The majority of households in South Africa are feeling the pinch this year, and with Christmas only a couple of months away, one has to ask if it is possible to cut down the festive season expenses without cutting out the fun.
Here are some tips to help you have a frugal, yet festive Christmas:
This cannot be stressed enough! The earlier you start buying your family and friends their Christmas gifts, the less stress there is on your December salary and (if you are one of the lucky ones) your December bonus.
Not only do you end up spreading out your budget, but you invariably also end up buying more clever. You have more time to browse and find the perfect gift (probably at a cheaper price), instead of that mad December rush where you tend to just grab anything off the shelf.
Come to an Agreement with Family and Friends
Sit with your family and friends a few months before the festive season, and come to an agreement on (a) whether you will be exchanging gifts at all (b) set a price limit, especially for adult’s gifts (c) decide on only children’s gifts or (d) consider a Secret Santa party, where everyone draws a name out of the hat. That way you only end up buying for one person, and saving a huge wad of cash.
Watch out for Specials
Throughout the year, you should keep your eye on any special deals and marked down goods. Almost every store has a month-end sale, where you can pick up gorgeous gifts at half the price you would normally pay for them. Also look out for clearance stores… you will pick up quality, branded gifts at much lower prices! Buy these when you see them and keep them in a gift cupboard. Before you know it, you will have a whole cupboard full of gifts.
Make Your Own
Get baking and crafting! Homemade tasty treats are always a winner on the dinner table at Christmas time… and they cost a lot less than store bought puddings and treats. You and your kids can also get busy during the months leading up to the festive season making Christmas gifts for the family. Homemade gifts such as photo frames, birdfeeders, sweet jars, coasters, soaps, cushions etc. are always received well by grannies and grandpas, and you end up saving big time! You can also make your own gift wrap, or decorate plain brown bags into gorgeous Christmas bags.
Hosting Christmas Day?
Allocate each family member to bring a dish. That way, the dinner table is still full of the traditional favourites, but you have not had to fork out the money to buy everything. You will also have more quality time with your family on Christmas morning. Trust me, no one will mind buying or cooking one dish as their contribution for the dinner table!
Look out for online stores that offer free delivery! Not only is it LOTS of fun ordering online, but you will also end up saving big on your travel costs! Even if there is a minimum order amount stipulated, you should still save.. especially if you are buying more than one gift from each store. This gives you plenty of time to browse the online stores, view their specials and purchase gifts with more thought.
So there you have it…6 ways to save money (and time) this festive season.
Imagine all the spare cash you will have during your summer holidays!