Make sure Christmas isn’t a big waste of money

The holidays can be one of the most expensive times of year for most people. Between the presents, the meals and even the decorations, it can seem like your funds are steadily draining from your wallet. Instead of just going through the regular spending spree, take a look at where the money is going and
how it can be saved. There is no point in wasting money and the scrambling around for the best rates on unsecured loans at moneysupermarket or another comparison site just to try to cover unnecessary expenses.

Wrapping paper seems to be one of the biggest money wasters around the holiday season. Stores offer a variety of different styles, prints and colors for consumers to choose from. When you head to the store to pick up wrapping paper you may find yourself shocked at the checkout when you find out just how much you spend. Remember this isn’t a cost for presents. You are paying for something that is just going to be tossed in the trash.

What are your other options? It is possible to still wrap a present without the waste. There are two big ways to save:

The first option is to wrap with papers that don’t cost anything. One of the most precious and unique things you can do this season is to let the kids create all types of pictures. Let them use crayons, paints, construction paper and even plain white paper. Use this to wrap up Christmas presents. It doesn’t cost anything and everyone will love to receive a gift with this special cover. You can also use something reusable as a gift-wrap option. One of the most popular choices is gift bags or even shopping bags. Gift bags are easy to fold up and store until the next holiday season approaches. They are festive and only require a little tissue paper to complete the look.

Consider using reusable bags. These come in beautiful prints and styles and it makes even the wrapping a gift. Your friends and family members are able to take the bag with them to the grocery store and continue to use it throughout the year.

Gifts can also be a drain on your budget. Giving gifts that people don’t like is a waste of your money. They return it or pass it on to the next person. Take a little extra time to come up with what they really want. Instead of going out on your own, what are their friends and family members getting them? Can you all go in together and get them a larger present that they really want?

Also, gift exchanges at work or Secret Santa activities can be a waste of money. Very few people end up with something that they want. Most just toss their gifts in the trash or once again, pass them on to someone else. If you still want to have a gift exchange, add a little humor to the mix. Tell everyone that they cannot spend money. They have to come up with a gift from the things they already have at home. This can be lots of fun and no one is out of pocket. (Be sure to use newspaper to wrap your gift to make sure it really is free.)

The holiday meal for most families is a big event. You may not be able to imagine going without this special family time this year. The good news is that you don’t have to give it up completely. Just consider sharing the expense. Everyone can bring something. If each participant brings a side dish, drinks, or even the dessert, there isn’t a large cost to just one person.

Before you make any purchases this holiday season, think about whether or not it is going to end up being a waste. Check for alternatives that make more sense. You may be surprised to find your friends and family members following suit.

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