When it comes to the holidays I feel it is never too early to start planning! As soon as the air gets crisp and the calendar turns to Fall I am in holiday mode! Why, and is it necessary you ask? YES it is because the sooner you start planning the more money you are likely to save! I will be sharing my Fall and holiday planning and preparations throughout the season. But today I wanted to get everyone in the mindset to save money on this years holidays!
There are 4 main categories when it comes to spending during the holiday season:
Lets start with food:
According to American Farm Bureau Federation in 2012 the average 10-serving Thanksgiving dinner will cost $49.48, I think this average is a little low but lets use it.
Christmas baking items like, cookies, bakest gifts, and other yummy treats not related to Christmas dinner can cost around $100.
Christmas Dinner, according to the 2012 price index, will cost around $67.31
Throw in Halloween trick or treat candy and you are at a grand total of $23000 on use food alone!
Ways to Save on Food for All Holidays-
- Coupons and shopping sales- Shopping sales, using coupons, and combining both throughout the year to stockup on items like sugar, flour, oils, ect. will help balance the extra cost of holiday food (REALLY it works! I am proof!)
- Free Turkey Promo's- Many grocery stores will offer a promotion if you spend X amount of money you get a free turkey, ham, or frozen Lasagna. USE THIS deal. Ask another family member to use your card in store for the weeks the promo is running if they are not going to utilize the deal as well!
- Shop discount grocery stores- Aldi's, BB's, Save-a-lot
- Ask for side dishes or dessert- When hosting dinner, make the main course, supply the beverage and bread. Then ask attendees to bring a side dish or dessert! This will save you not only money but time! It is not offensive to ask and if you feel bad remember Flattery works! (i.e. Grams your Mac and Cheese is the best, mine always turn's out dry. Would you mind making to share with everyone for Thanksgiving?)
- Trade off hosting- If you are always the host try being the guest for a change!
- Halloween Candy- Don't think the kids have to have candy! Last year I gave out small bags of pretzels. My son has brought home toothbrushes, toothpaste, coloring books, and juice boxes! Be CREATIVE! Use rewards points like ecb's and coupons. This a treat for the kids not an event to break the bank!
Check back tomorrow for Part 2- Decorations!