NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Consumers are often most focused on saving on gifts during the holidays, but there’s another big purchase they should be interested in scoring a lower price on: their Christmas tree.
Depending on size, these evergreens – real or artificial – can set families back a few hundred dollars. To help you spare some of the expense, we asked savings experts for a few tips on finding a cheaper holiday tree.
Cut down your own. There are several areas in the country where you can chop down your own evergreen after buying a $4 to $15 permit from the National Forest Service or your local Bureau of Land Management office. Additional charges for the tree will vary, depending on where you ultimately get the tree.
“This is by far the most affordable way to get a high quality, live Christmas tree,” says Andrew Schrage, a founder of MoneyCrashers.com and a Savings.com Deal Pro.
Comparison shop. There’s probably more than one local tree provider within driving distance of your home, so Andrea Woroch, consumer savings expert with CouponSherpa.com, suggests plugging your ZIP code into the National Christmas Tree Association Web site to scout out all of your options. Once you have a list in hand, you can call around to find out who is offering the trees for the most reasonable price.
Schrage says real Christmas trees sold at major retailers, such as Wal-Mart or Home Depot, are already some of the cheapest around, but local farms are often your best bet for a “quality live tree that is sure to last through the holidays.”
You can also buy a Christmas tree online, so Woroch suggests looking for coupon codes for artificial trees on ChristmasTreesGalore.com, ChristmasCentral.com, ChristmasLightsEtc.com and HolidayDecorationsDirect.com. Schrage says folks in the market for an artificial tree should expect to spend at least $100.