Journal

Budgeting For Christmas

Christmas is one of the most expensive times of the year, when we feel obliged to buy pricey gifts, expensive cheese for the Christmas lunch and enough alcohol to satisfy the thirst of a small village. While we often want to go all out on Christmas and spoil ourselves and our loved ones there are many ways to reduce your spending and still have a great time.

#1 Do Secret Santa:

This year the Newman family (largely motivated by their shared want to stop hearing the words “I’m so poor” come out of everyone’s mouth) have decided to do a Secret Santa. If you don’t know what Secret Santa is you had a very privileged childhood, but the basic rundown is: you give and receive one gift. You all draw a name out of a hat and become their Secret Santa. Initially it may be hard to come to terms with the concept of quality over quantity, however on the flip side you get one good gift instead of 5 mediocre ones. This stops the time old tradition of going out with a set amount of money and number of gifts for each person and coming back with an empty wallet and too many presents to wrap in time. Everybody has a set amount of money to spend and are only allowed to gift one gift. Whilst everyone loves Christmas shopping won’t it be nice to only do one lap of the shopping centre instead of 12.

#2 BYO:

Even if you are catering the event for Christmas you should not bear all the costs. Get everyone to bring their own part of the meal, someone on salads, someone on desserts, someone brings the oysters (the most important part of Christmas). Don’t go for one big Bottle’ O run because you will always come back with too much. Get everyone to bring their own alcohol for the day/night, this will also limit the number of drunk relatives falling over or discussing their political views (we don’t want to hear why you voted “no” Aunty Susan). Another good thing about BYO is that you don’t buy things you won’t eat, as it requires careful planning, rather than going crazy in Woolworths and returning home with a turkey, a ham, a chicken and a duck.

#3 Buy more and use up the leftovers:

Who couldn’t eat baked ham and potato salad sandwiches for literally weeks after Christmas? Often buying larger quantities of items works out to be cheaper in the long run.
If you like to serve a cheese board at Christmas, then keep an eye on the price of cheese per kilo.

If you think you will need more cheese over the course of the Christmas Holidays, then why not buy a bigger block for better value. If you want to have prawns on Christmas and boxing day, then buy them in bulk from a seafood trawler. Go big or go home.

You should always treat yourself to great food and even better company on Christmas day, but being conscious of steps you can take to reduce costs will feel good when you’re running low on funds for New Year’s festivities, trust me.

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