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‘Tis the Season to Save: Budget-Friendly Festive Ideas

Tis the Season to Save Budget Friendly Festive Ideas

The festive season is upon us and while it’s undoubtedly a time of great joy and celebration, it can also bring financial stress. At this time of year, the importance of mindful spending and smart budgeting is apparent, as households struggle with a rising cost of living and the added expense of Christmas. Navigate the festive season with these budget-friendly alternatives to traditional favourites that won’t leave you feeling like you’re missing out.

1. Trim the Tree Without Trimming Your Wallet

If a traditional Christmas tree just isn’t in the budget, you can still create a festive vibe that will make your celebrations merry and bright:

  • Trim a rosemary shrub into shape for a simple Christmas tree that can be used as a culinary plant for the rest of the year.
  • Decorate a house plant you already have with a string of fairy lights and a few small glass baubles.
  • Get creative with cardboard! Cut out a tree shape, paint it green, and decorate it with lights and ornaments.
  • Use pieces of wood from a pallet to construct a minimalist tree and go for a natural look with wood stain or let the kids go wild with craft paints.
  • Using twine or rope and driftwood branches, create the outline of a funky Christmas tree to hang on the wall.
  • Drill holes through the middle of driftwood pieces and stack them on a wooden dowel of metal rod inserted into a log for an eco-friendly tree.
  • Hot glue a stack of pinecones to resemble the shape of a tree, add cinnamon sticks and nuts for a natural look.

2. Decorations and Lighting That Won’t Break the Bank

A magical celebration doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag. All you need is a little creativity and some good old Kiwi ingenuity to put together these decorations:

  • Create your own ornaments using paper, dough, or old holiday cards for a personal touch that is cost-effective.
  • Collect pinecones, twigs, and leaves for rustic, nature-inspired decorations. Spray paint them in festive colours for a personalised touch.
  • Check your thrift stores for second-hand decorations for an affordable alternative to buying brand new.
  • Invest in energy-efficient LED string lights and pop them into mason jars and glass vases with some colourful baubles to create cheerful light features.
  • Recycle last year’s ribbons and bows to decorate packages and gifts.
  • Get creative with table settings using inexpensive cloth napkins, placemats, and table runners.
  • Place candles in various sizes around your home for a warm, cosy vibe.

3. Savour the Flavour of Savings

When it comes to mealtimes, expectations run high and so too do the grocery bills! Try these meal planning tips for festive food that’s still fit for a celebration:

  • Take stock of what you already have before rushing out to the store to buy everything brand new and all at once.
  • Make a list and check it twice! Planning your meals ahead of time will help you stick to a budget.
  • Use online shopping to keep track of your spending and avoid buying things you don’t need.
  • Organise a potluck party where each guest brings a dish. Not only does it ease your workload but also ensures the menu is varied and interesting.
  • Keep an eye out for holiday sales, use coupons or points, and consider buying in bulk for non-perishable items.
  • Share the love with homemade treats like cookies, jams, or infused oils, that double as thoughtful and affordable gifts.

4. Crafting Memories, Not Debt

The “silly season” often means more social gatherings which can eat away at your budget. Try celebrating the season with family and friends by:

  • Hosting a movie night at home with holiday classics and homemade popcorn for a cost-effective way to create lasting memories.
  • Playing board games, charades, or card games and get the family together for some friendly competition.
  • Starting a new family tradition with a memory jar where everyone writes down their favourite moments from the year and reads them out loud on Christmas Day.
  • Taking a walk or a drive through your neighbourhood to see the Christmas lights.
  • Volunteering to serve together as a family, at your local homeless shelter, nursing home or animal rescue.
  • Baking some of your favourite holiday treats then sharing the goodies to spread holiday cheer.

As you plan your budget-friendly festive celebrations, remember that the true spirit of the season lies in spending time with loved ones.

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