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How to Cut Last-Minute Holiday Spending

With Christmas only 2 weeks away, it can be tempting to join the holiday rush and overspend.  Waiting until the last minute probably wasn’t your original intention, but here you are.  You still have a dozen people to buy for in addition to the massive grocery store haul you’ll need to get everything on your list.  Try to stop, think, and take a deep breath.  You can do this.  Here are some tips to help you over the next few days:

  1. Make a list.  Whatever you do, don’t go to the mall or a big box store without a list.  It can simply be too tempting to buy things you really don’t need.  You’re already feeling stress from being “behind” so buying a gift in haste might feel like a solution.  But trust me, it’s not.  Make a list before you leave home so you know exactly who you need to buy for still.  Stick to your list and buy a gift that fits in your budget.  No idea what to buy someone?  If you read my last article, you know that this frugal teacher loves to give gift cards.  You can’t go wrong!  Sure they may feel a little impersonal but that’s better than wasting money on a gift the person may never use.  

  2. Learn to say no.  Do you have those friends who invite you along to do fun things but it ends up costing you a hundred dollars or more?  Say no!  It’s okay to bow out of going to the fancy restaurant or the theme park this one time.  Not only will it cost you a lot of money, but it might increase your stress level.  If you simply don’t have the time or know the price tag of an activity is out of your budget, just say no.  If you’re the type of person who has a hard time saying no, you can set some boundaries instead.  You only have so much time in a day and in a week.  Choose what you want to do and how much money you’re willing to spend, and say no to the rest.  Focus on what matters most to you and your family.  

  3. Do a grocery pick-up order.  If you haven’t tried this yet, you sure are missing out.  Many grocery stores now offer curbside pick-up orders for free.  You simply download their app and make the order right on your phone.  Then you choose your pickup day and pull into the numbered spot (you pick which one) at your designated time.  Your groceries are then loaded into your vehicle and you’re done.  It really is that easy.  Doing a grocery pick-up order allows you to stick to your budget because you get to see the total as you add items to your virtual cart.  You can add/delete items with the click of a button.  If they’re sold out of a popular item you need, you can even indicate on the app if you want to substitute a similar item.  You can even pick which item is substituted!  You really can’t go wrong with a grocery pick-up order.  There are no impulse buys, no waiting in long lines, and no two-hour trips to the grocery store.  It’s fast, it’s easy, and it can save you money.  I hope you give it a try.

Try to enjoy this holiday season without overspending.  This frugal teacher wants to wish all of my readers a very merry Christmas!  Look for an article coming soon on the January Back-to-School tax-free holiday.  This will be the very first time Florida has had a second tax-free holiday on school supplies and clothing!  


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