SOURCE: Dirt Devil

December 01, 2011 05:00 ET

Tips to Amp Up the Holiday Cheer and Scale Back the Budget

Quick, Easy and Inexpensive Ideas for Holiday Savings

MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - Dec 1, 2011) - (Family Features) While we all enjoy the company and holiday cheer of the season, entertaining, meal planning and gift giving can leave you feeling pinched for pennies, and your house disorganized. In fact, according to GfK Custom Research North America, this year's holiday spending is projected to be lower than last year with 84 percent of consumers intending to spend less. Holiday travel, however, is expected to increase by 43 percent compared to 2010, reported by American Express Co., so don't be surprised if you find yourself squeezing a few additional bodies in the house this season.

When it comes to keeping guests happy and comfortable while entertaining on a budget, planning and preparation are crucial. Here's some advice straight from Stephanie Begley, associate marketing manager of leading floor care brand Dirt Devil, to ensure you'll stay clutter-free and cost-conscious this season.

"Everyone knows the holiday season is the most stressful time of the year due to the hustle and bustle of work, travel and visitors," says Begley. Whether you are expecting guests for a day or a week, hosting a festive party for five, or a dinner for twenty, Begley has tips for saving time, energy and money around the house:

Holiday Entertaining Prep Tips
Clipping for coupons
- Stretching the dollar is one of the most challenging and important things to do around the holidays. Searching the local paper or hopping online to do a quick search for deals in your area are steps you can take to help plan your holiday recipes while saving.

Cleaning in stealth mode - Hosting visitors means more dirt on the carpets and more crumbs on the floor. This season, don't break a sweat. Try investing in something new and innovative to do the dirty work. Whiskers, the new line of Dirt Devil Robotic Vacuums, offer a hands-free, hardworking robot that thoroughly sweeps and vacuums tile, linoleum, and wood flooring with ease. Perfect for pre-party clean-up or after the guests have gone home, this handy vacuum is so reasonably priced, so you'll have more to spend on holiday gifts.

Thinking outside the gift box - Get crafty while saving money and resources. Repurpose newspaper and magazine pages to use as wrapping paper. Find a tutorial at www.ehow.com. Make sure to save and store gift bows and bags for use next year as well.

Enlisting the help of others - Don't be afraid to ask family and friends for help when cleaning up after dinners, parties or even prepping for the fun. Remember the holidays are a time for everyone to spend together, so if you plan on cooking a big meal, divide the to-dos between guests. Same goes for clean-up -- assign someone to vacuum, another to load the dishwasher and clear the table. You will minimize clean-up time and maximize quality time with your family and friends.

For more information and cleaning tips, follow Dirt Devil on Facebook, www.Facebook.com/DirtDevil.

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