3 ways to save money during the holidays
It’s almost time for the holidays, and this time of year can sneak up almost unnoticed. With parties to attend and plan, travel arrangements to make and gifts to buy, the holiday season can be extremely stressful - not even considering the money factor! Fortunately, there are ways you can keep your financials in shape during the holidays.
1. Use a warehouse club
Shopping at a warehouse club is a great way to save money on things you find yourself buying often, or for buying items in bulk. If you plan on baking or cooking throughout the holidays, many of the supplies (flour, sugar, cooking oil, potatoes and spices) will keep throughout the holiday season if stored properly.
If you're going to give out candy at Halloween, buy it from a warehouse club. Many of these stores offer large variety packs, and picking up a few of these should keep you from running out of candy , and any leftovers after Halloween can be stored for snacking as the season continues.
2. Prepare your food efficiently
Depending on how you plan to celebrate the holidays, you may be able to save money with how you prepare food. If you plan on having a get together with friends or family, consider making it a potluck. If the party's host wants to prepare the main dish and the other guests bring sides, you will save not only money but also time spent in the kitchen.
Another great way to save money is by not preparing any excess food. The Penny Hoarder suggests not preparing foods that are part of a “traditional” thanksgiving dinner if no one in the family wants to eat them . Having leftovers is great, but not if they sit in the fridge untouched.
3. Think outside the box for gifts
Gifts don't have to cost an arm and a leg. Show your loved ones you care with thoughtful presents. According to Bankrate, a great way to save money over the holidays is to gift your talents . Handy with a saw? You can make a birdhouse, a table, or something else that the receiver is sure to cherish. Or, if you're a painter or a photographer, put one of your creations into a nice frame and wrap it up. Not only can will this keep spending down, it is a great way to create a memory or build something for your loved one.
Changing the specific day you celebrate the holiday is another possibility. Waiting until closer to New Years to celebrate means you can not only take advantage of post-Christmas sales, but you can also avoid much of the holiday rush.
The holidays can be extremely stressful, even without the extra financial burden. Knowing how to cut costs can make your holiday season much more enjoyable.
 7 ways to save money at Halloween, US News
 10 Frugal tricks for thanksgiving, The Penny Hoarder
 7 uncommon ways to save for the holidays, Bankrate
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