Winter can be a challenging time of year, particularly when it comes to finances. Not only do you have to worry about buying gifts and arranging festive celebrations, you also have to contend with bad weather, increased heating costs, and the difficulty of stocking up on food during a season when everyone in the world seems to be buying in enough supplies to stock a nuclear bunker for 40 years.
The following money saving tips will help you to trim down your seasonal spending to more manageable levels:
- Stock your freezer: Buy some meat and seasonal vegetables now, and freeze it for use during the holiday season. This should reduce the number of shopping trips that you’ll need to take, and should help you to keep costs down.
- Invest in draft excluders: You can buy draft excluders from most DIY stores. They don’t cost a lot of money, and they take just a few minutes to fit. You’ll save a fortune in heating costs.
- Turn the thermostat down: Even a reduction in temperature of just one degree can mean big savings over a quarterly billing period.
- Play outside: Introduce your children to the joy of outdoor toys and games. Not only will you save a lot of money compared to the cost of taking them bowling or to the cinema, playing with outdoor toys and games will help your kids burn off some excess energy. Everyone wins!
- Shop carefully: Buy your Christmas decorations from budget retailers, and shop around for little things like wrapping paper and cards. If you don’t have money to burn, there’s no sense in paying a fortune for branded wrapping paper when the stuff from the market is half the price – after all, the paper will just end up in the bin.
- Try your hand at baking: Christmas treats are often expensive, especially when you consider what you actually get for your money. Instead of buying supermarket cakes, biscuits, and entrees, make your own. You’ll have fun, get to make something that suits your taste buds, and save money too.
- Have a snowball fight: If you feel like you need to get some exercise to burn off all the winter comfort food you’ve been eating, try having a snowball fight instead of going to the gym. It’s cheaper, more convenient, and an awful lot more fun too!
- Decorate with love: Instead of stressing over whether the family cat will damage your expensive decorations, pick out some cheap and cheerful items from budget retailers and hand-make the rest of your festive decorations.
- Switch energy supplier: If you haven’t changed supplier for a few years, you could be paying well over the odds for your gas and electricity. Do a price comparison online. You might be surprised at how much you can save.
- Use cashback sites: If you’ll be buying a lot of stuff online this holiday season, sign up for a cashback site, and buy through them. The amount of cashback offered isn’t a lot, for most purchases, but if you remember to use the same site for each thing you buy, it can mount up quite quickly.