Don't overspend on food this Festive Season. Picture: Itumeleng English/ANA
Don't overspend on food this Festive Season. Picture: Itumeleng English/ANA
Christmas is an expensive time of year for all, b ut the Festive Season doesn’t have to be a money drain. There are ways to save money this holiday. So put down that extra turkey and expensive toy and follow these tips to help you do Christmas the right way this year.

Make a shopping list

Create a shopping list with items that you need, instead of items that you want. This helps to avoid impulse purchases and keep track of your budget.

Establish a budget ahead of time to avoid spending more than you should. 

Secret Santa

As a family you can decide on a budget that you are all comfortable spending and then each draw a name from a hat. 

A great way to ensure that each person will love their present is for everyone to fill out information  what they have enough of, what they would want and what they need. 

This way everyone will get a gift that they will definitely like. 

Shop online

Shopping online is a great way to take advantage of a variety of great deals. Instead of trudging to every mall in your area in search of the perfect gift and at the right price, shop online and let your gifts come to you. 

This will also save you plenty of money on petrol and parking tickets, not to mention less frustration over battling the Christmas mall crowds. 
Online shopping is a great way to save money 
Give gifts of service

They say that everyone has a love language, and more often than not, a gift of service can be extremely significant to someone in need. The ballpark for a gift of service is endless but usually revolves around acts of kindness to others. 

Consider a cashback credit card

Cashback credit cards like bsmart work by giving you a percentage of your purchase back each time you swipe your card at an accredited retailer. This means that your shopping will be instantly cheaper.

You can then save the rest of your budget for something that you really need or want. This could mean supplementing your holiday fund or helping to pay back any debt – the choice is yours.

Don’t overbuy food

We often think that Christmas is the time of year where we fling all our diets out the window and eat as much as we like. 
While this may be true we are often left with more food than we need and give large amounts of it away with departing Christmas guests. 

Be smart with your Christmas lunch choices and cater how you normally would for a dinner with a specified amount of guests. This way, everyone is well-fed, and you are not left with a huge hole in your pocket. 
Don't overspend on food this Festive Season. Picture: Itumeleng English/ANA
Start shopping now

There is no time like the present. Start shopping now so that you can spread out your budget. This way, all purchases are quite manageable and don’t have you gasping for air at the end of the Festive Season.

Give homemade gifts

You can make homemade gifts that you know will be well-received. This type of gift could be the result of a longstanding joke between you and the receiver or simply just a sweet little gift to show that you care. 

Use voucher codes

When in doubt, go the coupon route. Often enough, if we do our homework, we can really make our Christmas budget work for us. Keep an eye out for potential deals and get more bargain for your buck. 

Share the cost of Christmas

If you are playing host this Christmas, why not inform everyone of what they can bring? Nine times out of ten, guests are just waiting for you to let them know what you need help with. Don’t be shy to let some of your excellent cook friends know that you would be grateful for the help. 

Information supplied by bsmart.