How to save when buying a Christmas tree — 4 tips to spend less

Christmas tree and decorations
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

With the Christmas holiday coming up, many will soon be looking to pick up this year’s Christmas tree. However, as with most other expenses this year, the cost of a Christmas tree will be more expensive than last year. Because of high inflation, along with increased labor and fuel costs, the cost of growing trees has increased around 15% to 20%  since last year’s holiday season. This hike in production costs has led many Christmas tree growers to increase the price of fir trees, the standard Christmas tree,  anywhere from 5% to 15%. Last year, the average price of a Christmas tree was $70. This year, it’s expected to be about $100

However, this increase in price doesn’t mean you’ll have to forgo a traditional tree this year. The following tips can help you save on a Christmas tree despite these rising costs. 

Choose a smaller tree 

Christmas tree

(Image credit: Home Depot)

Saving on your Christmas tree this year could be as easy as downsizing to a smaller tree. While a smaller tree, like five feet, may not be what you’re used to, you’ll still get that classic pine smell for a fraction of the price. Plus, smaller variety trees can sometimes be found at local garden centers, saving you a trip to the tree lot. Think about it this way: while a grandiose tree seems ideal, it’ll be on the curb in a few weeks, so why spend more than you have to?  

Consider an artificial tree

Christmas tree lights

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you’re trying to be as frugal as possible during the holiday season, consider choosing an artificial tree over a real one. It’s actually a great option if you’re tired of the maintenance that comes with a real fir tree, not to mention the cost. You’ll also be able to save for years to come, as artificial trees don’t have to be bought year after year like real trees do. On average, artificial trees last for 6 years. Plus, many come pre-lit, saving you from buying additional lighting as well. You won’t get the same Christmas tree smell as normally would, but it could be worth it considering the expenses. 

Buy online from a big-box store 

best artificial christmas trees

(Image credit: Home Decorators Collection)

If you’re set on getting a real tree this Christmas, skipping a trip to your local Christmas tree grower could save you money. Instead, consider buying a real tree online. Surprisingly, retailers like Walmart and Lowe’s sell fresh cut Christmas trees online. For example, 6’ to 7’ real Fraser Firs are going for only $99 at Walmart right now. By shopping around online, you’ll easily be able to compare prices and make sure you get the best deal. 

Wait to buy later in the season

Box of holiday decorations

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you don’t mind waiting, buying a tree later in the season usually means you’ll get a better price for it. Stock will have dropped and many growers will be looking to sell remaining inventory. Just make sure the tree you choose is still healthy if you decide to wait to buy one.  

For more ways to save this holiday season, be sure to check out our tips on how to save money on your heating bills this winter, and the best temperature to set your thermostat. Also, here's what the experts say is the best time to turn your heat on.

Next: This TikTok Christmas tree lighting hack is a game-changer — here’s why. Also, check out 5 festive ways to decorate a Christmas tree.

Erin Bendig
Staff writer, personal finance

Erin pairs personal experience with research and is passionate about sharing personal finance advice with others. Previously, she was a freelancer focusing on the credit card side of finance, but has branched out since then to cover other aspects of personal finance. Erin is well-versed in traditional media with reporting, interviewing and research, as well as using graphic design and video and audio storytelling to share with her readers.