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Prepare in Advance: 3 Frugal Tips for Welcoming the Holidays

It’s definitely time to start getting excited about the holidays, but of course, for all of the great things to look forward to in the coming weeks like spending time with friends and family, indulging in the best holiday food and drink, and decking the halls, there comes the less fun matter of how much it can all end up costing. Whether you have decided to try to spend less on the holidays this year or are feeling like you just can’t afford to go all out on seasonal luxuries this time, there are definitely ways that you can keep down the cost of having a fun and memorable Christmas – especially if you plan in advance!

Here are some tips!

Budget for Food, Decorations, and Gifts

Most people do approach Christmas with a budget in mind for how much they plan to spend on gifts for people, but if you really want to ensure that you don’t overspend on the holidays, then it is also best to make a budget for all of the other stuff that goes into your celebrations, and make plans to stretch that budget.

Food and drink can be one of the areas where it can be easy to spend more than you expected if you are just going to the supermarket and picking up all of the things you think you and your guests might want. Instead of doing this – which often results in more food than anybody really wants, and those unopened bottles of strange liqueurs that sit in a cupboard for years – set a budget for Christmas consumables, and then start allocating it. It can be easier to manage this if you plan it well in advance, as then you can also do a bit of additional cost-saving by looking for any coupons or special offers on the products you know you’ll be buying in your big Christmas shop. This site, for instance, has coupon codes for almost everything!

Cut the Things That Don’t Matter

There may be some elements you associate with the perfect Christmas that just don’t really matter enough to be worth spending extra on. One tradition that is falling out of favor is the giving of Christmas cards. Online greetings, which can be free, are a good way to send a message to people wishing them a happy holiday season, or you can take the option of making a small donation to charity instead of cards, which is something a lot of people do now – your donation should only be what you can afford, rather than what you would have spent on cards and mailing them, so you can make this approach fit your budget whatever it is.

Consider Alternatives to Expensive Gifts

If you really can’t afford to buy expensive gifts, nobody would want you to get into debt just to give them a present. However, instead of feeling bad that you can’t show someone how much they mean to you with an expensive purchase, think about things that you could give them instead that don’t cost as much (or anything). Passing on something that is important to you to a family member can be a really sentimentally valuable way to give at Christmas. Alternatively, consider whether you could give someone your time instead of a gift, by offering to do something for them. If you have useful skills, or even if you just offer to do their chores for a while, this can be a good way to give something they’ll appreciate without needing to spend money. Making something can also be a great idea if you are good at arts, crafts or DIY!

These are just three ways you can substantially cut the cost of a really good Christmas, with a little bit of forward planning!