Holiday Savings Strategies for Military Families

Holidays can turn expensive quickly for military families striving to create memorable moments. The average American family spends about $700 on holiday gifts each year, a number that can be daunting for those on a tight budget.

This blog post provides numerous strategies and savings tips specifically crafted for military households during the festive season. Let’s dive in to help your family save money while still cherishing the joy of holidays!

Key Takeaways

  • Create a budget to prevent overspending and stay in control of your holiday expenses.
  • Be cautious when using credit cards to avoid excessive spending and high interest rates.
  • Take inventory of what you already have before buying holiday decorations to save money.
  • Shop for secondhand decorations to find great deals while reusing items and reducing waste.
  • Team up with family members for gift exchanges or pooling resources to give meaningful gifts on a budget.
  • Be flexible with travel dates, consider alternative modes of transportation, ask for military discounts, join loyalty programs, and start saving early to save on holiday travel expenses.
  • Research available military discounts, utilize military exchanges and commissaries, take advantage of discounted entertainment options, and attend free or low-cost community events during the holidays to maximize savings.
  • Get creative by making DIY gifts and decorations for a personal touch while saving money.
  • Plan potluck – style meals with family and friends to share the cost and effort of cooking during the holidays.

Tips for Military Families to Save on Holiday Spending

Create a budget, carefully use credit cards, take inventory of what you already have, shop for secondhand decorations, and team up for gifts.

Create a budget

Crafting a budget forms the foundation of smart holiday spending. Start by estimating your total available funds for the holidays, then allocate specific amounts to different categories like gifts, travel, decorations and food.

Setting financial limits upfront prevents overspending and keeps you in control. It’s essential to monitor your expenditures closely and tweak the budget if unforeseen costs arise.

Nifty apps can assist with this task, helping military families stay on top of their spending during the busy holiday season.

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Be careful when using credit cards

When using credit cards, it is important for military families to be cautious. While credit cards can be convenient, they can also lead to excessive spending and high interest rates if not used responsibly.

To avoid unnecessary debt, make sure to only charge what you can afford to pay off in full each month. Keeping track of your purchases and regularly checking your statements will help ensure that you are aware of the amount you owe.

It’s also a good idea to compare different credit card offers and choose one with low or no annual fees, favorable interest rates, and rewards programs that align with your needs. By being mindful of your credit card usage, you can protect yourself from financial strain during the holiday season.

Take inventory of what you already have

Check your holiday decorations and supplies before heading to the store. Make a list of what you already have, such as ornaments, lights, wrapping paper, and ribbons. This way, you can avoid buying duplicates and save money by using what you already own.

Additionally, consider repurposing or DIY-ing some decorations for a personal touch without breaking the bank. Taking inventory allows you to be more mindful of your holiday spending and helps you prioritize where your budget should go.

Shop for secondhand decorations

Shop for secondhand decorations to save money during the holiday season. By purchasing gently used decorations, you can find great deals and still create a festive atmosphere in your home.

Check out thrift stores, online marketplaces, or local yard sales for affordable options. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also be reusing items instead of contributing to waste.

Get creative and give new life to old decorations while staying within your budget.

Team up for gifts

Save money on holiday gifts by teaming up with family members. Consider doing joint gift exchanges or pooling resources together to buy presents for everyone. This way, you can all contribute a smaller amount of money, but still give meaningful and thoughtful gifts.

Not only does this help save money, but it also fosters a sense of togetherness and shared responsibility among family members during the holiday season.

Ways to Save on Holiday Travel

Save money on holiday travel by being flexible with your dates, considering alternative modes of transportation, asking for military discounts, joining loyalty programs, and starting to save early.

Be flexible with dates

Being flexible with travel dates can result in significant savings for military families during the holiday season. By choosing to travel on less popular days or times, such as weekdays or early mornings, you can often find lower airfare and hotel rates.

Additionally, consider traveling before or after peak holiday periods to avoid inflated prices. Being open to adjusting your travel plans can help you maximize your savings and make the most of your holiday budget.

