As Christmas approaches, you may want to conserve as much cash as possible so that you can afford to celebrate the festive season with parties, presents and decorations. However, this is not always as straightforward as it sounds. In order to save money this autumn and winter, consider the following smart ways to reduce spending.
If you and your friends want to save money, a clothes swap is a great way to do so while acquiring a new wardrobe for the colder weather. Instead of buying new clothes, you can simply trade clothes that no longer fit you or suit your taste. Clothes swaps are also fun social events that cost much less than meeting at a pub or a restaurant.
In addition to swapping clothes with friends, you can save money by using accessories to create the illusion of owning more outfits than you actually do. You can pick up a wide range of affordable scarves in budget clothes stores, and just changing your scarf can entirely transform the way the rest of your clothes appear. For example, a shimmery gold scarf can make your outfit appear more formal, while a woolly green scarf is perfect for a casual look.
When you see something you want to buy, hold off on buying it for at least two days. During this time, reflect on whether you really need it. If you find yourself stretching the truth in order to find reasons to buy it, don't go back to the shop to get it.
You could save lots of money on groceries by buying fruits and vegetables that are in season this autumn and winter. In November and December, try picking up cabbages, potatoes, mushrooms, pumpkins, apples and pears. These fruits and vegetables should still be extremely affordable when January arrives, in addition to pomegranates, carrots and turnips. Fruit and vegetables that are not in season are likely to be grown elsewhere across the globe, then shipped to your grocers or supermarket. The shipping cost can be passed to you, pushing up the price.
You can save a few pennies by using shopping bags to line the bins in your home. This may not leave you with substantial savings, but every penny counts. As a bonus, you will also be reducing your environmental footprint at the same time.
Some people spend more money during autumn and winter because the colder weather encourages them to buy more cinema tickets and spend more time in pubs. However, you can save lots of money on activities if you are willing to do some research. For example, check the paper and the local online news to see if there are any free theatre performances, and remember that a lot of museums can be visited free of charge.
If you make too much food for dinner, don’t throw away the excess. Instead, store it in the fridge and save money by using these leftovers to make lunch the next day.
Tidying up could also save you some money this autumn and winter. Firstly, you are likely to reduce spending by finding lost or forgotten items that will be of use during the colder weather (such as hot water bottles, gloves and heavier shoes). Secondly, you can opt to put unwanted items up for auction online. Frugal surfers may be looking around for bargains that can be used as Christmas presents. People will be willing to pay good money for the unread books that you don’t want, and the winter boots that have never fitted you.
Finally, you can save huge amounts of money by making your daily coffee or tea at home. Instead of going to a coffee shop, make your hot drink in the kitchen and take it to work in a thermos flask. If you have a need for short term cash to tie you over in the meantime, you can consider a short term payday loan alternative.