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Saving Money During the Holiday Season

By: Joshua Unseth-- 2010-11-25 5:00 am --

Times have been difficult this year for many families. Money is in short supply and just being able to pay your regular monthly bills can be a big challenge. During this time of year as Thanksgiving approaches and Christmas awaits shortly thereafter, an even bigger strain on the wallet can be felt. Holiday gifts may be considered a discretionary expense, but no one wants to see the disappointment on a child who gets nothing more than a lump of coal in his stocking because there was no money this year.

Making some changes to your lifestyle today, can help put some extra money in your pocket to buy a few gifts for your children, family and friends. There are probably areas in your everyday life where you can cut back. It may be difficult, but cutting out a couple of those premium channels on your cable or satellite service can add $10, $20 or more dollars back in to your pocket. Instead of buying those $5.00 cups of fancy coffee every day on your way to work, buy yourself your favorite blend and make your own coffee each morning.

Food and grocery shopping is an easy way adjusting your habits can save you money. Being frugal is easy. Weekly trips to the grocery store can be less painful on the budget if you follow a few of the suggestions listed below.

  • Buy store brands. You'll probably save a few cents on each item that replaces a national brand. Store brand cereal, tomato sauce or cheese has the same basic nutritional content and tastes just as good.
  • Use Coupons. Why not take advantage of the savings. Today you can print coupons right at home by visiting any number of coupon sites on the internet
  • Take advantage of Buy one Get One Free Sales. Many grocery stores use this technique to draw customers in to the store. If the deals are on items you use, it makes sense to buy one and store the free one away for future use.

Another area where you can save and save big is when you go out to eat. Beverages seem to be the easiest way to save. Instead of rattling off your favorite soft drink when the waitress asks what you want to drink, just ask for some ice water. Every drink you don't order will save you about $2.00. Making your own coffee every morning instead of stopping on your way to work at one of those $5.00 gourmet coffee enterprises will mean money in your pocket. Bag your lunch and you'll increase your savings even more.

There are other common sense approaches to saving that are not too difficult to try. Plan less trips and save gas. Instead of running to the grocery store one day, the post office the next and the beauty salon the day after, consolidate your needs in to one day. Saving by using less gasoline can be a real money saver.

When it comes to saving, a little change in a lot of old habits can go a long way.