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Eight Simple Ways to Spend Less This Christmas

Eight Simple Ways to Spend Less This Christmas

Christmas, for all its wonders, can be a pretty expensive time of year. And with the economy continuing to act unpredictably, it’s also a time that many people can’t really afford right now.

The good news is that it is possible to enjoy Christmas without raiding your savings.

With a little bit of savvy shopping and a whole lot of discipline, it is possible to cut the cost of your Christmas shopping considerably. Here are eight ways to spend less this Christmas.

Price Comparison

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First off, don’t purchase a single thing until you have shopped around extensively. Price comparison websites can save you a hell of a lot of money provided you’re willing to take the time to use them. Regardless of whether you plan on shopping online or off, it pays to know your options.

Coupons

If you’re a fan of the frugal lifestyle, you’re probably already familiar with the benefits of coupons. But if not, it’s well worth taking up the hobby even if just for Christmas. To find out if there are any coupons available for a particular gift or shop, just take a few seconds to search online.

Social Media

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Another simple way to get discounted gifts is to follow your favorite retailers on Twitter and Facebook. Many retailers publish exclusive discounts on their Twitter feeds and Facebook pages. Signing up only takes a few seconds but it could save you some serious cash.

Ask for Discounts

When purchasing expensive gifts, don’t be afraid to ask for a discount. When shopping on the high street, simply ask the sales assistant. And when shopping online, look for a live chat feature. You might be surprised by how many retailers will happily give you a ten percent discount just to make a sale.

Discount Gift Cards

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Another simple way to spend less on gifts is to use discounted gift cards. It’s possible to purchase gift cards online for as much as thirty percent off their retail value. Find such a gift card for a store that you’re interested in purchasing from and you could wind up purchasing a hundred dollars’ worth of gifts for seventy bucks. To find out more, visit giftcardrescue.com.

Don’t Make Impulse Purchases

One of the easiest ways to overspend at Christmas time is to go shopping without a plan. Don’t wander around the high street picking out random gifts. Not only is doing so a needlessly expensive way to shop, it’s also likely to lead to sub-par gifts. Take the time to plan your purchases. It might help to make a list to help you plan ahead.

Agree on a Tight Budget

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Most people are a little short on money right now. Because of this, your friends and family are likely to be interested in ways to spend less on gifts too. Make agreements with people to keep all gifts below a certain price. Or consider adopting the secret Santa strategy where everyone in a group only purchases a single present for a single person.

Shop Exclusively for Others

Finally, spend enough time shopping for others and it’s very difficult not to spot something that you’d like to purchase for yourself. Unfortunately, if you’re on a tight budget, such a purchase probably isn’t very wise. Decide early on that you’re not going to purchase any presents for yourself. It’s also worth noting that anything you spot is likely to be cheaper come January anyway.

Caroline Sutton, the writer of this article is a loving mother of two. She is an avid blogger and has a blogging site named Best deals by Caroline, where she loves blogging about shopping, interiors, and food.

Featured photo credit:  a shopping cart full of christmas stuff via Shutterstock

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Last Updated on August 20, 2018

30 Fun Things To Do With Your Friends Without Spending Much

30 Fun Things To Do With Your Friends Without Spending Much

Spending time with friends is, in and of itself, a great way to pass the time without spending a lot of money. But if you and your friends are used to going out to clubs, pubs or eateries together as your way of hanging out, then you can change it up a bit and save some money too.

No matter where you live, there are plenty of places to go and do fun things that don’t cost a lot.

If you are having trouble convincing your friends to do things on the cheap, then be upfront with them. Tell them straight out that you can’t spend that kind of money right now — and don’t let them pay for you either. But here are some great alternatives you can offer.

30 Fun Things To Do With Friends Without Spending Much

1. A potluck dinner party. Host a dinner party and ask everyone to bring a dish to share. If you are not comfortable with cooking, maybe try and learn how to cook a new dish together with your friends.

2. Host a spa day. Give each other manicures. Try out new hairstyles. Make some facial masks or exfoliates using natural, at-home ingredients. Then drink mimosas.

