Festivals like Diwali test our inherent nature of that being a spender and saver.
Women like me who often hear “why don’t you plan it in advance” from their mums all the time, are the ones who end up spending more than what’s really needed. I often develop short term amnesia around festival time. I forget about left overs like lights diyas from last Diwali and buy more of the same stuff each year. The same happens with clothes as well.
Since last year, your Great Gruhini promised to be frugal every festival season. Sharing some tips that will ensure don’t end up saying “Diwali pe Diwala nikal gaya” (I am bankrupt due to spending so much during Diwali)
A. Frugal Ways to Gift
1. Good Gifts come in smaller brands too: When you shop around for gift packs such as chocolates this time, consider the lesser known brands such as Amul’s Dark Chocolate.
A 40gm bar of Amul dark chocolate costs Rs 20 whereas a plain Cadbury bar of 38 gm costs Rs 25. A Bournville’s pack of 5 (33gm each) will cost you around Rs 250 and an imported dark chocolate like a 100gm Lindt bar costs more than Rs 300. The fact that Amul is a value for money and has got higher cocoa content has been certified by an independent agency too.
Make your own gift pack by purchasing 5 Amul bars and a fancy gift bag (Rs 15 at the most), you save more than Rs 135 as compared to a Cadbury Bournville pack. You can add more variety like a juice or flavoured milk and a pack of popcorn. The kids will simply love this goodie bag. I just called up my super store guy to keep 20 bars aside for me.
2. Gifting home-cooked sweets and snacks: Take out time to create life time memories of home made Diwali goodies for your kids
We grew up eating Dahi wadas, maida-based snacks and other sweets made by moms and grandmothers, every Diwali. Depending on the time, I try to follow the same rituals every year. This year my 5 year old son suggested that instead of buying sweets from a shop, he will teach me how to make besan ladoos and chivda (thanks to what they teach him in school). So no matter how busy I am i will have to log into to my favorite food bloggers like Sharmilee’s Sharmispassion and Pratibha’s Chefandherkitchen for some new and easy to do recipes to impress not just the kiddo but his and our family friends too.
You can gift the home made snacks and sweets in Tupperware boxes.
B. Frugal Ways to Re-decorate Your House
1. Renovation: Think of items around the house which can get a new look with few changes and won’t pinch your wallet too.
For two months, I hopped across furniture shops, scanned through designs on online stores for a new sofa set. The classy ones pinched my wallet and the cheaper ones didn’t look sturdy. It never occurred to me that I could renovate the existing one until my mom suggested a makeover that came at about one third the price of a brand new sofa.
So now I am on a renovation drive: the old curtains will be cut off into rectangular pieces for table ware and old table cloths will turn into cushion covers.
2. Do It Yourself Diwali Decoration: Home made decoratives will not only be cheaper but will bring more charm, warmth and good luck
A set of four colorful diyas cost Rs 60 and a Chinese string of light costs Rs 80 bucks eac
But if you do it at home, involve the kids in making diyas and lights, this is what you will get. Spend the Rs 140 bucks on buying the material for diyas and a string of balloon lights.
OR Home made decoratives?
For diyas you just need acrylic colours and earthen diyas and stones to decorate. For the string of balloon lights, you need balloons or air-filled balls, good quality yarn, fevicol and light holder. Take a balloon of desired size. Apply glue or fevicol all over the balloon. Wrap the balloon with the yarn. Keep applying glue over the balloon after every layer of yarn that you wrap it with. When the balloon is sufficiently covered allow it to dry. Once the fevicol dries up, release the air of the balloon and you get a ball shaped balloon lamp. Repeat the process to make a string of balloon lamps.
C.Frugal Ways to Give
Anything you plan to give to your maids, drivers, watchmen or other needy people, a simple gift wrap will do wonders to boost their festival mood too.
Wishing you a very happy diwali. Do write to me at email@example.com to tell me if these ideas got you the title of a smart or prudent spender?
Idea of string of balloon lights contributed by Khushboo Narayan.