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If you’re really interested in paying off those holiday debts, here are some suggestions you might find helpful.
- Focus on buying items at the grocery store that are on sale or are generic brands. These usually have the same quality as brand name items but can cost 40% to 50% less.
- Buy and sell clothes at a consignment store. You will not only make money this way, you can often find very high quality clothing for pennies on the dollar.
- Skip soft drinks when you're eating out and stick with water. Also, skip dessert. Getting coffee, soft drinks or a dessert will increase the cost of that meal by 20% to 30%.
- Trade services with friends. For example, you might be able to trade out handyman services for haircutting, photography for babysitting or pet sitting for housekeeping.
- Give baked goods, service IOUs or other homemade gifts in place of expensive presents.
- Boxed cereals can be very expensive. Switch to eggs, oatmeal or fruit for a better and more nutritional bang.
- Call your utility companies and switch to a budget plan so that your expenses will be more consistent and predictable each month.
- Don't host or attend any in-home parties where you would be pressured to purchase things.
- Brew your coffee at home instead of buying it at one of those drive-through stores or at work.
- When you cook dinner, make extra servings on purpose so that you will have leftovers for lunch or for dinner the next day.
- Pack your lunch. You don't have to do this several times a week but if you do it regularly, it will definitely save you money.
- Check out books and videos from your local library. You may not find the most recent movies but you should be able to find classic movies including those wonderful children's' films.