Four Tips on How to Save Money & Stress this Christmas

original designs by JGoode at myJGD.com

Every year we promise ourselves that we won’t leave Christmas shopping to the last minute. And, yet, we all know that this promise is as pointless as a Yoyo and as empty as my bank account. Despite the fact that shopping earlier in the year is both cheaper and less stressful, most of us are too lazy or too disorganized to bother. So for last minute shoppers like you and me, here are four courses of action:

TIP #1 – Use your Elbows

If there’s anything to be learnt from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s movie, Jingle All the Way, it’s this: learn how to use your elbows! A few, well-placed elbow jabs in a frantic shopping center can help propel you through the ferocious crowd to your prize. It may sound tough but what’s worse than seeing your child’s look of disdain when he realizes that Santa brought him an outdated video game? (But I wanted Chainsaw Sociopath number 3! Waaa!)

TIP #2 – Shop Online

If you’re more of a Peace-Love-and-Carols type of person, then you might want to consider shopping online. Sites like Amazon, Asos and Etsy were created to save you stress and time – and the best news is that the presents will arrive in little pre-packaged parcels ready to go! Who needs bright wrapping paper when you have some fetching brown cardboard anyway?!
Once you’ve sorted presents, there are really only two more things to worry about: food shopping and travel.

TIP #3 – Operate a strict door policy: no food, no entry.

Devise a meal plan and assign each relative a dish. This is the easiest way to save you stress and money in the kitchen (“Oh Sue, your potato salad is just sooo divine, it just wouldn’t be the same if I made it!”). In the event of a general lack of culinary skills, you may have to marry off one of your single relatives into the Ramsay, Stewart, Child or Oliver cooking dynasties.

TIP #4 – Carpool

If you’re planning a 5 hour drive to your parents’ house or simply need a way to get all those shopping bags home, carpooling is a great way to save money. On sites like carpooling.com, drivers can offer available space and passengers can find or book a ride. Think of it as ‘shopping for a seat.’ With thousands of rides available at any one time, you can always find an offer that suits you. Ride sharing is a sustainable and affordable way to travel (the price and carbon emissions are reduced by the number of people traveling together). Sharing the car will also ensure that you will have a witness to your heart-rending performance of “Last Christmas” (WHAM would be so proud!).

Now all you have to do is hide the good scotch from Uncle Pete, and you’re ready for a truly fabulous and stress-free Christmas!

Happy Holidays!!!

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