Are you feeling the crunch yet from the last few weeks of holiday frenzy? Is your wallet feeling pinched? Well here’s some ways to help your budget for the holidays. Plus, don’t forget to check our great deals in the Yak Mall, you can get discounts there too!
1. Make your own ornaments.
It’s easy. Take 4 cups of flour, 1 cup of salt and 1.5 cups of hot water, mix it together into a clay. Roll that clay out and you can either cut holiday shapes with cookie cutters or make your own holiday shapes. Remember to poke a small hole at the top! Bake at 300 degrees for at least 30 minutes and you can then either use poster or acrylic paints to decorate. Voila! Instant ornaments. They can be stored in an airtight container for next year too!!!!
2. Holiday Travel Budget Tips
If possible, do the obvious, stay home. If that’s not an option, then use sites like Travelocity or Expedia to book your airline tickets through. You can even set alerts for the dates you want to travel, for the best bargains, and trust us, when you get those alerts….BOOK IT. If you are driving, carpool to save gas money.
3. One Gift, Not Twenty.
If you have a long list of people who typically exchange gifts, instead of everyone buying for everyone do what myself, my siblings and their spouses do. Put everyone’s name in a hat, and draw. The name you get is the one person you buy for. Obviously rule out spouses buying for each other. Set a spending limit. Go to the Yak Mall for discounts too!
4. Share the Cost Of The Meal.
If you have a lot of family coming over for a holiday meal, make it into a potluck and ask everyone to bring a dish. My family’s done this for years at various family gatherings and it really works. Coordinate what everyone is bringing and then whoever is the host provides the main dish; i.e. turkey, ham, etc. Another tip for turkey cookers is to invest in a cooking bag because the turkey comes out much juicier, you don’t have to baste or buy a turkey injected with broth. Go to the Yak Mall to find our major retailers that sell food too, you can get great deals on it there!
5. Bargain Shop.
Yes, it sucks to get up at the crack of dawn the day after Thanksgiving BUT if you get the right deals you can save a ton of money. If you shop at the larger retail stores, check their website before you shop in the store because many times the online shopping for the same store features deals not available in stores. Our very own Mystycl is an avid online shopper (as well as gourmet brownie chef!). If you feel like you’d miss the holiday experience if you didn’t go to the mall, then go! Window shop, scope out what you want, then go home and buy it online for a much better deal. Plus, you can Google things such as the name of your favorite retailer along with the word coupon or promotional code to get unadvertised deals. Or, you could go to the Yak Mall to find great deals!!
6. Look for Free Holiday Activities to Do.
Check your local paper, or go to local merchant to check for flyers or even contact the local chamber of commerce for free holiday activities to do with your family. Plan ahead to go to a local tree lighting ceremony, or even local church/school holiday programs. You could even create a caroling group with family and friends to go around and spread the holiday spirit!
7. Shop Around For a Bargain Tree.
No, this doesn’t mean Clark Griswold it and freeze your family half to death while you find the perfect tree….and then forget the saw. You can bargain with local tree sellers, they don’t want to be stuck with 877089707 trees at the end of the season so if you offer a reasonable bargain, they’ll take it. This really works the week or two before Christmas as well if you don’t mind waiting that long to get your tree up. Now, you can visit a local tree farm to find your own tree too (my grandfather used to grow them on his farm and we’d go to pick one out every year). And for next year? Wait until after Christmas, you will see GREAT sales on artificial trees. Buy an artificial tree at the Yak Mall major retailer after Christmas and avoid the store crowds. That will not only save you time, but potential money when it comes to trauma counseling after the fact.
8. Plan Ahead For Next Year.
Along with the artificial tree idea, go out to stores the days and weeks after Christmas and you will find a SLEW of wrapping paper, decorations, etc. for greatly reduced prices. My mom and I do this every year and by the week after Christmas, we have all the paper, tinsel, etc. we’ll need for the next year and we’ll have spent probably a tenth of what we would have at full price. Don’t forget to check the Yak Mall major retailers after Christmas for great deals!
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