How to keep costs down this festive season

Christmas-TreeHousehold budgets are tight this year and a lot of families in Bacchus Marsh are worried about how they are going to afford all of those seasonal extras such as gifts, holidays, food, drinks and decorations.

But you’ll be happy to hear that you can still have a fun and festive Christmas without spending a fortune.

If you’re looking for some ideas on how you can cut back on expenses this year then keep reading…

  1. Pare down your gift list – Gifts can take a huge chunk out of your end-of-year budget, so try to cut down on the number of people you’re buying for if you can. Perhaps you could set up a Secret Santa with your friends or family so you only have to buy one gift? Or buy for ‘children only’ instead of for every member of the family?
  2. Set a budget – Agree on a gift budget in advance and try your best to stick to it. It can help if you write out a gift list before you head to the shops, or you could do your shopping online so you’re not tempted by shop displays.
  3. Do-it-yourself – Get creative and make gifts instead of buying them. Play to your talents – perhaps you could bake a cake or biscuits, or create a personalised calendar online?
  4. Make your own decorations – You can get creative with your decorations too. If you can’t afford a tree then maybe you can use a plant from your garden to represent a Christmas tree, or draw a tree that can be hung on the wall. You could also use photos or other items around the home to decorate your tree with. You’re only limited by your imagination.
  5. Head to discount supermarkets – If you’re hosting Christmas this year then you can save a fortune on groceries by simply switching supermarkets. Consider shopping at places like Aldi or Costco to help save on your food bill.
  6. Don’t overdo the food budget – A lot of people tend to have lots of leftovers after Christmas. You can reduce your food waste by planning your meals ahead and by reusing your leftover food in meals in the days after Christmas.
  7. Cut back on Christmas cards – While it’s nice to send Christmas cards to friends and families, you can get the same sentiment across with an e-card or Facebook message and it will be better for the environment too!
  8. Share the costs – Don’t be shy in asking people for help around Christmas. If you’re hosting any kind of event then ask people if they can bring something over, whether it’s decorations, drinks or a plate of food.
  9. Save on holidays – If you can’t afford holidays this year, then consider asking your friends if they would like to do a home swap for the holidays. Depending on where your friends live, you might be able to arrange a cheap holiday to the Gold Coast, Sydney or Hobart.
  10. Focus on the celebration – While gifts and treats are nice, what really matters at this time of year is spending time with family and loved ones. If you can’t afford all the trimmings, try not to stress too much, because it’s your presence that will count the most.