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It’s that time of year again: a time for family, giving thanks, celebration, and holiday cheer. It's a great season for family and friends to spend together, spending time and showing one another the appreciation they have for them. Although this is a great and happy time, it can also be quite expensive. There are lots of things to purchase like presents, decorations, a tree, etc. On top of that, there's a holiday meal (or two) with our loved ones, which can add to our already extensive expenses.
If you're in charge of the family dinner this year, you may need to spend money that you don't have due to the other expenses that come with the holiday season. Here are a few tips on how to throw a festive and plentiful Christmas dinner without breaking the bank.
The most important step in creating your budget is accounting for who will be attending this dinner. How many people you have coming to dinner will determine the amount of food you will have to cook, which also determines the amount of money you'll be spending. Be sure to write down everything from napkins, to food, to beverages. Try not to leave anything out. By having a budget in place, you can make sure you only buy what you can afford and avoid overspending.
After making your budget, write a shopping list and account for how much you will be spending to make sure you stay within your budget. When you go to the grocery store it's very easy to just grab things as you go, even if you don't need them. By having a list, you will prevent overspending while shopping. Stick to the things on your list, unless you forgot something important. It really pays to be prepared!
Try to condense your list as much as possible. For example, rather than buying multiple seasonings, look for an “all purpose” seasoning that is multiple spices together and can be used on all parts of the meal. This will save you money on extra ingredients. You can also buy a variety pack for your frozen vegetables, rather than buying multiple separate bags. These are small things that will save you big when it comes to the final total.
A potluck is a great option to save you both time and money. In a potluck, each person, or family, coming to the dinner brings something to the table, so to speak. Maybe one person can bring wine, while another brings green bean casserole. This is a very fair and stress free way to spend the holidays because each person contributes a little, making for a very plentiful dinner.
If you are struggling to find the extra moneys this Christmas, you can look into a second option as well. Taking out a loan can help you kick the financial stress this holiday season. For example, auto title loans can give you quick cash that can significantly take the financial weight off your shoulders. You can use this new-found money for your other Christmas expenses so you can focus on your Christmas shopping, cooking, and decorating.
Happy Holidays and Happy Savings!