Everyone anticipates the holidays for gifts, family, and good food. If you have never had to host the holiday dinner, consider yourself lucky. Shopping, prepping, and cooking can not only be time consuming, but also costly. However, there are a few things you can do to cut down on cost.
Once you can figure out what all is needed, try to shop early. Spend about $20 weekly and just keep the items stocked until it is time to cook. Every Wednesday my local grocery store offers coupon doubling up to $1. So for Christmas I started shopping at my local grocery store every Wednesday. I managed to get some Christmas gifting out the way doing this as well. If you have a freezer then you have an added bonus of also putting away frozen food and meats.
If you plan to host dinner at your house, do not be afraid to ask people to bring dishes. During the holidays we all tend to be a little over considerate. People ask us if they need to bring anything and we always say no. But why? We really do need the help, right? Maybe it’s the Christmas Spirit of giving, or maybe they can’t cook well. Bottom line, if anyone is willing to pitch in and help, then gladly accept. Those who can’t bring a dish will normally offer to help cook and set up. Trust me you will need help to set up, clean up, and wash dishes so gladly accept that sort of help as well.
Shop at Dollar Stores
We all shop at the dollar store the entire year, but avoid it like the plague for the holidays. Trust me the lines are much shorter at the cheapy- weapy stores than at the big name stores. This is a no brainer for me. For holiday towels, oven mitts, and pot holders I only shop at the dollar store. I normally pay less than $5 for the entire holiday kitchen set. I simply hang the kitchen items on the outside of the oven bar and voila. This year, I was able to find holiday kitchen items at Wal-Mart for about .97.
Try putting a few items together on your own to make a nice centerpiece for dinner, instead of ordering it. For example a plastic bowl, and a bag of pinecones with red flowers inside. That is a $3-$4 centerpiece; you have just saved about $20. As always wrapping paper, gift bags, tape, and scissors are cheapest at the dollar stores as well.
When shopping around the holidays we all get a bit out of hand when it comes to spending. We see a sale and shop til we drop. We pull out the plastic and swipe like there is no tomorrow. But there is and it won’t be pretty when the bills start to roll in. It doesn’t have to be that way if you use all of your resources. If it’s early and you see a good deal on something you will be cooking and you have the room and funds for it, go ahead and buy it. Ask for help with food, prepping, and decorations. If people are willing to help, let them. Finally, shop at the cheaper stores for the best prices and even better deals. Merry Christmas!
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