they need health coverage?  It is one of a family’s major financial concerns.  A health catastrophe without insurance can undo all your savings in an instant. No one is quite sure what is happening with healthcare insurance right now, but instead of ignoring it {like I want to do}, planning to make sure your family’s healthcare coverage doesn’t have gaps can give you peace of mind through the holidays and beyond. If you’re trying to get insurance on your own ”maybe you’re retired, or it costs too much or isn’t offered through your employer ”use an independent agent  that works with all the health insurance companies.  This agent can find the policy that fits your needs best.  Find your ELP today.

Paper Chains

We made these for our tree when I was a kid.  It was the first time I was allowed to use a stapler {under supervision}!  Way back then we were cutting up construction paper in red and green, but today I have an entire closetful of scrapbooking supplies that would be a perfect addition to any style tree!

Candy Canes

Simple attach a wire hanger, or paper clip to these for easy-hanging on your tree. Glue or tie a bow around it for some extra whimsy. Simple, tasty and cheap! Now that you have ornaments for your tree, let’s move on!

Ribbons and Greenery

Your mantle, kitchen table, Christmas tree and windows can all be decorated with these two simple items. Crafts stores are brimming with loads of holiday ribbon and you can make all kinds of beauties out of anything from a simple white to a jazzy blue and silver ribbon. Grab glass vases, tie a beautiful ribbon around it and add some greenery or other outdoor, natural décor. Clean stones, pebbles and pinecones are all great vase fillers. Use store-bought greenery to drape your staircase and attach a simple, classic white ribbon bow for each loop. Looking for an inexpensive tree-topper? Create your own gorgeous ribbon bow and leave the long strands of ribbon to cascade down your tree. It will look like you decorated your home on a much heftier budget.

Homemade Bunting

Buntings are definitely in right now. They can be simple or complicated. Some are even just triangles cut out of scrap paper hung on twine! It’s cute, whimsy and trendy. Try out your own family-version. The sky is the limit with this idea! Decorating for Christmas on a budget - Kids Activities Blog

Host an Informal Ornament Swap

You probably have some lovely ornaments that you have grown weary of over the years.  Your next door neighbor, sister-in-law and best friend probably do too.  Get together for a fun holiday coffee where each of you brings a box of ornaments to swap.  You will be surprised at what inspiration you might get from these “new” decorations.

Don’t Get Overwhelmed

Even if you’re not the Queen of crafting you can still create a simple wreath, a Christmas tablescape or decorate a tree. Scour the net for ideas and don’t feel ashamed to imitate their ideas. They are sharing them for your inspiration! Before the decorations come down (or even better, before they go up), take the first step to getting your financial house in order for 2014.  you can add hundreds of dollars back into your budget next year by simply updating your auto, home, or health insurance.  Choose someone to help you who has the heart of a teacher. If you don’t understand why they are recommending a policy, or if you’re not sure how the policy will work for you, ask them to explain it again ”in layman’s terms, if needed. Always know exactly what you’re buying. Every day, thousands of people turn to Dave Ramsey’s Endorsed Local Providers (ELP) to help them find trustworthy health insurance professionals. People love their simple process and the high-quality professionals Dave recommends.  Find an agent in your town  who can help you get the best insurance coverage for your situation today! Enjoy a holiday home that fits in your frugal-family budget and the peace of mind planning for the future will give you. Thanks so much to the  Endorsed Local Providers  for sponsoring Kids Activities Blog and inspiring this series on creating family memories on a budget.   How do you save on holiday decorating?

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  1. Great ideas! One year when my grandparents were in the transition of moving we put their tree up in their house as well as our own. I can’t remember why my grandmother thought we needed to do that, but either way we made a lot of ornaments for the second tree and had the best time doing it. Popcorn chains are a lot of fun. Especially if you nibble as you go. 😉