Planning the perfect celebration

In this article, we’ve outlined some handy tips to help you avoid the last-minute hustle of holiday festivities

Making a decision to start saving can be a very big step towards building your ideal future, or even that of your child. Whether you’re saving for a one-time purchase, like a computer or a new TV, or just building a rainy day fund to make sure you’re safe no matter what happens, there are many ways to incorporate saving techniques into your daily life.

It’s all about the planning!

We know – the oldest trick in the book – but no matter how often we try to keep this in mind, there’s always too much to be done last minute! Start jotting down some décor ideas and looking for recipes around a month and a half before, a couple of minutes each day, so when the time comes to order you know exactly what you need and are giving yourself enough time to do price research and ask people close to you for input and opinions.

Shop around

It’s much easier to just place a large order with a well-known retailer, but if you’re on a tighter budget this might not be the best option for you. Once you know what you need, start browsing online for prices at different retailers. Write down the lowest prices you can find for each item as you search. When the time comes to order, you might end up having to make more individual purchases, but it will save you a lot of money in the long run. If you find a good deal on food that’s time-sensitive, you can always purchase it in advance and freeze it!

Support local businesses

It takes a little more effort than placing an online shopping order, but buying your supplies from local businesses can not only be easier on your wallet but also provide you with greater quality items. Whether it’s handcrafted décor pieces, meat from your neighbourhood butcher shop or vegetables from local farmers, you’ll be giving your holiday celebration a unique touch while supporting your community.

If your schedule doesn’t allow you to physically browse shops in your area, Etsy can be an amazing place for beautiful handcrafted pieces and most local shops have their own websites.

Get your coupons out

We sometimes don't realise how much money in vouchers and points we've accumulated over the year - the holidays are a great time to use them up! Loyalty cards for large supermarkets such as Waitrose, Sainsbury's and Tesco can be a real help when it comes to feeding a large group, and browser add-on apps such as Honey can find you discount and promotion codes when online shopping.

Let people know early on

You don’t want any last minute surprises – at least, not one that leaves you with empty seats at the table. Communicate with your guests or hosts and settle on a date and time as early as possible – yes, even in November – and try to confirm your numbers within the week. Sure, some people might not show, life is unpredictable after all, but the earlier you get everyone to block out a slot in their calendars, the less likely they are to end up having conflicting appointments.

Minimising your chances of cancellations will also prevent excess food waste. Make sure to ask everyone to let you know if they’re bringing someone and confirm your guests’ dietary requirements – you don’t want to end up cooking food that your guests can’t eat!

Delegate

Whether you live alone or share a home with a partner, family or friends, you don’t have to do everything on your own. When you start party planning, try to involve the rest of your household (or friends) and ask them if they’d like to help. Not only can everyone lend you a hand in decorating your home and cooking a fantastic meal, they can also help you in planning and researching by providing different ideas and browsing for good deals and independent businesses. The holidays are a time for sharing, so share your responsibilities!