Consider alternative modes of transportation

Save on holiday travel expenses by considering alternative modes of transportation. Instead of flying, which can be expensive, explore options like driving or taking a train or bus.

These alternatives may take longer but can be more budget-friendly, especially for larger families. Additionally, traveling during off-peak times and being flexible with dates can help you find better deals.

Take advantage of military discounts offered by various transportation providers to save even more money. Prioritize saving early and researching these alternative options to make your holiday travel more affordable and enjoyable.

Ask for military discounts

Make sure to take advantage of military discounts when shopping for holiday gifts and supplies. Many retailers offer special discounts specifically for active-duty military personnel, veterans, and their families.

By simply asking if a store offers a military discount, you can save money on items like clothing, electronics, home goods, and even travel expenses. Don’t forget to inquire about any additional benefits or programs available exclusively for military members.

Taking the time to ask for these discounts can make a big difference in your holiday savings.

Join loyalty programs

Joining loyalty programs can be a great way for military families to save even more during the holiday season. Many stores and online retailers offer loyalty programs that provide exclusive discounts, rewards, and special offers to their members.

By signing up for these programs, you can earn points or receive discounted prices on purchases, helping you stretch your budget further. Additionally, some loyalty programs offer early access to sales and promotions, giving you a chance to snag deals before they’re available to the general public.

Take advantage of these opportunities by joining loyalty programs that align with your shopping needs and start reaping the benefits of extra savings this holiday season.

Start saving early

Start saving early to set yourself up for a financially stress-free holiday season. By starting early, you’ll be able to contribute smaller amounts over a longer period of time, which can add up to significant savings.

Putting aside even a little bit every month will help you build a holiday fund that can cover expenses like gifts, travel, and decorations without breaking the bank. It’s never too early to start planning and saving for the holidays!

Make the Most of Military Discounts and Benefits

Research available discounts, utilize military exchanges and commissaries, take advantage of discounted entertainment options, and explore free or low-cost community events.

Research available discounts

To save money during the holiday season, it’s important for military families to research available discounts. There are special deals and programs specifically designed for military members, dependents, and veterans.

By taking the time to explore these discounts, you can find opportunities to save on a variety of purchases, from gifts and decorations to travel expenses. Researching available discounts is a proactive way to make your holiday spending more budget-friendly and keep your finances in control during this busy time of year.

Utilize military exchanges and commissaries

Military families can save money during the holiday season by utilizing military exchanges and commissaries. These facilities offer discounted prices on a wide range of products, including groceries, household items, and even gifts.

By shopping at these locations, military families can stretch their budgets and get more bang for their buck. Military exchanges also often have special sales and promotions during the holidays, providing even greater savings opportunities.

So whether it’s stocking up on essentials or finding that perfect holiday gift, military families should take advantage of the discounts offered by military exchanges and commissaries to maximize their savings this holiday season.

Take advantage of discounted entertainment options

Military families can save money on entertainment during the holiday savingsby taking advantage of discounted options. Many venues and attractions offer special discounts for military members, dependents, and veterans.

It’s important to research these discounts ahead of time to find the best deals available. Whether it’s discounted tickets to theme parks, reduced admission fees for museums or theaters, or even free community events, there are plenty of entertaining options that won’t break the bank.

By utilizing these discounted entertainment opportunities, military families can enjoy quality time together without overspending.

Explore free or low-cost community events

Take advantage of the many free or low-cost community events happening during the holiday season. These events can range from festive parades and concerts to tree lighting ceremonies and craft fairs.

Not only are these events a great way to get into the holiday spirit, but they also provide opportunities for family bonding and creating lasting memories. Check your local community calendars, social media pages, or websites for information on upcoming events in your area.

Attending these events is a budget-friendly way to enjoy the holiday season without breaking the bank. So gather your loved ones and explore what your community has to offer this holiday season!

Additional Savings Strategies for Military Families

Discover creative ways to save even more during the holiday savings, from DIY gifts and potluck-style meals to taking advantage of military support services. These strategies will not only help you cut back on expenses but also prioritize experiences over material gifts.

