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Ways to merry on the cheap

Holidays have a tendency to break the bank. Because of this, droves usher the New Year with a bank load of debt and stressed over finances. Faith Kyomukama compiles a foolproof plan that will leave you stress-free as you make merry this Christmas

1. Draw a budget

Determine how much you can afford to spend this holiday season and work around that amount. This helps you control what you want to spend on food, gifts and such. If you have a large family, it’s important to talk to them and plan on sharing costs.

2. Travel on the cheap

Wouldn’t it be great if we could all travel by air? Unfortunately, this is a luxury you cannot afford on a budget, especially with prices skyrocketing because of peak season. So, book a train, self-drive, or buy a bus ticket — you can be sure you’ll spend way less than with luxury travel.

3. Secure affordable accommodation

There is no doubt securing affordable accommodation during the holidays that is a taxing affair. However, it is not impossible. Hit the web and look for backpackers accommodation or Airbnb, you’ll be sure to get great offers.

4. Dine as a group

They say sharing is caring, what they don’t tell you is that it is also pocket-friendly — when it comes to cost sharing of course. So as you eat out, split the bill amongst yourselves. This will take a great deal of pressure from the person who would have had to clear the entire bill.

5. Or better yet, go for a picnic

Instead of dining out or hosting a barbeque party, go for a picnic. Fill that picnic basket with bittings, from chicken wings to fish fingers to samosas to juice box or mini wines. It’s about getting the maximum out without putting holes in your bank account. If you are a big group, allocate who will bring what. You can go to different parks such as the Nairobi Arboretum and the likes.

6. Hit the movie theatre

Cinema tickets are on the cheap during the holidays, and they come with a bucket load of freebies from free popcorn to chocolate to hotdogs. Take Imax Kenya, not only do they have great offers that run through the day, but they also offer an omnibus of different films for rates as low as Sh500.

7. Deal and more deals

We’re talking spa deals, hair, nails, clothing stores — Santa may be the holidays cheerful giver, but there is no question there are a number of guys giving him a run for his money. Storm social media, you’ll undoubtedly come across one or two.

8. More goodies from the mall

Hit the mall for extra cheer this Christmas. From food deals to shopping to gaming activities for the little ones — every minute in the mall is a glorious celebration of the Christmas season.

The lil’ ones can enjoy face painting, hit the bouncy castles, play water games, roller skate, check out the cotton candy station, grab some jawbreakers and candy canes for the Christmas stockings… It’s equal only to a day at Santas workshop with an empty sack and what could be better than that!

9. Buy in bulk

Not only is it cheaper to buy in bulk, but it also ensures you don’t do last-minute shopping, which a lot of the time is costly. So, hit the supermarkets, liquor distributors, wholesale — the trick is to ensure you get the best deals with every purchase. Dial a Drink Kenya is one example of a distributor that you might want to check out.

10. Recycle Christmas decorations

It’s the little things and we can’t agree more. They make a big difference. Recycling a few baubles or wreaths may mean the difference between an extra tub of ice cream or none. With that in mind, recycle your Christmas decorations and save some cash.

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