Cancer hero Robyn and her daughter captured by Surabhi Agrawal

12 Holiday Savings Tips for Families Facing Cancer

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The holiday season brings joy as well as challenges — especially if you’re going through cancer treatment. The holiday season can be a welcome break from the stress of a diagnosis, though it’s okay if you’re also worried about having enough money and energy for celebrations.

Family Reach is here with our top cost-saving tips to relieve some stress around holiday travel, meals, and gifts.

Illustration of family at a dinner table

1. Fill your tank on Mondays

Gas prices are usually lowest on Mondays and highest on weekends. If you can, fill up the Monday before you head out on a long drive to visit family.

You can also use an app like GasBuddy to find the cheapest gas stations near you.

2. Be savvy about car rentals

If you’re renting a car for holiday travel, don’t pre-pay for gas — the rental company will likely charge more than what you’ll pay if you fill the tank yourself at a local gas station. You can also save on the warranty if you have existing car insurance that already covers damages and accidents.

3. Fly on Tuesdays or Wednesdays

Mid-week flights are usually the cheapest, while ticket prices peak on Fridays and Sundays. Save even more on holiday flights by setting price drop alerts with sites like Kayak, Skyscanner, or Airfarewatchdog and booking with miles or points.

4. Get the most out of grocery discounts

Grocery coupons expire the same day new ones go out, so shop on the overlapping day to get sale prices from both coupon flyers. Stores also tend to lower prices on holiday staples at this time of year, so you can stock up on basic items while they’re more affordable.

If you always go to the same store, sign up for a loyalty card to take advantage of their discounts. You may also consider using a credit card with the best cash-back deals on grocery store purchases.

5. Avoid convenience stores

While they might save you a few minutes, convenience stores charge significantly higher prices than conventional stores and supermarkets. Plus, they have limited options to choose from.

6. Download money-saving apps

Apps like Ibotta, Shopkick, and Checkout 51 will help you save money on groceries. RetailMeNot and Honey offer automatic discounts when you shop online.

7. Use your reward points

Cash in your rewards from credit cards, department stores, and loyalty programs to pay for everyday items or holiday gifts.

8. Try thrift stores, Facebook Marketplace, and Buy Nothing groups

These community resources can save you money on gifts, decorations, and other holiday staples.

9. Buy refurbished electronics

Save money on big-ticket wish list items like smartphones, computers, and video game consoles by purchasing refurbished items rather than brand-new ones. You can find refurbished electronics directly from the brand or check out places like Best Buy, eBay, and BackMarket.

10. Clean out your closets

Set aside unwanted, gently used items to re-gift or sell on free apps like OfferUp, Facebook Marketplace, or Poshmark. You might even find some items that you can use for a DIY holiday project!

11. Stay cozy and festive on a budget

Insulate your windows with curtains or plastic, use electric blankets, and opt for LED string lights when decorating. Unplugging electronics when you’re out of town also saves money on utility bills.

12. Start new holiday traditions

There are affordable ways to make the holiday season special. Get crafty with handmade decorations, bake sweet treats together, or host game nights at home. Potlucks are a great way to share the work and cost of holiday meals while still celebrating around the table.

You can also include more friends and family in your new holiday traditions by gathering virtually.

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Our free financial guidebooks have more savings tips that you can follow all year long.

Courtney McHugh Headshot
Courtney McHugh, MSW, LSW
Lead Navigator • Family Reach Team

A pragmatic but hopeful soul with an appreciation for people and her place in the world, Courtney helps connect families in need with resources and relief. As a licensed social worker and Lead Navigator at Family Reach, her work is guided by compassion for others and a sense of shared humanity.

Read more from Courtney

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