|Written by Priscilla Benfield|
The holidays are a time when we all tend to overindulge and overspend. You can still have a really nice holiday meal but do it on a budget.
When people see the word â€śbudgetâ€ť they think that they will be missing out on something but that really isnâ€™t true. The truth is that many holiday meals are done in excess and if you remember what last year was like you can see where you can cut back.
Leftovers are convenient but how many leftovers do you really use? You can spend less money if you cut back on the quantity of food that you make for a holiday meal.
Another way to spend less money on your holiday meal is to get organized and write a detailed list of exactly what you need. When you go into the supermarket without a list and just an idea of what you need you will spend more money. Take inventory of what you have at home and decide what you would like to serve. Clip coupons and compare them to what your store has on sale. You can start shopping for holiday meals weeks in advance. Buy non-perishable items as they go on sale and store them until needed.
If you bake cookies during the holidays, start stocking up on baking supplies now. Perishable items like butter can be frozen for use later on.
Speaking of baking, everyone loves homemade Christmas cookies but to save time and money why not cut back your cookie giving? You can host a cookie swap and that way you can have a nice variety of cookies. Think about how many dozens of cookies you normally make for your own family and see if perhaps you make too much.
If you decide to cut back, not only will you save money but you will have more time to actually enjoy the holiday season instead of spending it in your kitchen.
The same idea goes for your holiday meal. Many people have traditions that they follow every year. Often we do it out of routine and maybe we donâ€™t even like a lot of the foods we make. Instead of going with tradition, why not choose dishes that your guests really enjoy? You might find that it will free up time spent cooking by having your guests each bring a dish and doing a holiday buffet instead.
Take advantage of supermarkets promotions that will let you earn a free or reduced price ham or turkey. Plan your holiday meal well in advance and keep a list of items you will need. Watch store specials, clip coupons and donâ€™t be afraid to ask your guests to bring something for your holiday meal.
Not only will you save money on your holiday meal but you will lessen the stress of having to do it all this holiday season.