Previously we looked at ways to establish a budget for the holidays to allow enough money for food, gifts, entertainment and more. These expenses are often not consistent throughout the year and therefore they can be costly for many people. Now that you have identified a holiday budget, here are a few tips to making the most of the money you have to spend on gifts and meals/entertainment.
Holiday meals and entertainment ideas:
- Check store ads and compare them with another store to find the best deals. Some stores will match the price you find or try and beat it.
- Purchase event tickets ahead of time and ask if they take student or other discounts.
- Try cooking at home. Often making a meal from scratch can be less expensive than taking a group out for dinner.
- Have a potluck style meal. Ask family or friends to contribute by bringing a dish.
- Check ads and look for the best price on an item you want.
- Check online and in your mail for store coupons.
- Try a do-it-yourself (DIY) gift. This could be something you craft or even something you cook. These can be less expensive than purchasing something from the store.
- Suggest a gift exchange. Instead of gifting for everyone, if you start a gift exchange you can focus on getting one person a nicer gift instead of everyone a small gift.
The biggest tip of all of these is to start early and make a plan for what you are going to do. Often increased spending is a result of last-minute purchasing. Now is the time to get creative and try new traditions to cut back on expensive ones.