Curbing the costs of Christmas

Christmas 2007By the time you add up the food, the trimmings, holiday clothing and the gifts, Christmas can be enough to put you into debt. Fortunately there are things you can do to limit costs and still enjoy the holidays.
Buy food in bulk

Buy food in bulk if at all possible. There are stores that only sell bulk items which may save you on items you’ll use a lot of over the holidays. Buy food on sale as much as possible and don’t wait until the last minute to buy the basics. That way you’ll be able to compare prices and get coupons for things you’ll need. This means planning menus in advance and having a list of things you’ll need.

Reuse trimmings

Reuse trimmings from previous years. No one will notice or care if your tree trimmings or other decorations are the same as last years. Buy one new item to spruce up what you’ve already got.

Holiday clothes

Holiday clothing doesn’t have to be purchased each and every year and everyone has holiday clothing from previous years. Again, buy one new thing to spruce up what you’ve already got or buy a piece of jewelry to add to your previous years’ holiday clothing.

Understanding the gift buying process

Buying gifts is arguably the most expensive part of holiday buying. To make things easy on yourself, start buying in October so that you don’t have to purchase everything at the last minute. Get a craft book and make use of a craft store to make certain gifts. You can make candles, stationery, embroidered items, and Christmas cards to send to your Christmas card list recipients. Christmas cards can be made with a stamping/embossing kit and some creative paper. In the end, they look professional and they have your special touch.

Small personal gifts

Think about small personal gifts, like lotion or bars of soap from the Body Shop. Another small but nice gift would be to make little potpourri bowls with containers you pick out from a second hand store. Craft stores have potpourri and the oils that go with it for you to put together and wrap up for an aunt or cousin.

Baking gifts is a good idea. Get some people together and have a baking festival. Split up the results of your baking efforts and make trays to wrap and give away to guests or family members.

Alernative gifts for grown ups

Even grown ups can enjoy toys. Jigsaw puzzles go a long way to entertain people of all ages. Certain hand-held video games are inexpensive and are designed for adults to play poker or other games. Many of these hand-held games cost less than £10-15 and are fun for adults and children.

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