This actually is an all-year hint: Work all day with something like orchids where you will wear old clothes and at the end of the day be too tired to want to change and go out.
If that doesn't work, there is Goodwill -but now that everyone's poor I think the prices have gone up and so for an extra four dollars you can get a brand new 9.99! from the clearance rail at Ross, Marshalls, etc. And don't forget sometimes Macys, for example, goes crazy breaking the 9.99 barrier and you'll get something brand new for 4.00.
GIFTS: Goodwill and swap meets are perfect for under the Christmas tree surprises. (No-one can say I saw that china elephant in Dollar Tree) which brings us to this WARNING.
When buying vases, mugs, etc from Goodwill check first you can remove the price! Someone with a big black marker spends their day writing "1.00-" "50-" often right on the front and good luck with getting it off. Before purchase see if you can rub off the price with a bit of spit or peel off the sticker. Try not to do it where management can see you. -If apprehended state your position and the problem slowly and clearly and do not suddenly make for the door. It may only be a dollar to you but it's the whole retail price for them.
GIFTS Pt 11. Now go to Dollar Tree and check out their gift wrappings and gift bags. They have lovely stuff, all glitter and shine and only a dollar a go.
FOOD. Trying to economize? Then not just Christmas but year round, it's Cheap and Unhealthy for you.
But here's a tip from the Second World War! An English nutritionist, tasked with finding what could sustain the besieged British population when ships carrying decent food could not reach the plucky little island, tried existing for six months on a local diet providing all nutritional requirements.: You boil up potatoes, cabbage and onions.
Try that on your picky teenagers, especially at Christmas and maybe that will convince them that when you say We can't afford that! you really mean it.
And collect some really comforting quotes: one I love from an English advice column long ago:
Always get your hair done. Cut back on something less important, like the childrens' education.