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Special section Thrifty gifting

'Tis the season to be frugal -- cutting costs without slashing your holiday spirit.


Thrifty gifting

Do the holidays always threaten to blow a hole in your budget? Add up the cost of gifts, parties, seasonal decor and travel, and you can see why so many people begin each new year in the red.

But this holiday season can be different. Bankrate is featuring five stories that show you how to cut holiday costs without sacrificing the spirit of the season.

Find out about gift ideas that are thrifty, but not cheap. Discover tips for saving on food, decorations and plane fare. Learn about gifts you can make at home.

Sometimes, the best way to save is to do nothing at all. Along those lines, we count down the worst shopping ideas (Hint: Heading to the mall without a list is a no-no). Finally, we offer tips for holiday shipping.

Happy holidays, from everyone at Bankrate.

Thrifty gifting:
Frugal gifts
  Give Santa a run for his money without busting your budget -- buy gifts that are frugal, but not cheap.
Cutting holiday costs
  Cut holiday costs without slashing the season's spirit.
7 budget busters
  Here's a list you better check twice: The top ways not to shop for a frugal holiday season.
Best homemade gifts
  We've searched from the North Pole and beyond for easy yet impressive things you can make at home.
6 tips for savvy holiday shipping
  Here's how to find which shipping options will get your gifts to their destination safely, on time and without busting your budget.
12 ways to de-commercialize the holidays
  Sick of the overspending and commercialism often attached to the holidays? Check these ideas for lowering the cash flow while raising the joy of the season.
Real or artificial: What's best for you?
  Aroma, feel and tradition all play a part in this decision, and the comparative cost factor is nothing to sneeze at, either.
Flowers: The perfect gift at any price
  Surprise! More flowers are bought for Xmas than Mother's Day -- how to buy and how to save.
6 gifts that give beyond the holidays
  Bankrate readers offer a half-dozen tips for gifts that keep giving long after the holidays are a memory.
Star-studded seasonal savings
  Movie and TV stars know all about glitter and how to save and still shine with homemade holiday gifts and decor.
-- Posted: Nov. 21, 2007

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