The festive season is soon upon us and we are all stoked to tuck into the lavish spread that comprises massive roast meats, mulled wine and a smorgasbord of other sweet and savoury treats. Yet, there is a something that we are sure everybody ponders about as the Christmas season approaches—budget.
Overspending is a significant source of stress, especially so during the festive season where buying presents is a must (for most families at least) and Christmas delicacies do not particularly come cheap. Every credit card swipe brings tinges of anxiety as you notice your bank balance drastically decreasing.
Joy in giving becomes tainted with anxiety but fret not, because we have devised a few ways that will allow you to enjoy the year-end celebrations with minimal damage to your wallet. With these 5 hacks, we dig deep into our thrifty Singaporean spirit to give you a memorable and affordable Singaporean-style Christmas this 2017.
#1 FOOD & DRINKS GALORE AT THE DOLLAR STORE
Where snacks and beverages are concerned, there are few stores quite as trusty as a heartland dollar stores or even void deck mini-marts. Selling a variety of products—even some rarities that conventional supermarkets do not carry—at considerably lower price points, you will literally be dining (or rather snacking) on a dime.
From candy canes, assorted varieties of chocolates, sweet drinks and even non-perishables such as napkins and disposable cutlery, these stores are the unsung heroes of Christmas that will definitely have your pantry fully stocked and your bank account happy.
#2 WHIP UP LOCAL DISHES INSTEAD
A roast turkey or even a huge ribeye roast make stunning centrepieces at Christmas gatherings but they are both also among the top few items that see leftovers in the box loads. As classic and traditional as these iconic Christmas dishes may be, they can also be extremely expensive during the festive season.
A budget-friendly alternative is to buy or even cook local delights such as a biryani, roast chicken, or even bak kut teh which all comprise affordable ingredients easily obtained from your nearest wet market. The only downside is the effort in actually preparing it, but that is the price you have to pay to prevent your bank account from dipping too much.
#3 BUY YOUR WINE AT FAIRPRICE
When it comes to wine—unless you are catering for a party of wine sommeliers—what you really should be going for is quantity, not quality. A few decent bottles from FairPrice will do just fine and it probably will not cost as much as one premium bottle at an independent wine store.
Housing more than a hundred labels from varying regions and different styles, FairPrice has got all your alcoholic needs covered.
While you are at it, be sure to apply to be a ‘Just Wine Club’ member. At just a fee of S$20, you will be entitled to exclusive 8% discounts off your favourite wine labels at any of the various FairPrice concepts—not a bad deal considering you will likely be getting quite a few bottles during the Christmas season.
#4 MAKE YOUR HOME A CHRISTMAS WONDERLAND WITH CHEAP DECOR
Beautifying your home to get your family and friends in the right mood need not be a costly affair. With places such as Daiso, Mustafa Centre, Spotlight or even IKEA that sell a wide array of decorative Christmas ornaments at insanely affordable prices, giving your home a touch of Christmas spirit will be a breeze!
#5 DINE WITH DISPOSABLES INSTEAD OF FANCY GLASSWARE
The urge to spend extravagantly on fancy glassware just to beautify your Christmas dinner table is tempting, but also pretty pointless. For all the effort and money that is funnelled into something you only use once a year, what you should instead be doing is cutting costs by using disposable dishware and cutlery.
There are many wholesale party suppliers in Singapore where you can get them from, and the best part about using disposables aside from their non-exorbitant price points, is the fact that you save effort on washing up after the party’s over—nothing spoils the celebratory mood more than having to do the dishes after a feast.