We know you cannot believe it. The year is about to end, and the holidays are around the corner. Secret Santa, getaways, new red, green, golden, and silver decorations, the snow, and the smell of cinnamon drinks are some of the perks that come when the holiday season begins and we say our farewells to another year.

And, although this season invites us to stretch our wallets, we’re sure that more than one of you is grabbing a pen, paper, and a calculator to know what to invest in and what is going to be considered an extra money effort in the name of the Christmas spirit. 

But fear not! With a bit of creativity and thoughtful planning, you can still enjoy a festive and heartwarming celebration without forcing your budget. That’s why at COCINA we thought about 4 tips to guide you through a low-budget holiday season, proving that its true magic lies in the spirit of love rather than the size of decorations and presents. 

1. Handmade Gifts And Decorations

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Don’t underestimate your creativity and open that Pinterest board in which you’ve saved all those colorful ideas ideal for this time of the year. From crafting personalized ornaments to knitting scarves (and finally embracing your señora era, in the meantime); handmade gifts and decorations will not only limit your extra spending but show your loved ones (and yourself) how much time and love you are willing to put into a present that will not only be original but come from your artistic heart. 

2. Chores Division And Meal Planning

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We know, the month is at its beginning and the holidays seem really far away. But planning ahead has never failed anyone, in fact, it has helped not only with more organized family reunions but also to keep a more organized budget. 

This time, you can try to talk to your family and friends about what you are having for Christmas or any other celebration. Make a checklist of what ingredients you can buy in advance and which ones need to be bought later to be fresh. Buying early and deciding which days before Christmas dinner you’ll be able to cook, will not only give you peace of mind but also know your spending and how to organize the rest of your budget in advance. 

3. Put A Price Limit On Your Gifts And Do It EARLY!

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Maybe we can leave the children out of this one since who wants to not overspend for their kids´ presents?

But leaving that aside, between friends and family grownups, you can propose a limited price for the gifts you are willing to give each other. So, everyone can work around that price and not force their bank accounts. 

The earlier you do it, the earlier you can get the gifts which will give you time to work your budget around it and freeze some prices that are higher during the holiday season. 

4. Let Food And Family Be The Stars

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Many Christmas recipes can be the center of attention (even replacing gifts!) and family moments that will be cherished over material stuff.

Here are 5 recipes ideal for this time of the year that will not only cost you little in time and money but will invite everyone to have fun while making it and enjoy the flavors while eating them afterward.

You can even plan activities and challenges around it and photograph every moment to never be forgotten!

Celebrating the holidays on a budget does not mean sacrificing the joy and warmth of the season. It invites us to have meaningful experiences, handmade touches, and the company of our favorite people without stressing over materialistic things that, most of the time, invite us to overspend. The true essence of these holidays lies in the spirit of giving, gratitude, and togetherness, reminding us that the most priceless moments are often the ones that cost the least. 

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Chayote & Blistered Tomato Salad

An easy low-calorie option for lunch and dinner.

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Huevos con Chorizo Casserole

This easy eggs and chorizo casserole is the perfect breakfast for Christmas morning.

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