It may seem like the holidays are far away but now is the time to prepare. Today, I am going to discuss 7 simple ways to put more cheer in your holidays. Let's fill your holidays with cheer, not money fears.
Has this happened to you? It is a week or so before you family's holiday shindig and it suddenly hits you. The holiday food needed to cover your event would totally bust your budget. Ho, Ho, Ho....No! USA Today's research shows 77% of people who set a holiday party budget break it. Let me help you avoid becoming part of that statistic.
Before you run out to the store to purchase the ingredients needed for your feast, check your current inventory. You most likely have all the basics you need (flour, sugar, baking soda, spices, olive oil, etc.). Checking your pantry first, when planning a holiday food budget, is not only one way to avoid duplicates but can save you tons of money too.
Setting a date, guest list and menu ahead of time will help you control costs and set a realistic budget in advance. Schedule RSVPs due two weeks before and spend the remaining two weeks chasing down anyone who may not have replied. At least you'll have a solid guest list before hand that will allow you to develop a reasonable holiday food budget without being blindsided with unexpected costs.
By being ahead of the game, you can make sure you get first dibs on all the best deals and avoid that last minute, unplanned shopping. When planning for your holiday party during the busy season, you also run the risk of items being out of stock.
You've already made a plan of everything you need, so don't be tempted by the candy, decorations or other treats staring you down in the aisle.
Keep costs low by asking your guests to bring their own alcoholic beverages. Alternatively, create one signature holiday drink you can make in bulk to reduce holiday food budget costs. My wife makes a special Christmas sangria every year that is not only a hit but helps keep overall costs down.
Send your guests home with the leftovers you don't want, but keep some for yourself to sustain your regular food budget–especially the meat. Meat can carry over into several different types of quick fix dinners or bagged lunches in the days following. This is a great method for stretching your dollar during the holidays!
Over experiences or things, value the memories made! Don't forget to ensure the environment you create, including the food, is one that fosters quality memories.
When your guests look back on the event, they won't remember the color and style of the napkins. They will, however, remember Uncle Jack getting super dizzy during that game, causing him to almost crash into the Christmas tree! Enjoy your holidays fully by sticking to a holiday food budget, utilizing those yummy leftovers and creatively developing a memorable atmosphere, which will inevitably help you find more money to fund your dreams.
Question: Are you beginning to develop your party menu and holiday food budget? Got some great ideas or tips to share with others? Come join my FREE Facebook community, the “Strong Together Money Community.” to share your ideas. Need help? Check out my video, "6 Tips for a Killer Grocery Strategy" for recipe ideas that not only benefit your family but give you some great cost-saving ideas for feeding yummy food to your guests without breaking the budget. You can also reach out to me today for more insight.
P.S. Even more free stuff! Check out my free e-book to help you save in five additional spending areas!