Ways to save during the holidays

According to the National Retail Federation, holiday retail sales are expected to increase 2.3% this holiday season to $447.1 billion. If you’ll be contributing to this year’s number with your holiday shopping, it’s more than likely that you’ll also be contributing to the 25% increase in waste during the Thanksgiving to New Year's period (RecycleWorks.org). If you’re like me and plan to do lots of shopping this year for your loved ones, you’ll probably need some tips on how to save…money and the environment! Below are 5 ways you can save some green by going green this holiday season.

Save your newspaper and weekly mailings. Using your newspaper as gift wrap is one of the many ways to reuse the paper in your newspaper. You won’t have to purchase any additional wrapping paper, and you’re recycling.

Use reusable bags when shopping. You can only imagine how many shopping bags and tissue paper end up in landfills and rivers every year. Some areas have even developed laws that require stores to charge you for paper or plastic bags, and some stores give you a small refund if you use reusable bags. This year, choose to reuse when it comes to shopping bags to save money and the environment.

Send e-cards. In addition to shopping bags, greeting cards also contribute a lot to landfills during the holidays. Online services allow you to save money on postage and reduce paper waste at the same time. The Internet can help you be eco-friendly in many other ways too. Check out my top ten reasons to love online banking.

Unplug your holiday lights during the day. Unplugging your lights can decrease your electric bill and energy usage. Plus, you’ll increase the life of your light bulbs so you will have to buy lights less frequently, contributing less waste and more to your wallet.

And last, but definitely not least- Regift! Regifting is a great way to save money and the environment during the holidays. An added bonus if you’re a regifter: share your regifting story on Regiftable.com for your chance to win some extra spending money!

Do you have more ideas on how to save during the holidays? Please share in the comments section.

Anna Kronzer is a former marketing specialist and program manager at MMI.