Ways to Save with Family and Friends
- Agree to limit gift giving: Agree in advance to limit the gifts and save everybody some money. These limits not only tend to reduce expenditures; they will also be greatly appreciated by the least affluent family members and friends.
- Make your own gifts instead of buying stuff from the store: You can make food mixes, candles, bread, cookies, soap, picture frames and all kinds of other things at home quite easily and inexpensively. These make spectacular gifts for others because they involve your homemade touch, plus quite often they’re consumable, meaning they don’t wind up filling someone’s closet with junk. Even better – include a personal handwritten note with the gift. This will make it even more special than anything you could possibly buy down at the mall, plus it saves you money.
- Give a gift of a service instead of an item: Right up there with DIY gifts! Take a mason jar and fancy it up a bit. Print off your own specialty "coupon", say "two hours of babysitting time" for any new parents on your list, or "two hours of yard work" for a new homeowner, "Pet Sitting" for a friend who has the chance to travel and the like.
- Plan gift-giving well in advance. That will give you time to decide on the most thoughtful gifts, which usually are not the most expensive ones. And if these gifts are products that must be purchased, you will have the opportunity to look for sales. I keep all my wrapping paper and gifts in one closet. I shop year round, so when I get home I can wrap the gift and put the gift card on it. I often select “non-specialty” wrapping paper so the gift can be used for Christmas, birthday or anniversary.
- Invite friends over instead of going out: Almost every activity at home is less expensive than going out. Invite some friends over and have a cookout or a potluck meal, then play some cards and have a few drinks. Everyone will have fun, the cost will be low, and the others will likely reciprocate not long afterwards.
- Encourage your friends to do less expensive activities: This can be tricky to do, however if you are the first to suggest an activity, like say going to a park and shooting hoops instead of going golfing with its green fees, you save money and still get that socializing time in. Same holds true with suggesting low to no cost community events.
- Cards and Gift Wrap: Buy greeting cards in bulk at the Dollar store or the party store. This will help you to save a lot of money and you won’t have to make an extra trip every time you need one.
o FreePrintable.com lets you print out all kinds of goodies to help you save money including cards, calendars, worksheets, coupons, and more! It’s fun to print your own products, give it a shot!
Next week we will cover entertainment savings