Thanksgiving is over, which means the Christmas celebrations — as well as a number of other winter holidays — are just around the corner.
This might have you feeling a bit nervous about your finances, especially if you are in charge of hosting one or more celebration. After all, nobody wants to finish off the holiday season in debt.
Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to make the holidays more affordable for yourself, yet still have a wonderful time with family and friends. Here are a few of our favorite ideas.
Host a Potluck
If you are usually in charge of hosting a big dinner, you might consider making it a potluck this year. Sure, you'll still have to provide the entrée, but considering all the money you'll save on side dishes, this is definitely an excellent solution to cutting down your holiday budget without cutting down on the fun.
Serve Non-Traditional Food
Turkey, dressing, and all the fixings can come with a pretty hefty price tag. This is especially true when you add in the multitude of sides and a pumpkin pie for dessert.
Instead of spending a fortune on traditional fare this year, you might consider serving up something out of the ordinary that is a bit easier on the pocketbook. Some examples of this include spaghetti, chili, and tacos. This will not only save money, it will also give those who visit multiple homes during the holiday something different to eat.
Many holiday foods tend to be deeply discounted as the day gets closer. In order to take full advantage of these sales, be sure to pick up the weekly ads from all of the grocery stores in your area and keep track of who has the best prices. Choose one day about a week from your meal and store-hop in order to get the best prices on all the essentials.
If you are going to spend a small fortune on a holiday feast, why not use every bit of it? There are tons of things you can do with leftovers. Whether you prefer pot pies or ham-and-potato casseroles, you are sure to find a few dishes to create from what is left after your celebration.
While this won't save you anything on the initial dinner, it will certainly help stretch your grocery budget later.
Celebrate a Few Days Later
Most stores are pretty eager to clear out those turkeys and hams after the holidays have ended. Take advantage of this fact by celebrating with your family a few days after the actual holiday. In doing this you will be able to purchase those traditional foods at lower prices, and you may even help out those family members with multiple places to visit by postponing the event.
Have a Dessert Party
If most people in your family go to multiple houses to celebrate a holiday, they are probably not going to be very eager to eat when they reach their final celebration of the day. Take advantage of this by scheduling your party later in the evening and calling it a dessert party. Have everyone bring their favorite dessert to share, along with recipe cards to hand out to those who love their creation. This is a great way to get together and have a good time without spending a fortune.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways you can save on this year's holiday celebrations. Be sure to put one or two of these into practice and we are certain you will be thrilled with your lack of additional debt when 2017 rolls around.