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Americans spent on average $ 230 on holiday decorating and other non-gift holiday items in 2019. While winter holiday staples like Christmas trees and lights made up the bulk of that cost, other decors such as ornaments, stockings, and table pieces can quickly add up. Decorating to help get you in the spirit of the fall and winter vacation doesn’t have to be a big chunk of your vacation budget. Consider some of these other frugal ways to decorate your home for the holidays.

1. Buy during the off-season

Most shoppers are aware of the deep discounts that retailers offer after every holiday pass to empty the merchandise. However, many retailers will stock the unsold items after each holiday and put them on sale during “Christmas in July” or “at the start of Halloween” at the end of August. Plus, for the winter holidays, the off-season and off-season is a great time to get deals on big items like trees, wreaths, and greenery.

2. Shop thrift stores

Thrift stores are a gold mine for fresh pumpkins, that awesome Thanksgiving table, ornaments, and small decor pieces. The best time of year to look for these items will be right before each holiday or shortly after. As people prepare to celebrate, they realize that they forgot last year’s decor and donate it. Even if the decor has seen better days, a new coat of spray paint or glue gun can give it back shape.

3. Buy used online

The online marketplaces on Facebook, Craigslist, eBay, and even Esty have a huge range of backdrops that you can get for a few dollars. Best of all, most of the time you can even negotiate the price. The most important advantage of buying used online is that you can see what is available before you make contact. However, be sure to follow safety guidelines when shopping online and if you end up meeting with the seller to collect your purchases.

4. DIY

Making your decor isn’t as scary or time-consuming as it sounds, and it’s a great way to get the whole family involved in a vacation plan. Simple crafts such as spray painted pumpkins, salt dough ornaments, tying simple ribbons, or making candy cane wreaths are just a few crafts that virtually anyone can make. For more experienced DIY enthusiasts, consider making your own spooky door frame from corn stalks and acorns, wreaths or garlands from evergreen clippings or adding your own personal touch to ready-made decorations.

5. Forage

Your garden offers a plethora of free holiday decorations. The most obvious sources are acorns and crisp leaves for the fall vacation and evergreen shrubs and trees for the winter vacation. Use clippings to create quick arrangements by sticking the stems into pots with a little damp soil to keep them cool for weeks outside. Or, put the branches in a vase with water to add a festive touch to the interior. Other items to forage include pine cones, withered flower seeds, and even bare branches. Arrange them with ornaments and white lights to create a cute eco-friendly vacation centerpiece.

6. Reuse

Use what you already have in a new way. String lights nestled in a glass vase create a beautiful lighting effect. Spray paint on old and dated ornaments in a monochrome theme to make them look new and modern. Use double-sided tape or fabric glue to add new fur trim to the old stockings. Your old decor presents an opportunity to be transformed into a new decor without having to spend a lot of money.

7. Use non-traditional decor

Not all of your holiday decor needs to be string lights and red ribbon. Incorporating the Farmhouse trend into holiday decor is an easy, inexpensive way to add seasonal charm. Take natural or patterned flannel sheets, glass jars, and antique wood or metal bowls or utensils. Create a sticker displaying these items on a mantel or console table. Tuck evergreen branches into the pots and hang lights around to give it a holiday touch.

8. Descend into your pantry and refrigerator.

Dried fruits, nuts and spices make a nice decor. Place them in bowls or small vases to add visual and aromatic appeal to your vacation home. Other edible items you may have in your pantry or refrigerator that make the decor fun include squash or winter squash, fresh cranberries, oranges, and apples. You can even make it a family affair. Get everyone together and make simple garlands using popcorn or cranberries strung together to make a loop around your tree.

9. Borrow / Exchange

Check with your friends and family if you can do a vacation swap. A swap is a great way to pick up unused decorations and see if friends and family can use them. Host a swap party to make the experience fun and memorable. You can take the opportunity to create a new decor using old objects in groups. Making this tradition an annual celebration will keep your decor fresh and new without having to spend the extra money.

10. Keep it simple

Perhaps the best way to save money and reduce stress while on vacation is to keep it simple. Pick one area to focus on and let the rest be. The zone can be your tree, your driveway, your front door, or your coat. By focusing your efforts and decorating an area with intention, you can still bring holiday cheer without the expense or stress. Plus, it makes it super easy to clean after the holidays.

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