Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, but it can also be the most expensive. Here are some ways to make it more affordable.

  • Don't Buy a Tree Yet


    Prices drop as we get closer to Christmas because retailers want to get rid of them. They're worthless December 26th, so if you can hold out until Christmas Eve, you can save almost half. Just ask how long the tree has been on the lot. If it's been there since before December 10th, it may not last. Don't be afraid to haggle. If you're nice about it, they may be willing to give you a deal.

    Getty Images
  • Save on Shipping


    Find the smallest box you can. The United States Postal Service has the "If it fits, it ships" policy and you can send up to 70 pounds worth of stuff for around $11. If you're mailing something somewhere relatively close, you may not even have to send it next day. If you're within the same state, packages usually get to their destination in a day or two.

    Getty Images
  • Don't Buy Certain Flowers


    Red and white flowers like roses and lilies are WAY out of season in December and can cost up to 30 percent more because red and white are very popular colors. Look for late fall or early winter blooming plants and save a bundle.

    Getty Images
  • Shop Online


    Instead of going to the closest store, look online for things like decorations and wine. It allows you to comparison shop without chasing around town, plus a lot of stores have better prices online and offer in-store pickup. You can also save on wine if you look for wines made in "non-prestigious" areas like Oregon, Santa Barbara and France's Loire Valley. They can cost up to 50% less than wines made in more famous spots.

    Getty Images