“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth,
For the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire;
It’s the time for home”
- Edith Sitwell
You know winter has arrived when the endless ads of sweaters, gloves, scarves, etc. appear in TV commercials. The heavenly aroma of soups, muffins and turkey roast make winter more special to us. And how can we all forget the special days that all come in winter - Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, Giving Tuesday, Christmas and the New Year? All these days make winter the season of holidays.
Having said all these things, we should also remember one fact. Winter is also the season of huge energy bills, cold winds, shopping, gift giving, and icy roads. Winter is an expensive season since households spend a lot of money on utility bills and heating. Some people pay more due to their inefficient energy-wasting practices and unplanned holiday shopping activities. Here are a few tips and tricks that you can use to save money in winter.
1. Make gifts in advance:
Winter is the festive season. It’s the season of gift giving. Instead of giving your hard earned dollars to Target, Walmart, Best Buy and others, try to make fun gifts at your home. Watch Youtube videos on how to make fun gifts at home with the things you have. This will help to slash your gift giving budget in the winter.
2. Have comfort foods at home:
With so many special days in the winter, the temptation to eat delicious foods in restaurants is immense. But a Christmas Dinner or lunch would cost you minimum $55 or $60 per plate. But a simple meal in your home would cost you half the price. You can have comfort foods and spend quality time with your family. Most importantly, it would help you stick to your winter budget.
A good tip is to cook a little extra. Sauces are good for this. You can just freeze the sauce and use it later. If you’re too tired to cook any day, then just use the leftover sauce to prepare a quick meal on a lazy winter night.
3. Make an inexpensive New Year's resolution:
Try to select an inexpensive New Year resolution. For instance, your new resolution is to lose weight. But in that case, don’t decide to join a gym. Rather do workouts at home. Watch videos to know how you can burn calories at home. If your resolution is to read books, then visit a library instead of buying books. You can also download free ebooks like me.
4. Play Secret Santa:
Holiday shopping can put a dent in your budget since you have to give so many gifts to everybody. But you can avoid this by playing holiday games. For instance, you can play Secret Santa with your family. The best part of playing this game is that you have to buy only one Christmas gift instead of many but everyone will get gifts. You can play other games like Secret Santa too. Browse Pinterest to get some ideas.
5. Turn down the heat:
This is a great tip to save money in winter. Just turn your heat down a few degree at night. You can use the same trick when you’re not at home too. This would help you save on your utility bill in winter.
You can simply turn off the heat at night or when you’re leaving for work. There is no need to keep your house warm when you’re not at home and increase your electricity bill. It’s true that your home will be little cold when you return home but you can turn the heat on immediately. Your house will be warm within a few minutes.
6. Organize a potluck party:
Love to welcome the New Year on a positive note? If so, then organize an intimate party for your friends. There will be just condition. Everyone has to cook at least one meal. If anyone doesn’t want to cook, then he/she can bring a bottle of wine. It would help to keep your winter budget down. You’ll save thousands and ring in the New Year with a smile.
7. Use coupons:
This is an age-old trick but it works like a magic. Clip coupons every week and use them to get attractive discounts on your purchases. Some places allow you to print coupons from online. So you can even do that. Be it gifts, decorations or crafts, you can save on them several times.
8. Don’t look at your credit cards:
Stop taking your credit cards for granted. If you can’t afford something, don’t buy it. Every year, we get many clients who incur credit card debt during the holidays. Several credit card companies give sign-up bonus to lure customers. Don’t fall for them. Yes, you’ll get attractive deals but if you can’t control yourself, then you’ll end up buying more than what you intended.
I’m not saying that your life will be finished if you rack up credit card debt. There are debt relief options to help you. But why would you get into that situation? Think carefully.
9. Use alternative sources of heat:
It’s winter and we need to keep ourselves warm. Use blankets, warm pajamas, gloves, sweaters, heating pads, etc if you’re turning off the heat. My mom used to warm up a rice bag and keep it on my bed before I went to sleep. Eventually, when I did go to bed, it was warm and cozy already.
10. Spend more time at home:
Winter outdoor activities can be expensive. The more time you spend outside, the more you’re likely to splurge. Stay indoors and spend time with your friends and family. Play games, eat foods, dance, sing songs, chat, and do fun activities. It would help you save a substantial amount in winter.
Winter is a great time for vacations. If you want to enjoy a wonderful vacation with your family, then plan a little advance to save on air tickets and hotel bookings. There is a huge rush in the last week of December and the first week of January. Browse all the traveling apps, see who is giving the biggest discount on hotels and air tickets, and do all the reservations. You need time to do this. So the best policy would be to book in advance. If you have missed out that time, then plan your vacation in spring.