It was during the big freeze in December 2010 that my carefully planned Christmas budget began to fall dramatically. We had done well so far. I had skimped and saved so we could plan a wonderful Christmas morning for our 2 year old boy and 11 year old daughter. I had been saving money from the grocery budget each week and had carefully moved pieces around in a large jar of change; dreaming of a wonderful Christmas day when Santa brought us everything we wanted.
The times weren’t Dickensian but they were tight. We had negotiated a monthly reduction on the mortgage and received a family income supplement (now the working family payment) due to low income.
- Make your list and double check it (if it’s good enough for Santa, it’s good enough for you).
- Leave without children (no gimme-gimme attacks to spend more money).
- Know your budget.
- Buy only what you need.
- Be blunt, if there are items you rarely eat or have always had in the cupboard for months, throw them out and don’t buy.
- Make sure you have storage space so you don’t run into a turkey or ham that didn’t take up the whole fridge. Also, make sure your oven can handle all those foods you intend to cook.
- Many hands do light work. Ask for help, don’t wait for it to be offered. Give work to those you need to help. People are not psychic; I found out that you need to tell people what you need before they take action.