Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas in a nutshell

Christmas in a nutshell

Christmas is a time of year for merriment and festive cheer.

The festive period can also be a time when energy bills go through the roof to accommodate
Christmas lights and also heating to protect you and your loved ones from the cold. This,
coupled with the buying of presents, decorations, food and even travel are all things that
come together to strain your finances.

Yet you need not be disheartened as although traditionally considered to be the most
expensive time of the year, Christmas need not empty your bank balance.

A great idea would be to plan and to budget at every stage of your planning – here’s how:

Save on energy bills

The fairy lights you use on your Christmas tree and perhaps all over the inside and outside
of your house obviously contribute to the huge increase in your energy bills during the
Christmas period, but it need not be this way. Here is a couple of simple ways to save

    •Change the bulbs that you use – Use LED lights instead of the traditional bulbs. LED
    lights are not only cheaper to buy, but will ensure that use up to 90 per cent less
    energy. You should also consider energy-saving light bulbs that are said to last up to
    10 times as long as traditional bulbs and will replace the traditional type completely.

   •Turn down the thermostat – Turning your thermostat down by one degree this
   Christmas, will reduce your heating bill by around 10 percent.

Festive food

We all know that Turkey is expensive, especially at this time of year when shrewd business
people take advantage of the massive increase in demand.

The buying of ingredients and the preparation of food can be the cause of a lot of stress
both mentally and financially, but a little planning will go a long way to reducing this
common cause of festive headaches:

   •Plan, plan, plan - Pre-order a turkey months in advance or consider buying one pre-
    frozen if you have the space available.

   •Make a list of ingredients and stick to that list religiously – Never buy impulsively,
    however tempting that cut-price tiramisu, sitting near the till that you didn’t even
   want, may be. You’ll find you’ll save a bundle this way.

   •Be sure to shop around for ingredients too – If you search for bargains then you’ll
   see how prices vary wildly often according to the whims of the shop manager.

  •Use the correct size hob for each part of your food preparation during cooking and
  keep lids on the pans to keep the heat in to save energy and therefore time and
  money as your food will cook faster and will regulate your gas and/or electric bill –
  believe me, this works!

Christmas presents

  •Look out for bargains to be found just before Christmas – I bet that if you take a look
   at any of the big online stores right about now, you’ll see that most of them have
  some kind of Christmas-related offer available. From Black Friday, to digital coupons,
  you’d be a fool to ignore the great offers to be found online

  •Buy things that are needed – Despite the fact that some consider buying things like
   socks and underwear as gifts to be both boring and clichéd, most recipients are
   actually grateful to be given things that they will always need.

   •Invest in the future at little cost – Buy toys for children that might be of use to them
    in the future that could kick start a hobby, or even open a bank account for them.

   •For adults, Christmas hampers are always a safe bet as well as being reasonably
    affordable – look for Christmas gift hampers from Interflora as a starting point, as
    they are well-known for their quality.

Have you got any Christmas tips of your own that you wouldn’t mind sharing?

Guest post contributed by mommy bloggers, Stephanie.

Susan S. Disclosure: The reviews and or opinions on this blog are my own opinions . No monitory compensation was received. I was not required to write a positive review. Your experience may differ. The opinions I have expressed are my own I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsement and Testimonials in Advertising .

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Disclosure: The reviews and or opinions on this blog are my own opinions, . No compensation was received. All opinions are my own. This is a unofficial fan site that is not affiliated with the Walt Disney Company or Disney theme parks.