Monday, November 21, 2011

Reduce Spending for Holiday Meals

During the holidays it is so easy to spend money with all the advertisers, family and friends asking you to buy this or buy that. Resist the temptation to spend money that you don’t have, buy more than you need, or buy something you probably will not use simply because it is on sale. Many times items that are on sale are not really a bargain. Do comparison shopping to see if you can find the item for a cheaper price at another store or online. Here are 9 ways to save money shopping for meals this holiday season:

1. Plan ahead. Don't wait until the day before the holiday to go shopping. Lines at the register are longer and the selection of items is limited. Try shopping at least a week in advance or early in the morning.
2. Menu. Create a menu ahead of time and stick to it. Consider low cost items for the menu such as potato salad, salads, sweet potatoes, casseroles, etc.
3. Budget. Create a food budget and don’t go over your budget.
4. Local shopping. Visit local vendors to purchase meats, fruits and vegetables which will be much cheaper than the grocery store.
5. Ask for help. If you are having breakfast, brunch or dinner at your house ask friends and family to bring a dish to help cut downs on costs.
6. Coupons. Use coupons. Shop at stores that offer double coupons.
7. Shopping List. Use a shopping list and stick to it.
8. Return. If you realize you bought too much of one item return it to the store for a refund.
9. Leftovers. Freeze leftovers or take to work for lunch.

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