17 Dec Save Money This Winter

With the holidays coming up, it can be financially challenging to pay your bills, host or attend parties, buy presents for your friends and family, and pay for all of your travel expenses. Below are a few tips to help you save money this winter.

Save on Presents
Christmas presents can be one of the most stressful monetary expenses during the winter. There are a few ways to save money on your Christmas presents. You can make your presents rather than buy them from the store. Your friends and family will feel more special because you took the time to make them something, rather than just buy them an unpersonalized present. Also, if you are buying presents for your kids, focus on quality rather than quantity. Get your kids a few presents they will really appreciate rather than lots of toys that will end up in toy chests and never looked at again. If your kids are the quantity-type, you can always get a lot of cheap little toys for stocking stuffers from the dollar store or from the dollar bin at the local grocery store.

Turn Down the Heat
Studies show that you can save 3% on your energy bill for each degree below 70° you set your thermostat. Turn down your heat just a few degrees and throw on a sweater or blanket. If you have a programmable thermostat, turn it down when you are not at home or while you are sleeping to save money. Shut the heater vents in rooms that you use less often to direct the air into rooms you do use. Try to keep the doors shut, and use the garage as little as possible. Shut your blinds and curtains unless they are south-facing and allow direct sunlight to enter your home.

Fill Up Your Tires
The winter cold causes your tire pressure to lower. This will increase your chances of having a blowout, but also make your gas mileage worse. If you fill your tires up with air, you will drive safer, but also get better gas mileage. You should check your tire pressure at least once a month.

Potluck Your Parties
Instead of paying for all of the food and drinks at the parties that you throw, invite your friends to bring a side dish. It will be less expensive for you, and you will also have a greater variety of dishes. Prepare the main dish and make assignments to your friends to make sure that everything is covered. Have some of them bring their favorite dessert, some bring a salad, and some bring another side dish like rolls or chips. Make sure that they know what the main dish is so that their dishes can compliment your meal.

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