If money is tight this holiday season, why not consider cutting back on your holiday spending? Take a minute to read through the following suggestions. Saving money at Christmas time is probably easier than you think!

1 – Set a Budget

It’s important to set a budget for yourself before you start buying gifts. It’s easy to spend too much when you’re not keeping track of your purchases. More importantly, it can be financially dangerous for people who find themselves living from paycheck to paycheck. That being said, set a monetary limit for yourself and stick to it. This will help to ensure that you don’t go overboard while shopping and also ease the financial stress that Christmas tends to bring with it.

2 – Baked Goods and Do-It-Yourself Gifts

DIY or “do-it-yourself” gifts are a very heartfelt and widely popular way to express how you feel about the important people in your life. You’ll find a wide variety of customizable ideas for DIY projects, as well as tutorials on how to make them, on popular websites like Pinterest and Facebook.

Baking treats for the people on your gift list is also a greatly appreciated, age-old tradition. You can keep it simple and make a communal plate of treats for your co-workers, or personalize things by whipping up some of each individual’s favorite sweets. In most cases, buying the materials and/or ingredients needed for DIY gifts and baked goods will cost significantly less because you have to create the product, rather than buy one that’s already made.

3 – Have a Potluck Christmas Dinner

Try hosting a potluck dinner this year by simply asking your guests to bring the dish of their choice. Since the host is typically expected to provide the main course, think about requesting side dishes and desserts.

Leave the choice of what to bring to the people attending. Part of the fun of a potluck is the variety of dishes. This not only relieves much of the stress of planning dinner for a group of people, it typically saves you a ton of money without sacrificing the quality or quantity of your holiday meal.

4 – Organize a Secret Santa Christmas

Secret Santa is a fun tradition for many people during the holidays. It is most commonly implemented among friends and co-workers, as a means to save a substantial chunk of gift-giving change. Because Secret Santa involves drawing a random name from a collection of participants, you’re limited to buying just one gift for the person whose name you drew, rather than a gift for everyone in your circle.

While it may be difficult to get young children on board with the idea of receiving only one gift for Christmas, it’s often a home run for families with children who have grown up and understand the importance of limiting spending during this time of year.

5 – Shop All Year Round

For many people, shopping for Christmas gifts all year round is arguably the best way to cut costs on holiday spending. This reduces much of the frustration of holiday shopping, and also saves you from buying gifts at inflated (pre-holiday) prices. Year-round shopping allows you to take advantage of amazing sales you can generally find throughout the year.

These are just five easy ways to cut your Christmas spending without feeling like Scrooge. Remember, it’s not the amount of money you spend, it’s the thought that counts!