How to save money by cutting down on Easter costs

        Make your own candy if possible

By Vusumuzi Ngwenya

22 March 2016

MONEY is a little tight these days in everyone’s life. With the economy we are currently in, there is always rising food and fuel costs which can put a strain on even the most structured budgets.

Over the last 18 months, there has been a 30% depreciation of the South African currency. The South African economy is in crisis. Our county’s growth forecast declined from 1.7% in 2015 to 0.9 in 2016.

Every holiday season, there is always a strain on everyone’s budget. People have to deal with the increased pressures and stress that the holidays place upon most of us. Holidays become one of the most dangerous times of the year for alcohol related accidents and death. This is due to the fact that a lot of people drink during the holidays as they hold numerous parties and other festivities.

You can make your holidays happier and safer by simply doing the following: Resisting the pressure to drink during holidays, getting non- alcoholic beverages, deciding in advance who is going to drive you home after the event, choosing the number of drinks you are going to drink ahead. Always remember that alcohol is a luxury.

I sincerely believe there is an easy way to save money on Easter and have yourself some fun while doing so. Regardless of your age, receiving an Easter basket will lighten your mood. You can then easily create an Easter basket it’s also very cheap. You can then use the extra money you saved and enjoy a family outing or even better pay off unpaid debts.

Believe it or not, budgets aren’t just for utility expenses or groceries anymore but are now used for holidays too. Instead of blindly going to the store and picking up all the basket goodies you can think of do your own and be creative with it. If you don’t currently have one, look around your house and make use of anything you can find. You can always decorate a plain basket with inexpensive gift bags, stamps or stickers on the side.

You also need to think about what items you can eliminate and absolutely have in your basket. For those who drink, you may even put alcoholic beverages on your basket or non- alcoholic beverages for those who don’t drink. You can also buy plastic Easter eggs in bulk and also package candy in small bags.

Make your own candy if possible, A quick search on Google gives you immediate access to hundreds of home- made recipes. However, from scratch is not always cheaper than store bought, so think about extra ingredients you would have to purchase before deciding what to make.

Invest in snacks, reduce the sugar high and try to include some snacky type items in your child’s Easter basket as well. A box of pre-packaged fruit snacks, crackers which can be divided amongst siblings and actually cost much less than if you bought single servings at the store.

Round out your basket with some frugal non- food options. Play dough, notepads, sidewalk chalk, stickers and crayons are always fun to find especially for your kids. You can also choose a free option and customise your basket by putting whatever you think is do able and cheap also whatever makes your basket look attractive.

Easter is not the kind of holiday you want to look back on and say you spent too much because, there are affordable alternatives everywhere you look. A friendly reminder, just keep the season’s fun light and a budget is truly important to CELEBRATE!