The holiday season comes with lots of pressure to turn homes and yards into winter wonderlands. Whether the motivation is prepping for the big family gathering or keeping up with the neighbors' festive displays, sticking to a tight budget can be difficult. But don't let the holiday spirit flag just yet. Here are suggestions for inexpensive Christmas decorations that ring in the holiday season with style. (Note: Prices on these items change constantly as retailers adjust in response to demand.)
Everything You Need to Decorate for Christmas on the Cheap
The life cycle of an artificial Christmas tree makes it a far cheaper option than the real thing. The key to selecting the perfect specimen is to focus on the number of needle tips. The more tips, the fuller and more realistic the tree looks.
For multi-color lights and slightly more height, try this 6.5-foot tree ($50 at Home Depot). This specimen boasts 750 "realistic" needle tips, 400 lights, and a two-year warranty.
Once the tree is set up, it's time to add the ornaments. A search through big-box retailers' sites shows pricing of $1 to $2 per ornament in high- quality box sets. More bang for the buck is available in larger quantities.
Make the kids happy and impress the neighbors with inflatable Christmas characters from Walmart. Stick with the classics, including a 4-foot snowman, Santa, and reindeer, each for $15. Prices swell for brand-name characters: $29 for Minnie Mouse and $30 for Snoopy. All inflatables come with stakes and tethers, and consumers report that the characters fill with air in seconds for no-fuss setup.