It’s a given… December is the most expensive month of the year because of the holidays and the need to add some holiday spirit to your place. Despite the cost of Christmas, it’s still my favourite time of the year and my favourite holiday. Gifts aside, I absolutely LOVE the spirit of Christmas – the lights, the joy, the Christmas specials on TV, etc. 

decorating for christmas without breaking the bank

This year’s Christmas is a little bit special. It’ll the first Christmas that Dan and I will be spending together. Last year, we exchanged gifts but didn’t spend Christmas together since our relationship was still fairly new. It’s also special because it’ll be the first time I can decorate a place that I call my own. I never decorated when I was still living with my mum because it didn’t feel cozy or “right”. Since moving into our own place, I started decorated the day after Remembrance Day. 

But, we’re on a budget. I want to save my money for my big travel plans next year AND save some money to buy gifts for the people in my life. As much as I loved the spirit and decorating our place for the Christmas joy, I didn’t want to fork over a couple hundred dollars – I mean, sorry for those who purchase $16 custom-made ornament balls, but that’s not my style, haha.

Instead, I went to my local dollar store and stocked up on cute decorations. My entire haul came out to $23 and had enough items to decorate throughout the house!

This is how I stayed festival without breaking my bank:

cheap christmas decorations
A cute elf boy sitting on the window ledge of my living room window.
cheap christmas decorations
A cute little santa sitting on the kitchen window ledge.
cheap christmas decorations
This penguin bells doorknob decor. You can tell it’s from the dollar store because one of the bells fell off and the penguins is missing his eye. Granted, it was also my mistake for not taking a closer look when I was putting him in my basket.
cheap christmas decorations
Two nutcrackers statue on top of the toilet lid. Yes, these two fellas will watch you pee.
cheap christmas decorations
Another wooden decor hung in the bathroom.
cheap christmas decorations
Cute little ornaments for the TV stand. These were originally for the tree but since they’re massive and can stand on their own, I decided to place them around them TV.
cheap christmas decorations
Cute little ornaments for the TV stand. These were originally for the tree but since they’re massive and can stand on their own, I decided to place them around them TV.
cheap christmas decorations
This is sitting on our bedroom window ledge. They were essentially excess decor that I overplanned for.
cheap christmas decorations
This is on Dan’s side of the bed. Just a little standalone santa hat.
cheap christmas decorations
This is my side of the bed. A standalone christmas stocking!

Here’s the thing – I don’t believe you need to cough up a couple hundred dollars for seasonal items. The dollar store makes a great first stop for decor because 1) they’re highly affordable at $1, and 2) these decors are most likely going to just sit around your house and the only time you’ll be handling them is when you put them away or take them out. Therefore, the cheap price tag may make these decor breaks easily but if you handle them carefully and store them away for the next 11 months, these cheap decors can be reused next year. 

christmas snowman pillow
This throw pillow was not from the dollar store but it’s on our sectional for the season!
cheap christmas decorations
I knew I needed the golden ‘Noel’ when I saw it. The bigger snowglobe was not from the dollar store – it was an anniversary gift.

cheap christmas decorations

What should you watch out for when you shop at the dollar store? 

  • Inspect every item carefully. Don’t make the same mistake as I did for the penguin doorknob hanger. These items are mass produced at a factory in China with most likely little to no quality control.
  • Be sure to pick up some super glue. Anticipate that some of your decors will break but nothing a little super glue can’t fix… if you want to keep that decor.
  • Don’t overspend. Just because it’s a dollar, it’s very easy to overspend or pick up a bit more items than anticipated. Plan how you want to decorate your place and stick to that mental image. No need to pick up extra items that would clutter your place and make you cough up the extra dollars or two.  
  • Have a backup. If you’re looking to only do your Christmas decors shopping at the dollar store, be prepared to have a backup decor plan because the dollar store may not carry what you want. 
  • Be patient. If you want to save money, you need to be patient. Don’t rush to a department store to buy decors because the dollar store doesn’t have it. Wait it out for new shipments or check out another dollar store!

December is expensive – but it’s only as expensive as you let it be. Be smart, be creative. There’s no need to fork hundreds to entice a Christmas spirit! 


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