5 Small Tricks to Save You Money this Holiday Season

5 Small Tricks to Save You Money this Holiday Season

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This year has flown past and the holiday season is already upon us. As December approaches, it is once again time to start spending big. Unfortunately, for many people, the past two years have been tough financially. While we can lament the appropriation of the holiday season for consumerist pursuits, the reality is we don’t have much choice but to take part. This is the time of year you get to spend with family, going on vacations, and giving gifts.

The good news is that you can save money during the holiday season if you are frugal and know a few handy tricks. Not all of these will be easy, and they may require a sacrifice of time. However, they can help you spend what you need on the things that matter most.

Here are 5 small tricks to save you money this holiday season.

1. Start Cooking

self cooking

Food wastage is a huge problem around the world and in the U.S. in particular. We buy more than we need at the grocery store, only to end up using a fraction of it while spending money on takeout. During the holiday season, the amount of food waste in the U.S. goes up by a full 25%.

In 2021, with food prices going through the roof, wasting food is simply not an option. During the holiday season, you can save a ton of money simply by using what you buy. To do so, you will need to start cooking more often.

This is tough. It is so tempting during the holidays to just pick up your phone and order something from Uber Eats. But by doing this, you are spending money on groceries and takeout.

You don’t need to cook every single night. However, try to cook some meals once a week with the produce that will otherwise go to waste, then freeze them. This way, you spend a couple of hours on a Sunday preparing and you don’t have to worry about cooking for the rest of the week.

2. Book Flights Early

If you’re lucky enough to be going away this holiday season, whether within America or outside of the country, a lot of your budget will go on flights. We all know that the closer you get to the date, the more expensive tickets become. The problem is that we generally don’t have our plans perfectly set out and can’t book flights until we know exact dates.

This holiday season, decide on dates early, rather than putting it off. Barring any unexpected circumstances, your dates are not going to change. By making these decisions, you can get the cheapest deals on your flights.

The same is true of accommodation. All accommodation is going to be more expensive during the festive season. But the cheaper options are going to be taken more quickly. If you put off your bookings, you may end up having to choose between one of a number of overpriced hotels.

3. Pay For Gifts Using Bank Transfers

Certain luxury gifts can only be bought from outside of the country. If you are buying gifts from overseas, you are going to be in for some extra fees. You can’t do much about customs fees and delivery fees. They are par for the course when buying from another country. However, you can minimize the fees on your payments.

When paying, most websites will give you an option between using a card or a service like PayPal. These payment options are expensive, with the bank or payment portal charging extra for international payments. This is because the payment goes through a number of accounts before reaching its destination.

Rather than paying through a payment portal, choose the option to pay using a bank transfer. This way, you’ll be avoiding intermediary bank fees. You might also save money on foreign exchange rates. Paying via direct deposit is not always available, but in many cases, it is simply an option shoved to the bottom of the screen.

4. Get Your Own Gifts

Relationships are tricky at all times, but can become especially tense around the holiday season. This often culminates in the stress of buying your partner the best possible gift. You worry that not only will you get them something they don’t want, but also that their gift to you might be far more valuable.

Anyone who has been through a holiday season with a partner knows that you can end up spending a lot of money on a mediocre gift for this reason. One way to get around this is to choose a maximum gift value. However, if you’re not one of those people who love surprises, getting your own gifts is a better option!

I don’t mean that you should go to the store and buy and wrap something for yourself to put under the tree. Simply discuss with your partner what you want and what they want. You will avoid stress, disappointment, and spending for the sake of spending.

5. Only Host Close Friends And Family

Some people are the designated hosts in the family. They’re expected – whether by their own actions or because of family pressure – to have big dinners or parties with everyone. Most of us, however, get to invite who we want. Still, we end up inviting more people than we need to simply to keep up appearances.

This holiday season, only host the people you actually want to host. Invite your close friends for dinner parties, and leave out the acquaintances who won’t give it a second thought. Invite your close family members, but don’t invite the people you don’t have much of a relationship with.

Your ability to do this depends on what your relationships with friends and family are like. But the reality is that most people can cut some names off the guestlist, and save a lot of money in the process.

This is a financially difficult holiday season for many people. Cut costs where you can. Even if you can technically afford to spend more money, give yourself a break!

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