Ways To Cut Costs This Holiday Season

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The leaves are blowing around and the temperature is dropping, which means it’s time to celebrate the holiday season. You will overeat and drink too much, all which are fixable. But people are always looking at ways to cut costs around this expensive time of year. Here are a few to get some inspiration:

Break out the hoodies and socks.
The average household spends nearly $1000 over the holidays to keep warm, which is a huge amount of money. Break out your extra hoodies and give your socks an extra shift around the house. It will not only keep you warm, but line your pockets with a little extra cash. Companies like PG&E will also do money saving rebate programs to encourage you to keep your energy usage low. They apply these rebates after the holiday season is over, spreading your savings even further.

Go handmade with gifts and decor this year.
There is a constant expectation with christmas to do it big, do it well and do it better than everyone else. Whoever put these expectations in our heads is just trying to get us to buy more useless shit. The people in your life could benefit a lot more from a sentimental, well-thought out gift. Instead of blowing $100 on some sweater they will forget about in a month, think about some of these really great ideas that will cost a fraction of that: Ready Made’s Gift To It and Real Simple’s Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas.

When making big purchases, shop around first.
If you decide that this is the year to get your sweetie that awesome bike that they deserve, or that TV that you’ve been saving up for all year, you’re damn right you should reward yourself for working hard! But one thing to always remember: don’t get caught up in holiday cheer. It gets harder this time of year to shop around for expensive gifts, since corporate knows the holiday season is high time to make some extra bucks. Shop around online, take advantage of Black Friday and even consider an I.O.U. until after the holidays. Deep discounts happen — you just have to be willing to hunt and wait.

Get creative with holiday parties.
Holiday parties are all about glitz and glamour, and we all like to have a end of the year bash. But doing things like making your parties B.Y.O.B. and getting your friends involved will help you cut costs. Pick some great appetizer recipes that you love, and get a few friends over to pre-game and cook with you. Have a friend who’s a tech whiz rig up their camera for a photo booth, or if you’re not down with getting techy, set up your laptop in a corner so you can have tons of memories. Interject a craft in the middle of the party so everyone can walk home with something awesome. And encourage white elephant gift giving sessions, so that everyone can bring a bottle instead of tchochkes.

Make your own cards.
There are loads of tutorials on how to do this, and its extremely straightforward. It may require a little time and a little bit of creativity, but a handmade card is a great way to show others some sentiment and that you put in a bit of effort. Sure, its great to walk to the store and throw $5 and a stamp down on a holiday card. but its also better when it costs you less than $1 to make at home. the best part? You can sprinkle your own sense of humor into something that everyone should hang up on their fridge instead of throwing out on Jan. 1st. Not feeling like busting out the glue gun, but still wanna save money? Consider Christmas postcards. They’ll be a fraction of the cost, and everyone loves mail!

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Monica Miller - The Intern

Monica Miller - The Intern

Ms. Miller was born in San Diego, CA to one lesbian mother and one
righteous, cheap father. Currently, she is enrolled at San Francisco
State University for a B.A. in Journalism and the approximate
completion date is around 2015. She has worked for many papers in the
Bay Area, including the Oakland Tribune and the San Mateo Country
Times and is currently the city editor at one of the most
underappreciated publications in SF, the Golden Gate [X]press. Though
she may find bargains aplenty, it only stems from the necessity of
never landing an actual job and working for hacks [like Stuart.] With
intelligence, style, poise, bite, and honesty, she will rip your heart
out; but not before writing some awesome, poignant shit. This year,
she is looking forward to bigger and better things such as: trying to
get paid for a gig, actually finding a date that isn't a loser or
fucking crazy, not calling her parents when hungover and bringing you
the best of the 7x7 everyday of the week. [By the way, I wasn't
kidding about the date thing; if you love food, booze and shoegaze,
get at me.]