While you munch on your murukku, have you thought about the amount of money you're going to have to spend for Deepavali? Yeah, I know right? Sorry to burst your bubble, but there are ways to plan out your Deepavali shopping without breaking your bank account.
When it comes to festivities, we tend to let the excitement get the better of us and that often leads to splurging on everything and anything we can get our hands on — and the festival of lights is no exception. So, we've prepared a few tips on how you can patch that gaping hole in your wallet during Deepavali.
Sarees and Kurthas
Here's a helpful tip for your Kurtha and Saree shopping. Do it one day before Deepavali. Now, I know it sounds impractical and a little risky, but if you have a couple of hours to spare on the eve, you can save up a lot from the clearance sales. We're talking about discounts up to 50%, and sometimes even 80%. You could find them in most Deepavali bazaars and retail outlets in Klang or Brickfields.
Masala Chicken, Spicy Mutton Varuval and Payasam
Boil the mutton, throw them into a claypot, and stir fry for five minutes before tossing it with ghee, chilies and masala mixes. Now sink your teeth into a piece of that piping hot, juicy meat. Mmm. I can almost smell the familar aroma... I can almost imagine... the amount of money I paid for a kilo of that mutton.
Everyone knows it's better to buy meat earlier because the prices can soar really high during Deepavali. So here's a budget hack that I personally apply. Although chicken and mutton is a staple in every Indian household during Deepavali, I took a leap of faith and tried something else last year. I reduced the amount of chicken and mutton, and compensated with more dish varieties such as fish, sambal ikan bilis, tofu and some vegetables. It turned out to be a hit! I came to a realisation that while food is important, the fellowship during this time of gathering is more important to most people.
But if you do plan to include mutton and chicken into your food spread, there's good news. The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry have included 19 meat and vegetable items on a price control list beginning October 20, 2019 to November 2, 2019 in conjunction with Deepavali.
Take a look at this year's price control list that we've compiled below so that you can make informed choices!
Kolam, Plastic Flowers and Flickery Lights
Think Deepavali and bright lights and kolams come to mind. It is after all, called the festival of lights for a reason. However, these decors don't come cheap. But what's Deepavali without lighted ornaments and kolams? Here's a tip: re-use last year's decorations. Except the kolam, of course.
Lights, artificial flowers, ornaments and even carpets can be re-used. You may be self-conscious, but your guests aren't really going to notice. Can you remember how your neighbor's Deepavali decor looked like last year?
Otherwise, if you have the time, try making your own decorations instead. You'll be sure to impress your guests!
Gong Xi Fat Chai! Ooops! Wrong greeting.
Don't get mixed up. We give out ang pows during Deepavali as well! We all love receiving it, but giving them out...
Unsure of the mechanics of ang pows during Deepavali? I believe this varies from family to family, so consult an elderly just to be safe and not accidentally offend someone. My practice? I only give ang pows to children, it's as simple as that. And if the ang pows are giving you too much headache, remember to give what you can. RM5 is a safe amount. You don't want to get caught in a debt just from giving out ang pows during Deepavali.
Bring out the booze, the cards, and fireworks! Truth be told, those are the common sights of most households during Deepavali. While some may argue that it brings out the fun in the festival, others may think otherwise. So let's break it down:
Every year we spend thousands if not tens of thousands of Ringgit on fireworks. Question yourself if you're willing to spend money on this entertainment that lasts for a couple of minutes.
The true meaning of Deepavali isn't taken away if alcohol isn't in the picture. Let's face it: booze costs a lot of money. If you're planning to celebrate Deepavali on a budget, try substituting alcohol for juice and calculate the amount of money you have saved. If you're planning to drink, the team at CompareHero would strongly recommend you to drink responsibly!
What happens when there is food, booze and good company? Gambling. But unless you have a date with Lady Luck, think of the huge potential of you losing all that money. Put away the deck of cards and introduce other games to have fun. Or else, do it without any money involved!
Now, that doesn't sound so bad, does it? Keep those in check and you'll be experiencing a much thriftier Deepavali this year and the following years to come!