The holiday season is packed full of joy and stress for most of us.
This is the time when credit cards start coming out and budgets get thrown to the wayside for many people. But there is no reason you have to be one of them! There are numerous ways to enjoy a healthy and frugal holiday season without sacrificing your sanity, and that's what I want to talk to you about today.
Long days of work and weekends of shopping can truly take a toll. It can be tempting to pull into a drive-through for your next meal. But all of those little trips to the drive-through have a unique way of adding up quickly in your bank account and sadly on our waistline.
Having a crock-pot you use regularly can be a money saver all year long, but it is an especially convenient way to save time and money during the cold fall and winter months. It is easy to throw together a crock-pot dinner in the morning before you head off to work for the day and by the time you get home you will have a guaranteed tasty, fresh and healthy meal waiting for you!
Another way budgets often take hits during the holiday season is entertaining! Hosting parties is or events for close friends and family members is what makes the holiday especially fun and memorable. And when we first started paying off our enormous debt, we actually started forgoing these events, as we couldn't see a way to enjoy the season without breaking the budget. Now that we have waded through those waters, I would urge you to do the opposite to still attend events, but plan according what you will bring to share or have the party at your place and recommend that each person brings a dish to pass!
The holidays are about family and friends, so instead of cancelling your annual holiday party - try changing it. Invite only the friends and family members you are exceptionally close to and turn your party into a covered dish!
Tell your friends or family members what dish you will be providing and don't be afraid to ask them to bring something specific.
Love Aunt Pamela's Squash Casserole? Ask her to bring it! Chances are good that your guests will be flattered to hear you remembered the extra special way they make their homemade Butternut Squash Bisque and they will happily oblige you! You still get the benefit of time with friends and family but for a fraction of the cost.
Another tip for staying on track during the holidays is preparing your own snacks instead of splurging on the over-priced snacks being sold during this season. It can be an easy and fun project to make homemade treats like Hot Cocoa Mix or Homemade Salted-Caramel Covered Popcorn, so delicious.
Take your savings further by making enough of these treats to give as gifts to friends and family members that you regularly shop for during the holidays. It is a lot more affordable and thoughtful than most items you can buy in stores and they are sure to enjoy it!