The holiday season is often filled with parties and lavish meals with family and friends. It can also make your checking account weak. Since it only happens once a year, it’s tempting to throw away good judgment and splurge on lavish gifts and food. After all, these are your family and friends were talking about. But is there a way to cut back and save money without sacrificing the things you want? What we all need is a game plan; here are a few tips for starters.
Shop Early – Very Early
Shopping early seems like unnecessary advice but crowded parking lots and packed checkout lines will easily discourage you. Shopping early may give you advantage to find that perfect gift at the best price. In regards to food, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Food Safety division, explains that you can safely store a frozen turkey for up to one year. If beef, lamb, or pork will be on the menu, they’re freezer safe for 6 to 12 months. Canned goods often have an even longer shelf life.
Don’t Overdo It
Leftovers are sometimes great, but there is such a thing as too much. If there are enough leftovers after a meal to feed for your family for the rest of the week, U.S. News and World Report recommends cutting back a bit on the holiday spread.
Host a Potluck
If you’re serving a lot of guests, a potluck meal can save money, time, and energy. You provide the main course, and each guest can bring a side dish or dessert. Don’t forget, potlucks have a better chance of success when you coordinate with guests in advance.
Don’t Rely on Convenience
Pre-packaged foods usually cost more per serving, and aren’t as fresh as what you’d prepare from scratch. Omitting pre-made dishes puts your in control of everything from taste to price.
The holidays are rarely cheap but you can save money without sacrificing the important things. How have you saved money this holiday season? Leave us a comment below or on Facebook (click here)!