Chinese New Year has got to be one of the biggest celebrations of the year. Before you go on a spending frenzy, here are some tips to stretch your dollar and save your pennies. With a bit of strategy and planning, you and your family can enjoy even more abundance in the Year of The Fire Rooster!
1. Rent your bai nian-mobile
Forget trying to flag down cabs during your round of house visits. Dealing with surge pricing on car booking apps can be a pain too. It may instead be worth your while to rent a car (or lorry depending on your family strength) for the day's festivities. Browse the car rental sites, do cost comparisons and see what’s cheapest.
2. Have a potluck reunion
While reunion dinners at a restaurant may seem convenient, it's also very costly. Things may even get ugly when it's time to pay. Why not score points by opening up your home and providing the main dish (poh piah with all the trimmings?) and get others to each bring a pot of something.
3. Keep calm and freeze Bak Kwa
It's not CNY if there's no Bak Kwa! But it's just ridiculous that something that’s available all year round at the same price suddenly becomes 3x more expensive during the festive season! Well, here's a great workaround: buy those chewy meat morsels before the price hike and just deep freeze the goods until CNY comes round. Toast lightly before serving; we promise it'll taste just as yummy!
4. Don't refuse to reuse & recycle
For many people CNY is synonymous with all things new (especially when it comes to clothes) but surely it doesn't have to apply to home décor? Apart from reusing CNY hangings from previous years, you can also put the stacks of new and unused ang pows you've accumulated to good use! Do a search online for DIY Chinese New Year decorations and there will be tutorials galore.
5. Lose face? Or lose money?
It's no fun being a poker face when everyone around you is playing cards. So go ahead, indulge. But keep your head and don't get ruffled by Double Down Dave or Beginner's Luck Betty. Remember the budget you've set aside for gambling and stick to it. And leave your wallet and car keys far away from the Mah Jong table!