We are heading into one of the most enjoyable times of the year – the holiday season. This means fun with family and friends and time honored traditions, but the holidays can also wreak havoc on your budget. It starts with stocking up on plenty of Halloween candy for the trick or treaters and costumes for the kids, and ends with Champagne toasts on December 31st.
Over the next few weeks we will feature a number of cost savings ideas and strategies to help you enjoy the season to the fullest, without abandoning your frugal ways.
First off – think about Holiday Entertaining. Many of us love to gather our loved ones for a party or holiday meal, but even a simple get together can easily get expensive. Here are a few tips to limit your spending to what you can truly afford:
- Choose one event rather than several throughout the season. Whether it’s a Halloween dinner before heading out to trick or treat, Thanksgiving Dinner, a Hanukkah celebration, or a New Year’s brunch, pick one and focus your energy and your budget on it.
- Limit the guest list to a small group. You’ll get more time with your closest friends and family members, and the cost will be considerably less to host a party of ten, compared with one of 40.
- Let others contribute a dish. When guests ask if they can bring something say “yes!” If they have a specialty they’d love to make work it into the menu, or if you know they aren’t into cooking suggest something they can pick up at the grocery store such as cheese and crackers, olives, or chocolates for after dinner.
- Choose a less expensive party option. Breakfast, hot chocolate and cookies, or a casual meal of chili or soup are significantly less costly than a sit down dinner of prime rib or roast turkey. Eliminating alcohol from the menu will also cut down on costs…and calories for those hoping not to pack on the pounds during all that holiday eating and drinking.