3. Movie marathon. Log into Netflix and watch every episode of “Stranger Things” Or do an ’80s movie marathon, watching “Pretty in Pink,” “The Breakfast Club” and all of our old favorites. Don’t have a Netflix membership? Get the free trial just for the marathon!

4. Pinterest party! You know all of those cool Pinterest crafts you say you’re going to do? Do them. At home one night with friends. Then make up some of those bacon-wrapped whatevers you’ve been dying to try!

5. Go to the park. Pack a picnic. Hang out. Watch people. Play on the swings.

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    6. Have an organization party. Set up a day of each weekend where you go to each of your friends’ houses and help them clean out a closet, a room, a garage, whatever. Serve drinks and food and trade stuff among yourselves.

    7. Hold a yard sale. After all of that cleaning, why not hang out together and make some extra cash too?

    8. Concerts in the park. All summer long, many parks host free concerts. Go with your friends. Hang out, bring a picnic dinner. This is a very relaxing way to chill out on a hot summer night after work.

    9. Volunteer together. Offer to do the yard work for the local senior center or hang out with the kids at the YMCA. After a few hours of volunteering together, you will have new respect for each other and something new to chat about.

    10. Play board games. Drag out the Scrabble or the Yahtzee. You can hang out and play all sorts of games with large groups or small ones. Hold a tournament and compete against each other. Here’re some board games ideas.

    11. Video game tournament. Not into board games? OK. Well, how about a video game tournament? Whether it’s the latest dancing game or “Call of Duty,” play against each other and award prizes (or food) to the winners.

    12. Grab a ball and a bat and go play baseball at the local park. Grab a basketball or a tennis racket. Most parks have courts and fields you can use for free as long as there isn’t an organized event going on.

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    13. Go to the school play. This might cost a little for admission, but it’s a great way to support your community and have a fun time.

    14. Iron Chef night. Bring your friends over and have an Iron Chef night where you cook dinner out of only the items in your pantry. No buying anything!

    15. Go dumpster diving. Yup. I said it. Check out the dumpsters in your area and see what you can find. You might even find dinner! Here are some tips for respectful diving.

      16. Go to yard sales. Take all that money you made at your yard sale and cruise around your town together looking for cool stuff. Maybe you could even fix something up and resell it.

      17. Go fishing.

      18. Go camping.

      19. Find some cool trails around your town and go hiking. Here’re some of the best hiking trails you should try.

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      20. Get out the bikes and bike everywhere for a weekend.

        21. Dig out the old croquet set — or borrow your Mom’s — and play croquet. Do it! Totally fun.

        22. Swap movies and music. Have everyone bring over a box of old movies and CDs they don’t want anymore — or don’t watch anymore. Then swap with abandon.

        23. Go on a walking tour of your town. Most towns or cities have a historic district. Find out if there is a walking tour available. If not, make one up!

        24. Scavenger hunt. Put your friends to the test — yes, this is for grown-ups — to find different things in your city…like a certain bike rack, a vintage sign, that sort of thing. The winner gets a dinner cooked by the losers.

        25. Find out when the free days are at your local museum or zoo. Most have them and they can be great fun to visit with friends.

        26. Hold a quilting bee. No, you don’t have to be fancy — or old — for this. Grab some old T-shirts that you love, old jeans, whatever. Cut them into squares and sew them together. Who knows? Maybe it will become a regular thing?

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        27. Go to Open Mic night. Your town is likely harboring some great talent at an open mic night that has no cover and cheap drinks!

        28. Go to a religious service. Even if you’re not religious, going to a service in an unfamiliar religion can be enlightening and a great way to meet new people.

        29. Find a swimming hole. Head to the old town swimming hole — or find a new one. What a great way to spend a lazy afternoon with friends.

          30. Start a book club, card club (canasta anyone?), sewing club or scrapbooking club. Something you and your friends like. My parents used to belong to a cooking club where once a month all of their friends gathered at one house and the host family cooked a meal from a different country. I learned a lot about food that year.

          You don’t really need to spend much to have lots of fun with your friends! Pick a few of these ideas and start trying them out this weekend with your friends!

          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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