Bust your holiday hangover

 Shopping for Christmas

Shopping for Christmas

The current economic climate brings into focus the need to spend wisely and make the most of scarce resources. It is important to pay close attention to how we spend so as not to end up wasting money on frivolities. Stash your debit cards away so you are not tempted to use them.

A lot of people have to contend with holiday celebrations, travel plans, entertainments, gifts purchase for family members and friends, clothes shopping, out of town guests, holiday decor and the unexpected miscellaneous needs like cash, gifts for family and friends. It is very important to start off with a budget, remember that January, which is often termed the longest month is around the corner, you don’t need to end up in debt because of the holidays.

Make a list of expenses within the period, include everything from travel expenses, grocery shopping, clothes shopping, home refurbishing, gifts for family and friends, entertainment and household bills. Set aside an emergency fund for unexpected expenses, save your 13th month salary for January.

Plan holiday meals in advance and buy dry goods like rice, garri, wheat flour, beans, yam, sugar, flour, and potatoes in bulk. You can share meat like cows, goats, sheep, and turkey with friends and family members to cut down on costs; you can also speak with your butcher to hook you up with other customers who share similar tastes and preferences like you. Make large batches of staples like soups and stews and share it into containers and freeze. Fry meat and chicken and freeze, so all you need to do in an emergency is to defrost and microwave.
Parboil vegetables so you can throw them into jollofrice, fried rice or pastas. Make more vegetarian meals for your family, as this is cheaper and healthier. Make snacks like chin chin, cookies puff puff, buns, cinnamon rolls, as these come in handy also, buy frozen samosas and spring rolls from the frozen section of your grocery store, as you can fry these in minutes for your guests.

This is a good time to go healthy all with the surplus eating we all indulge in, make fruit juice concentrates and freeze, use whatever fruits are in season, blend them and store in containers and freeze, that way you can fix fruit punches easily.

Prepare most of your dishes ahead of Christmas day and New Year day, so you can enjoy the festivities with the rest of the family and you are not tied to the stove, sweating and suffering, while others are enjoying the fruits of your labour, you deserve a frazzle free holiday. Curb your kids expectations, a lot of the “items” will lose their appeal in no time so don’t go overboard.

Rediscover the meaning of Christmas; get involved in community and church charity drives, also get your kids to go through their wardrobes and give away used clothes and used toys to the local orphanage.

Enjoy the season, wishing you a blessed Christmas and a prosperous 2016.

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