Read on to find out how you can make the most of your budget while still enjoying a joyful holiday season with your loved ones.

DIY gifts and decorations

Create homemade gifts and decorations to add a personal touch to your holiday celebrations while also saving money. DIY gifts are not only heartfelt, but they can be tailored to the recipient’s interests.

Consider making personalized photo albums or scrapbooks for family members or close friends. You can also try your hand at crafting unique ornaments or festive wreaths to adorn your home.

By utilizing materials you already have or shopping for affordable supplies, you can create meaningful gifts and decorations that will be cherished for years to come without breaking the bank.

Plan potluck-style meals

Plan potluck-style meals to save money and reduce the stress of preparing a full holiday feast on your own. Coordinate with family and friends to assign everyone a dish or two to bring, ensuring that everyone gets to contribute and enjoy the meal together.

Potluck-style meals not only help distribute the cost and effort of cooking but also create a sense of community during the holidays. By sharing the load, you can focus on enjoying time with loved ones without breaking your budget.

Take advantage of military support services

Military support services can be a valuable resource for military families during the holiday season. These services are designed to assist and support service members and their families in various ways, including financial assistance, counseling, and community resources.

By taking advantage of these support services, military families can access additional savings opportunities, receive guidance on budgeting and debt management, and find programs that offer discounted or free goods and services.

Whether it’s accessing food pantries or utilizing emergency financial assistance programs, military support services can help ease the financial burden while ensuring a memorable holiday savings for military families.

Consider non-monetary gifts or experiences

Instead of focusing solely on material gifts, consider the value of non-monetary gifts or experiences. These can create lasting memories and bring joy to your loved ones without breaking the bank.

For example, you could plan a fun family outing or organize a game night at home. You could also offer your time and skills by volunteering or helping others in need during the holiday season.

By prioritizing experiences over material possessions, you can give meaningful gifts that will be cherished for years to come.

Prioritize experiences over material gifts

When it comes to holiday gift-giving, consider prioritizing experiences over material gifts. Instead of spending money on physical items that may eventually be forgotten or discarded, focus on creating lasting memories and quality time with your loved ones.

Plan a special outing or activity that everyone can enjoy together, such as a day trip to a nearby attraction or a family game night. These experiences not only bring joy in the present moment but also provide cherished memories for years to come.

By shifting your focus away from material possessions and towards shared experiences, you can create meaningful connections and make the most of the holiday season.

Remember, it’s not about how much you spend on gifts, but rather the thought and effort you put into creating memorable moments with your family. Embrace the spirit of giving by offering your time, love, and attention instead of expensive presents.


Military families can make the most of their holiday savings by following these strategies. By creating a budget, being mindful of credit card usage, and shopping smartly for decorations and gifts, they can save money while still enjoying the season.

Additionally, taking advantage of military discounts and benefits, considering alternative transportation options for travel, and prioritizing experiences over material gifts are all effective ways to keep holiday spending on track.

With careful planning and a little creativity, military families can enjoy a memorable holiday season without breaking the bank.


1. What are some holiday savings strategies for military families?

Crafting a budget, thrifty shopping, and couponing for military families are significant strategies to help save money during the holidays. 

2. How can flexible dates assist in saving money on travel?

Having flexible dates allows you to search for bargain deals or discounted vacations, which is an effective way for military families to save on holiday travel.

3. Are there specific summer savings tips for military families? 

Yes, some of these include taming the holiday frenzy by starting early shopping and using financial planning techniques such as budget-friendly shopping and debt management.

4. How does budgeting help keep holiday spending on track? 

Creating a holiday budget helps in managing expenses effectively, thereby keeping the spending on track and allowing military members to maintain frugal living during this period.

5. What assistance is available for military family financial planning over the holidays?

There are numerous resources that offer advice about Holiday Savings Strategies from tips on how to craft a smart budget plan down to suggestions like considering all your finances before making any decision.

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