Today we have a guest post from another wonderful blogger, Noëlle.
Now that December is upon us, Christmas is just around the corner. That means that retail stores will be playing non-stop Christmas music, you will be getting holiday invites that will fill up your calendar and it will soon be time to dust off the Christmas decorations.
My favourite part of Christmas decorating has always been the tree, and this year we are going for a real tree instead of an artificial one. Since this is my first experience purchasing a real tree, I was stunned to find out just how much they cost. You can pay anywhere from $25 to $200 for a Christmas tree, and that doesn’t include the tree stand, the tinsel, the tree skirt, the decorations or the gifts to go under! Here are a few considerations to help you trim the cost of your Christmas tree purchase while still embracing the holiday tradition.
Where to buy your tree
There are over 33 million real Christmas trees sold in the US each year. These days most of us aren’t marching into the forest and cutting down our own Christmas trees. Decide if you want to purchase your tree directly from a Christmas tree farm or from a reseller.
Buying directly from the tree farm may cost a little bit more, but generally you go for the experience of wandering around, arguing over which tree is best, sipping some free hot chocolate and maybe even catching a sleigh ride. If you want to make it a family activity the Christmas tree farm can be the way to go, but also consider the cost of gas to get there and back.
If, however, you just want to get the tree home, you can always pick one up at your local chain store, garden centre or retail lot for a little bit cheaper. You can even purchase a real tree online. In the US, over 300,000 Christmas trees are sold online each year.
When to buy your tree
Shop early to get the best selection and avoid the crowds. But if you wait until a few days before Christmas you will find that retailers are willing to offer deep discounts to offload the last remaining trees. You just might end up with a “Charlie Brown” tree though!
Check to see if they are selling the tree by the foot, or are charging a flat fee for any tree. Generally you it will cost somewhere between $5-$10 per foot, so do the math to see which way turns out to be less expensive.
Try a Different Species
There are several different species of Christmas trees: Douglas Fir, Fraser Fir, Scotch Pine, Balsam Fir, White Pine, White Spruce, and the list goes on. Look for the species that is most widely available in your area, as it will most likely be the least expensive.
Look for Deals
Some retailers will offer you a free Christmas tree with a minimum purchase. Get your Christmas shopping done and get your tree all in one trip! You can also find coupons or deal vouchers for retailers trying to earn your Christmas tree business.
Depending on where you purchase your tree, there may be a little bit of room to negotiate on the price. This is especially true if you are purchasing more than one tree, or any additional items. It never hurts to ask! Maybe they’ll throw in a free tree stand or Christmas wreath.
Shopping for a real Christmas tree can be a cinch or you can make an entire event out of it. Make your own traditions and enjoy the fresh smell while sticking to your Christmas budget.
Author Bio: Noëlle from thislifeonpurpose.com
Noëlle is a twenty-something girl from the Canadian prairies who blogs about the ways she spends less in order to save for what matters. All this to ensure that her life is not on auto-pilot and that her life decisions are made with great intention. With a passion for global travel and personal finance, follow her along her journey to financial independence and lifestyle freedom.
“But wait a minute… where do I go from here? Maybe I want more out of life than a steady 9-5 job in the corporate world and a house in the suburbs with my husband and 2.4 kids. Is this the only definition of success? What if I want to open a dive shop in Thailand, or teach tourists to surf in Australia (I’d have to learn first, but that’s a minor detail)? Maybe I want to ride a motorbike across Vietnam or start a business in photography. Whatever I end up doing, I want it to be out of my own volition; I want to live this life on purpose!”