During the holidays we all feel the financial crunch. We want to make sure everyone enjoys themselves, but it often drives our credit cards close to their limits. Here are five things you can do yourself to lower the cost of the holidays this year:
Decorating your house for the holiday season can be one of the most expensive things you want to do. Retailers drive up the costs of decorations as the holiday season comes around. There are two simple steps you can take to reduce the holiday decoration bill.
Make what you can yourself. If you want a wreath this holiday season, go out and collect the stuff to make one. If you do not have access to pine trees, make something unique. It will be more fun that way. Collect leafy branches from shrubs and other trees. Tie them together, and run some Christmas lights through them. It will not be traditional, but sure will catch your guests’ eyes.
Reuse everything. Save your ornaments and decorations from year to year, and reuse them. Even if you decide to purchase decorations you can save hundreds by saving them over the years. Apply both these principles to the rest of your holiday decorations to save money this year.
A flamboyant turkey dinner with all the trimmings is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of holiday meals. Not everyone can have a turkey farm to cut back on the cost of a holiday meal, but most people have a small space for a garden large enough to cut the cost of the vegetables. Dedicate a space outside in advance for all the vegetables you will need for your holiday meals. Plant seeds per the instructions on the seed packets, and harvest when ready. This will cut down the cost of the vegetables to about 99 cents per type of vegetable needed. Cut even further by making a pot luck type meal where everyone brings one of the dishes.
Instead of going crazy buying the latest gadgets for your family and friends try and gift them something you made, or something they know you hold dear. These types of gifts are much more meaningful, and cost next to nothing. Give your children those heirlooms that they have been waiting for. Make a photo collage of your family for your parents. Something quirky and cool would be appropriate for your friends.
If you are not hosting the festivities yourself, chances are you will be traveling. Instead of booking a flight to the other side of the state drive there. Sure it takes a little more time, but the savings to be had are shocking.
Stay with your friends and family instead of paying for a hotel. Everyone knows someone who has a spare bedroom, and all you usually have to do is ask. This will save you from paying the outrageous holiday rates at local hotels.
Everyone has the ability to cut back on their holiday bills. All you have to do is apply yourself, and take the initiative to do it yourself.