The count down to the holidays is upon us, with Thanksgiving approaching faster than expected. Thus, its time to start thinking about your budget when it comes to holiday shopping and more. With the Thanksgiving feast to plan, Black Friday spending to consider, as well as the gift-giving holidays on their way, you might be wondering how you’re going to manage to keep on track with your spending. These tips will help you cut back on your budget, so you’ll be ready to handle all of the major expenditures without breaking a sweat.
With Halloween out of the way, you probably have a lot of candy hanging out in your home. This will give you the perfect opportunity to bake. Baking is a great way to save on your budget because it can be time-consuming, so you won’t need to go out for entertainment. Baking treats will also cut down on grocery shopping since you can make more treats from scratch than you can purchase from the store. This will bring more comfort to the cold months while also allowing you to enjoy some amazing things. Plus, you can actually get a jump start on some of your holiday dishes. For instance, if you plan on serving rolls or other bread then simply make the dough in advance. You can also make pies in advance too. Simply make the crust and filling, put it together, then put it away in the freezer. This can cut down on prep time. You can even bake holiday gifts to truly get a head start on a frugal season.
2. Grocery Shop Slowly
It can be overwhelming to go to a grocery shop during the holiday season. Apart from budgets being tighter, there is a lot more food to pick up too. So, during the weeks before a holiday, you might try to grocery shop slowly. Don’t toss everything you need into the cart so you can just get it over with. Instead, you might want to pick up things for the feast a little bit at a time. For instance, if you find a sale on turkeys that you know can’t be beaten, then grab one. Then, you can wait on purchasing the sides and desserts. Bulk sales are always a win too. You might even shop in a way that allows you to use some of the ingredients for your everyday meals. This should truly bring some peace to your day and might allow you to save more money on your holiday feast than you ever expected.
3. Embrace Crafts
Another way to kill some time when you’re on a budget is to pull out your craft supplies. This can be one of the best aspects of cutting back on money because it allows you to exercise your creative side. If you can, stick with the craft supplies that you already have at home, as this will help you save even more money. You can also use recyclables to help upcycle some of the items that you use. If you’re looking to make all of your crafting lucrative, then you might try selling the items during a farmer’s market or festive marketplace. You can also make some of your crafts as holiday gifts, which will ensure everyone has a gift without forcing you to spend a small fortune.
4. Shop in Advance
Staying on budget is important, which is why shopping in advance can help you save a small fortune. This tactic can also ease your need to purchase so many things when you’re saving up for the holidays. Essentially, you should start window-shopping in early November to figure out which items you’d actually like to purchase. Once you have an idea, you can also write down the prices you find, so you know exactly where to purchase the item and you have a great reference point for when all of the holiday sales begin. You might even start doing a little research on Black Friday items, so you can easily grab the deals you want quickly without spending too much on an item that you’ve had your eye on.
5. Find Free Activities
Saving money doesn’t have to mean you need to be a shut-in. Instead of staying put all of the time, you might look around your area to find some free activities. With the holidays on their way, you might be surprised as to how many things there are to do in your community. You might find free meals, caroling trips and community festivals that won’t cost you a dime. There might even be a few parades during the season, which will certainly make for an interesting activity. Apart from holiday activities, you might find free sporting or music events. You should also keep up with activities you’ve already paid for like your child’s sports programs or music lessons. If you keep to frugal activities, you should cut back on the money with ease.
6. Scale Back on Non-Necessities
It is hard to scale back, but sometimes it is a necessity to do so. Sometimes, it is hard to figure out what we’re paying for that isn’t a necessity too. So, when you start with this task, you might start by looking at things like subscription services. If you have a box coming to your home every month and you didn’t pay for it in advance, then this is one thing that you can cancel. Even food subscription boxes can be a luxury item as you’ll pay way more for them than you would on these opposed to just buying groceries. After you knock out these items, you might look at luxury items that you purchase. For instance, if you’re out of expensive makeup then you might consider a cheaper alternative until the holidays are over. Even cable can be a luxury if you’re on a tight budget. You might be surprised how many luxuries you have when you sit down to think about it and how much you spend on them every month.
7. Free Food
If your budget is exceptionally tight, then you’ll be relieved to know that there are many places you can find free food. Most food banks are available to help people out on a daily basis and can supply you with canned foods and so much more to help you out. If it is the holiday feast that has you worried then many of these facilities will actually host a holiday basket, complete with turkey and all of the sides. These programs have helped many families for decades, so it should be easy to find information on them. Some charities and grocery stores will also host free holiday meals, so everyone can have a hot meal as a community. These events are free of cost but are first come first serve so make sure to show up early. Of course, if you don’t have a problem with food, but would like to help out then you probably won’t have a hard time finding a volunteer program to do so during this time of the year.
8. Ditch Eating Out
Food is probably a large part of your budget, but there are many ways to cut back on this pricey part of your spending list. One of the best ways to cut back is to simply ditch eating out. This is a huge expenditure even if you’re eating cheaper items. So, you might want to make it a goal to skip eating out for a month to see just how much you save. You might be surprised as to how much of your check is left over when you ditch restaurants. Of course, this means you’re going to have to be disciplined for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This is especially true when it comes to coffee. So, you might have to look up some awesome meal prepping ideas to ensure you can keep temptation at bay.
9. Utilize the Crock Pot
When it comes to cutting back on your grocery bill, you might consider using your crock pot more. There are numerous recipes available that cost very little, which will allow you to make lots of amazing meals without spending a fortune. You can even make desserts and snacks in the crockpot, which will make things even easier to deal with. Best of all, most crockpot meals allow you to dump the ingredients and leave the dish alone. This makes it perfect for busy days, so you won’t have to deal with the temptation of getting fast food because there is no time to cook at home.
10. No Spending Pact
Another way to cut back on spending is to make a promise to yourself that you won’t actually spend any extra money. This means no luxury items, for an entire month. You’ll essentially be buying groceries and paying bills for a month. When the month is over, you’ll have saved more than you might expect. This will give you plenty of money to spend on holiday gifts. Of course, you don’t have to practice this for an entire month. You can actually do it for a week or even just one day out of the week. As you practice the no-spending pact, you might grow accustomed to it, which will allow you to save more money throughout the year too.
Preparing for the major spending season doesn’t have to be as stressful as you think. These easy steps will allow you to easily save some money without feeling as put out by the holiday expenditures. Hopefully, this will bring a little extra joy to the busy season.