Is your budget too tight this Xmas? Are you thinking about sizing down on non-essentials for the upcoming holidays? Skipping out the centerpiece of the festive season is not an option. A lovely Christmas fir or pine is a necessity that fills our hearts with warmth, joy, and hope.
Luckily, there are various tactics you can use to set aside some significant cash for the Christmas tree. Whether you prefer a freshly cut tree or an artificial will suffice, we got you covered. Consider our suggestions to slash the Christmas tree’s cost up to 85% of the regular price.
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Cut Your Own
Have you always dreamed of cutting your evergreen for the winter holidays, but you never seem to find the time? Well, this Xmas may open up a perfect opportunity for the entire family to enjoy a memorable venture to the nearest forest.
Before you set off, contact your local national forest to get information on the process. Most likely, you’ll have to acquire a permit to cut down any tree. Note that such licenses may be in limited numbers, so you’d better act quickly.
The average price to pay for a single Christmas tree ranges from $5 to $25. Still, the figure depends on the park regulations and the state itself. Moreover, some parks allow one household to harvest up to five trees up to 15 feet tall.
The smaller the evergreen in size, the more money you’re bound to save. So, if you’ve been focusing on savings lately, consider getting a tabletop tree for a lower price. Generally, farms that nurture evergreens charge by the foot, so do your calculations from home.
Depending on your set budget for the season, it may be best to settle on a 7-footer or smaller. Remember that pre-cut trees also get a price depending on their size. Even better, why don’t you visit a nearby garden center and buy a rosemary bush? Apart from smelling good, you’ll pay a significantly lower price than at the local tree lot.
Buy A Pre-Cut Tree
It may seem weird but saving yourself the trouble of going to the nearest forest can get you a cheaper Christmas tree. Meaning, if you let somebody else from a tree farm harvest the evergreen for you, you’ll pay less. What you should essentially do is head to the nearest tree lot. There, you can select your pre-cut fir for the winter holidays and have it delivered at home in no time.
It’s ideal when the cheaper option requires the least effort on your side, too. We highly suggest you avoid paying by the foot if you can. Hence, opt for a tree that sells at a flat rate instead of paying from $10 to $15 per foot.
While a real Christmas tree looks beautiful, you can save tons of cash each year by merely getting an artificial one.
Artificial Christmas Tree
In the long run, an artificial evergreen is the most economical option. The average price for real trees stands somewhere at $78, while its synthetic counterpart is about $104. Meaning, the second option pays off in two seasons only. Here are some useful ideas on how and where to procure the most affordable artificial bushes.
Black Friday/Cyber Monday Deals. Do your research in due time and find out what stores offer Black Friday deals for Christmas trees. Even better, purchase your favorite artificial tree online, and you won’t even have to bother dragging it home. We have some great Black Friday shopping tips for snagging the best deal!
Use coupons. All of our readers who want to save some money and the environment should use coupons and buy an artificial Xmas tree. We suggest you look at the discounts offered by Michael’s and Hobby Lobby.
Buy second-hand. Befriend thrift shops for the best selection of second-hand artificial Xmas trees. Expect to strike a deal for as much as 75% off the regular price. Also, make sure you shop early in the season for a wider choice. Other places you can check include yard sales, Craigslist, and classified ads.
Purchase after Christmas. For those families who prefer a synthetic version of the Christmas centerpiece, shopping after the holidays is a real lifesaver. After all, not everyone wants to deal with a real tree at home.
Shop Late In The Season
We understand that shopping as early as January for the next festive season requires too much organization. However, eager buyers can get up to 85% off on both bushes and Christmas tree decorations at this point. Such a purchasing strategy is most useful when you’re up for an artificial bush and branches.
When you decide to buy festive stuff later in the season, expect that this will benefit your wallet. You’ll see that retailers are trying to get rid of seasonal stock starting from late December. Be aware as this method might not always work with real trees as those can be long gone. Farms may also keep the remaining evergreens for the next year instead of selling them cheaper.
Buy Common Species
Purchasing a widespread variety of an evergreen won’t break the bank, and you can proceed with your most delicate decorations. You might not know that traders charge higher prices for slow-growing trees. Hence, it’s ideal to go for a fast grower such as Scotch pines. In a word, any bush from the pine family will do fine as these are easy to find and highly sought.
Fir and spruce tend to be more expensive options, so avoid these species if you want to economize. Yet, if you’re after the pleasant aroma and bountiful branches, set aside about $49 for a wholesale price of a Douglas fir. A 9-foot white fir or a Fraser fir should cost you approximately the same.
All in all, there’s no point in pouring large amounts of money down the drain for rare species. More popular picks also have unique and festive features. Both the tree and your hard-earned cash are going to end up on the curb in a few weeks.
Tree lots won’t reject your negotiation plan and may even welcome you with a pleasant offer. There’s nothing wrong with trying to snag a deal on an evergreen that is a little beyond your budget limits. Plus, you have nothing to lose by asking for a fairer price of an imperfect evergreen that you happened to notice.
Start building your offer by locating a shortcoming in the tree you’ve set your eyes upon. Check if there’s a gap in the branches, or maybe you can spot a partial discoloration. Use such deficiencies to negotiate a better deal with the seller. Mind that Christmas tree shops may be more willing to reduce the price somewhere at the end of the festive season.
If your friends have a tree they don’t plan to use or want to throw away, you can always borrow it from them. This way, you will save cash for at least one season.
As with grocery and apparel shopping, start by investigating the prices online. You can even call several retailers and ask them to give you an offer. Reaching out to various businesses that sell Christmas trees and comparing their prices is smart for striking a deal.
