Savvy celebration tips when times are tight

Tough years lead to leaner budgets and lighter wallets. But it’s important to celebrate and the festive season is traditionally a time to enjoy and celebrate friends and family. Families and businesses host and cater for large groups of people, and the costs can add up quickly.

Enjoying the holiday season during tough economic times means that we need to change our usual game plan. In addition to the material costs, being mindful of new social norms like social distancing (not an issue for most of us pre-2020) and other fluctuating government protocols, curfews and restrictions is a priority.

Here are four ideas to help us have a merry and safe festive season!

Dine together – online

During the “new normal” we became accustomed to virtual meetings and video chats. Savvy celebrators are taking it one step further and dining virtually! It sounds like a challenge-and-a-half but when one considers the logistics and costs that go into hosting and catering for IRL (in real life) events, it’s not so daunting. Being limited to a small screen on your smartphone or laptop can be conquered.

There are ways of making the experience interactive and fun for everyone involved. 

If you usually plan the menu together or cook together, you can create a live Google doc or spreadsheet that you can use to list the recipes and have how-to-guides, that other family members and friends can use to prepare the same dishes in their own homes. Because they’re interactive documents, you can also share tips and alterations that you make to the menu based on your restrictions or budget constraints. 

This way you’ll end up having the same meal and treats together, albeit not in the same room. You’ll be able to tease each other and communicate over a meal, on video.

Cater for a small circle

Adapting to the times and hosting a small group seems to be the most ideal thing during trying times. Preparing food for three or five more people instead of 12 or more is enormously cost saving and reduces health risks for those who may be uncomfortable with larger groups. 

If you feel it could save you more time and money, you can order pre-cooked or already prepared meals with smaller portions from your local deli or home-enterprise, this way you’re also supporting local businesses and boosting our economy of small businesses. 

Eat outside 

Apart from having the health benefit of being outside, having a garden meal helps reduce the cost of things like decor and fancy furnishings. Having a picnic-styled meal reduces many costs, makes it easier for guests to contribute what fits with their budget and keeps us breathing fresh, clean air.

Do your shopping from home

With click and collect services now all the norm, and so many more retailers upping their online game – shopping for food and gifts online is only getting more convenient.

Not only is it healthier for those who don’t feel comfortable in large public spaces, it’s a super way to shop the specials, save on transport and parking!

Major global events and economic downturns can place immense pressure on us, and in some cases; radically change our lifestyles. This doesn’t mean we should hide away and pinch every penny, it means we must adapt our ways in order to keep getting the most out of what we have and who we can share it with.

The festive season does not always have to be the same – we can create new traditions. We can be more mindful and respectful of others and share on a deeper, more authentic level.

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