By Marli Naidoo
It’s great fun to spoil your loved ones during Christmas with tables overflowing with food and gifts. However, it’s not so great to chew your nails down to the quick in January when after all your Christmas expenses you don’t have money left over to get through the month. Christmas need not be expensive to be special and enjoyable, and there are many ways in which you can save money.
It’s holiday time, and it’s not always fun spending a lot of time in front of the stove. However, eating out is expensive. Rather try to prepare simple dishes, and let your family help with the preparation.
Plan your meals ahead of time and compile a budget. Be on the outlook for bargains, and buy everything you can in bulk.
If you will be doing some long-distance travelling to be with family, it’s a good idea not to buy take-aways along the way, but rather pack some food and snacks.
Make your own Christmas decorations. The internet is brimful with good ideas.
Plan ahead. Begin to collect gifts as early as January. When you come across an item that reminds you of someone special, buy it, mark it, and put it away until Christmas. You can also buy small items on sales throughout the year, and decide later who will receive them. Just keep an eye on expiry dates.
Gifts need not always cost money. Give your loved one the promise of a monthly pedicure, which you will apply yourself, as a Christmas gift.
Don’t buy gifts with the aim of making an impression, but to make people feel special.
Sell items you don’t use. If you haven’t used something for the past three years, chances are good that you will never use it. Get rid of it and have some extra money in hand for Christmas expenses.
Make gifts. A home-made gift will not only save you money, but is also extra special.
Pool money to buy one large gift. Contact your child’s classmates’ parents, and suggest this method.
Gifts you received last year and cannot use, you can give to someone else. Just make sure it goes to the other side of the family, and to someone who would like to have it.
Re-use gift wrap and bags. Also use material lying around the house or brown paper stashed in the back of a cupboard. You can decorate it with pretty pictures you paint or stencil on yourself.
Every Dollar: https://www.everydollar.com/blog/tips-to-save-money-on-christmas
Money Crashers: https://www.moneycrashers.com/ways-save-money-holiday-season/