Friday, October 14, 2016

Five Ways to Prepare for Christmas in October

I know, I get it!  The stores put out Christmas stuff earlier and earlier.  It isn't even Halloween, much less Thanksgiving, I feel the same way, BUT...... if you are the manager of your house you know that Christmas doesn't just happen.  It takes planning, a lot of planning from schedules, budget, the actual gift buying and wrapping and cooking.  That doesn't even include if you will be hosting parties or out of town guests.  So here are five ways to help alleviate some holiday stress now!

How does this get so messy!

1.  Clean out your spices.  Yes your spices have expiration dates, sometimes they are hard to find but keep looking.  I found about eight bottles that were expired, (that is more than I expected).  Some I will replace, I needed two for the pumpkin pie.  Others I don't even remember why I bought them.  When I begin baking, I will have everything I need, no last minute trips to the store.

2.  In the same category, clean out your pantry.  My pantry is two cabinets, one is for canned goods, the other is baking supplies.  Again, check expiration dates, I had two out of date cans.  I don't have a lot of room to stockpile these items, but I do try to buy extras of things I know I will need for holiday baking and cooking as I have space.

3.  I also begin buying extras of paper goods, cleaning supplies and toiletries,  I have tons of bathroom storage. My goal every year is not to have to buy any cleaning supplies, toiletries or paper goods between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  One it is nice to have a little extra breathing room in the budget for those unexpected things and also the stores are so crazy I hate going in to get toilet paper or trash bags if I don't have to!

4.  Make your list, include neighbors, teachers or party gifts you might need.  Many people shop year around for these things and that is a great idea, but if you haven't start shopping now.  This is a great time to  consider making a little something instead of buying, get your supplies and spend an evening putting them together.    Small gifts sometimes take up a good portion of your gift giving budget, by planning ahead you can greatly reduce this expense.

5.  Are you having overnight guests or hosting a party?  Again now is a great time to get papergoods, and get that out of the way.  You can also go ahead and plan your menu and start buying needed non perishable ingredients.  For overnight guests do you need to get a few fresh linens?  Buying one new towel or washcloth every couple of weeks you will be ready and you will have a nice set of fresh towels to offer your guests.

Each of these suggestions allow you to take advantage of sale items or coupons.  By using a bit of your weekly budget now, you can put a major dent in your holiday expenses and hopefully relieve some stress allowing you more time to enjoy the season!

Sharing with:  Classical Homemaking

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