With green about to be on everyone’s mind, I want to talk about celebrating one of the most festive days of the year and leaving more green in your wallet. You might not think you need a budget but did you know last year people spent $4.7 billion celebrating St. Patrick’s Day? If you plan on reveling while wearing green, use these tips for some frugal fun and keeping your budget in the black.
When Irish Eyes Are Smiling
Of course, you will want to wear your green, but that doesn’t mean you need to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe. Any accessory, such as a scarf, tie, necklace or pin can be a great substitution for lack of green in your closet. Or ask a friend who is really into the holiday if they have something you can borrow! But if you need to buy your green, check out your local thrift store. Secondhand and vintage shops are almost always the most frugal way to go.
If you’re crafty or hoping for a quick DIY accessory, a few inexpensive sheets of green felt and scissors are all you need to spruce up your Patty’s Day ensemble. Print off a clover or a top hat shape in the right size for a cute and clever pin-on addition. And a quick Google search will yield plenty of clever sayings you can add on t’boot!
Fun with Green Foods and Decorations
One small bottle of green food coloring is really all you need to make some fun treats for the little leprechauns in your life. You can find an abundance of recipes online for everything from mint chocolate chip cupcakes to pancakes (best served with green eggs and ham, of course) and even martinis!
For a healthier alternative, remember there is always a rainbow attached to that pot o’ gold. Use this colorful arch as inspiration. Skewers of fruit arranged by color are both beautiful, nutritious and a sure-fire hit with your little ones.
Decorations for your home, office or classroom can be very simple but very effective for creating a fun atmosphere. Shamrocks or rainbows made of construction paper are always a success. You can also find a bunch of free, cute printables online for everything from games to glass covers and placemats.
Lucky To Have Each Other
St. Patrick’s Day is well known for being filled with parties and celebrations, and almost every restaurant and pub takes part in the fun. Instead of spending the extra money out and about, throw your own get together in your home. March can be fickle but we may get lucky and get nice weather this year so consider a picnic or potluck style meal. Guests can all bring a dish. Menu suggestions include soda bread, corned beef and cabbage and scalloped potatoes.
Don’t wait; make those memories with your friends and family this year! You don’t have to overspend to remember this celebration. Having a full house on St. Patrick’s Day is nearly as lucky as finding the gold at the end of the rainbow!
Kat's Money Corner is posted on Dollars & Sense every Tuesday. Tina Mapes is an assistant branch manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, click http://twitter.com/savinmavens.