Most of us have been there. At some point in our life, we  may find ourselves needing to tighten the budget a bit. Maybe we're in school, we lost a job, or we've incurred unexpected expenses. Whatever the reason, you can celebrate well during the holiday season! Here's a few money-saving few ideas I've found helpful in the past when it comes to celebrating on a budget:

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Make any (socially distanced) gatherings BYOB. If you want to have a few cocktails, there's ZERO shame in asking friends to bring their beverage of choice. You're not the designated "bartender of the world." Plus, people can bring what they like. Or, if you host a shindig and people ask you what they can bring, suggest a bottle of wine. Just be sure to let your guests know who brought it at the party out of courtesy. Also, people bringing their own drinks means less community touching and less of a chance of spreading Covid-19.

Add your own decorative touches. There's no rule that says the entire house must be bedecked and gilded beyond recognition. Sure, it's fun to go all out. However, with the recent trend toward elegant simplicity and minimalism, your streamlined decorations will be beautiful. Get creative by adding little bits of flare here and there. Add some fresh fruit like grapes or cherries to a dinner plate. Decorate the table with votive candles and some pine cones or evergreen branches, of which we have an abundance in East Texas.

Serve simple foods that your family will still love. Personally, I've moved away from eating a bunch of meat anyway and have found that it has saved me money, too. Steer away from expensive meat, fish, or even alcohol altogether. Pasta, soup, homemade breads and even hosting a dessert party can be a fun, yet cost-effective way to celebrate with your loved ones.

What others might you add to this list?

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