If you wonder where to start from, check the site of the National Christmas Tree Association. They offer a tree locator tool that can help you locate the nearest tree farms and lots. Decide on a day and dedicate a whole afternoon to shopping around for the perfect Christmas tree. Apart from exuding a memorable and fun venture for the family, looking around will be beneficial for your pocket, too.
Find A Wholesale Dealer
Have you thought about skipping the middleman and saving money in the process? Apparently, if you head to the tree wholesaler and buy directly from them, you can reduce the price by 20%.
You can check the online directory of wholesale Christmas tree farms within the United States. There, interested buyers will find information about each farm and any special features they may be offering. We urge you to call any wholesale retailer that you have in mind before going there in person. Specific farms won’t agree to sell to individual customers.
Check Locally For Free Trees
You might be surprised at the sight of free Christmas trees you can find around you after you strike the search button. The year 2020 has become viral for free tree programs aimed at low-income families and veterans. Even if you don’t manage to get it 100% free, you may be eligible for a significant discount.
Some of the most popular organizations that grant free evergreens include Christmas Tree Santas and The Christmas Tree Project. Alternatively, Trees for Troops is a foundation that gives free evergreens to military families. These programs operate US-wide and are eager to help numerous troubled families enjoy the holiday season.
Borrow A Tree
Multiple companies and tree farms in the neighborhood offer renting services for a wide range of Christmas bush species. What you must do is find such a company and select the evergreen you wish to bring home. Once the holidays are over, take it back to the Christmas tree shop for a fraction of the real cost.
A rented fir will cost you somewhere between $20 and $50 depending on the size and the species. Note that you’ll eventually have to pay a deposit when picking up the bush. Apart from being kind to your wallet, this strategy helps save the environment as fewer trees will get cut. Last, if all these attempts fail, considering some of the most affordable Christmas loans may be a viable option.
Save On Additional Items
Why not save on multiple aspects of Christmas by making smart decisions? We urge you to start planning well in advance and spread the cost throughout the entire year. Read our tips on how to have a brilliant Xmas on a budget.
Decorations. Christmas tree decorations can take a vast percentage of your Christmas budget. Therefore, start by making DIY ornaments both for indoor and outdoor decoration. You can also scavenge local estate sales and online sites like Craigslist for top-rated ornaments.
Toys. Make use of coupons, discounts, and cashback sites when shopping for toys. Moreover, consider second-hand, Dollar stores, and thrift stores for maximum savings. These 18 smart ways to save on children’s toys are an essential collection that’ll help you stay within budget this Christmas.
Presents. Start thinking about gifts and procure them as early as possible. Boost the whole strategy by gathering gift cards throughout the year. Buy the items you know your beloved ones adore during Black Friday or when other sales are on. If you’re an artistic soul, the last piece of advice would be to invest time and effort in some creative DIY gifts.
Food. Plan all your meals for the holidays in detail. See what ingredients you already have in your kitchen cabinets, and then hit the stores with a shopping list in hand. Seek cheaper alternatives of essential ingredients and buy in bulk when possible. Also, don’t forget to check out these fantastic cheap meal ideas.
Will you and your family remember which trees cost you $130 and which were only $30? Certainly not, and our point here is to focus on sharing love and family time. A more expensive and dominant Christmas tree won’t make you happier by itself. An imperfect 5-foot pine full of character and charm can also do the job.
Do you have some tricks that help you economize on the Christmas evergreen? Our readers will be more than happy to read them in the comment box below. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our ProMoneySavings Newsletter, which is packed with tons of cash-saving hacks.
How do you keep a Christmas tree from drying out?
Start by purchasing a healthy and heavier tree harvested a short time ago. Place the trunk of the evergreen in a bucket of water immediately after you buy it. Apart from hydrated, it’s best to keep the tree far from any sources of heat. If you put smaller LED lights to decorate it, this will slow down the dying-out process.
What can I add to the water to keep my Christmas trees fresh?
The market is full of additives promising to keep your evergreen fresh and plentiful. Still, maintaining the right level of water can have the same beneficial effect as costly additives. Meaning, though adding sugar, corn syrup, or aspirin won’t harm your tree, such supplements won’t impact the evergreen’s longevity. Ensure you use a tree stand to hold enough water and place it further from light and heat sources.
How can I make my Christmas tree look more expensive?
Even though you haven’t invested a large amount of money, there are ways to make your evergreen look full and exquisite. Start embellishing your Christmas centerpiece by flocking it for a snowy look. Decide on a specific theme and use decorations that fit the selected style once you’ve added the lights. Last, don’t forget the ribbon layers to elevate your evergreen’s aesthetic. It’s best to finish off the trees with a unique topper and a skirt to balance the overall look.
Is it too early to decorate for Christmas?
As long as you need some Christmas spirit to make your daily routine playful, November is the perfect time to start decorating. Though most people believe November is pretentious, we support your early festive endeavors. You may consider decorating once Thanksgiving is over to avoid mixing the décor themes at home. There’s an unwritten rule that 1 December is ideal for putting up your Xmas tree. Anyways, don’t wait until it’s too late, as this may bring you bad luck.
How do you make a sparse Christmas tree look fuller?
Having a cheaper or even artificial evergreen doesn’t have to imply a miserable sight. To make it look richer, use as many lights as possible underneath the decorations. Also, use garlands and wired ribbons to wrap the tree in horizontal or vertical lines. Using shimmery metals on the bush will give it more visual weight and leave an impression of exclusivity. Finally, combine large and small-scale ornaments to fill in any holes appearing in between the branches.