The holiday season is hectic. Between shopping for gifts, preparing for guests and decorating the home, it can sometimes feel as if there aren’t enough hours in the day or money in the bank to get it all done.

Here are some great ways to stress less and save more time and money during the most wonderful — but busiest — time of year:

• Rethink Décor: Swap more costly flowers and wreaths for fresh fruit to create a festive feel without breaking the bank. Place lemons and limes in a clear bowl for a colorful centerpiece. Add cheer to doors by hanging a pomegranate from a ribbon. Use any of the extra citrus to garnish drinks. Add warmth to table settings by surrounding candles with pears and cranberries.

• Skip the Checkout Line: Technology is making shopping for gifts and entertaining essentials faster and more convenient. For example, the new Sam’s Club Scan & Go app lets you bypass the traditional checkout lane. Simply scan UPC codes on items in your cart and pay for them directly from your smartphone anywhere in the club. Once done shopping, all you have to do is show a digital receipt to an associate on the way out.

At a time of year when it’s easy to over-spend, the app is also a useful holiday budgeting tool, keeping track of what you are spending while you shop. To download the app or learn more, visit

• Pick a Gift Theme: When possible, personalize presents for close family and friends, but pick a theme for the rest of your gift list. Scour sites, circulars and shelves for the best deal and then buy in bulk. Whether you choose pajamas, chocolate gift sets or hats and mittens, this tactic will also help cut down on multiple shopping trips and maximize your gift giving budget.

The tasks and expenses that pile up during the holiday season can feel endless; but there are some simple strategies you can employ to make your year-end festivities less stressful and perhaps even more meaningful.