Friday, November 30, 2012

How To Save This Christmas Season

And so it's almost the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas is just around the corner and just like many mothers out there, I am also experiencing a challenging time budget-wise. There are simply a lot of expenses during this particular holiday season and since I don’t get any 13th month bonus as a freelancer, I have to think of ways on how to save for this Christmas season.

Aside from setting a budget for the Noche Buena, I also have to set aside budget for the Christmas decorations and for the gifts that I plan to give out to my godchildren. With all these things to consider, I am planning on moving away already! Kidding aside, there are ways for you to save money despite the holiday financial rush and here are some of the things that I have applied on myself so far.

1.)    Avoid the holiday rush by shopping for non-perishable holiday must-haves early on. The worst thing about the Christmas holidays is that even if shopping malls display a lot of bargain sales, most holiday must-haves are sold at a higher price than regular days. For this reason, I usually do my holiday shopping during November. I buy non-perishable items such as Christmas gifts early on because I have more time to inspect the goods and do comparison shopping. The problem with shopping during the holiday rush is that you’d gladly grab whatever it is you see just to avoid the large volume of people in the shopping mall thus you don’t have enough time to scrutinize each item that you have.
2.)    Reuse old holiday decorations. Some people love to shop for new Christmas decoration each year.  Aside from wasting a lot of money, you also contribute to the post-holiday ecological wastes. In our case, we have a habit of saving old Christmas decorations and sprucing them up to make them trendy for the following years. I’ll post some pictures of our DIY holiday decors in one of the posts if I have time (I hope).
3.)    Give homemade gifts. The essence  of gift-giving is not about the quantity and price tag of the gift but its thought. Personally, I value gifts that are lovingly made by the hands of the giver and so this year, we plan on giving out Christmas pastries (cookies, biscotti and biscuits) to dear families who have touched our lives during the past years. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love cookies so giving them as gifts couldn’t go wrong.
4.)    Don’t overstuff your Christmas table with too much food. You will be surprised that food costs during the holiday seasons can be very expensive and if you want to save on food costs, then you should not overstuff your Christmas table with too much food. If there will be only four people in your family and you are not expecting a lot of guests, then there is no point in buying a 40-kilogram lechon (roast pig). If you still want to eat lechon, then you can just buy them per kilogram  instead of buying them whole. Presentation-wise, buying lechon per kilogram will not make your table look abundant but would you rather pretend you are one despite knowing that you just spent most of your holiday bonus for a lechon that will probably go stale within a few days? The thing is that stuffing your food with too much Christmas food often leaves a lot of wastes.  Also, remember that there are lots of people who will probably spend their Christmas without too much their table.

These are some of the tips that you can follow if you want to save money on Christmas. Remember that the essence of Christmas is all about the birth of Jesus Christ so you don’t really need to be lavish during the holidays.

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