Ramadan is around the corner, with Eid following and a lot of us are in the throes of planning, decorating and organising as well as getting a head start on Eid presents. If you haven’t started to prepare yet because you find that Ramadan and Eid are put a considerable strain on your finances – here are some ways you can celebrate without breaking the bank
As you prepare your home for Ramadan and Eid, work on decluttering and putting aside items or clothing that you no longer need that will sell or trade well. Use Facebook groups, eBay or even your own family and friends’ circles to sell items that you no longer need so that you can put the funds towards something else or swap items with others for things you really need. Not only do you save money, you’re also helping to reduce waste and contributions to landfill.
Pinterest is a treasure trove for Ramadan and Eid décor – all you’ve got to do is print! You’ll find everything from paper lanterns, to bunting, to prints for your dining table – Pinterest has got it all. I’ve gathered a few of my favourites here:
If you do want to string up some lights or are hosting an Eid party and need festive disposable tableware, your local discount store should be the first place you check. You can grab some great bargains there. If that doesn’t work, leave enough time for postage and you will find inexpensive options on eBay.
Putting together items for crafts and activities can be overwhelming and sometimes quite expensive. We chose to recycle several items this year for our Ramadan crafts; the Styrofoam base of a shop-bought pizza is going to be used when we learn about phases of the moon, the plastic jar that held some cookies is going to be decorated and used as a Sadaqah jar, cardboard toilet roll tubes will make a great set of binoculars that children can decorate and use to ‘spot’ the moon. Make a list of the crafts and activities that you’d like to do with your child and create activity packs that are ready to go when Ramadan begins!
Here are some must-do crafts and incredibly useful printables that you can use this Ramadan and Eid:
There are so many wonderful Muslim authors creating books for our children to teach them about Ramadan and Eid and whilst it would be great to have every single one of them in our home libraries, it isn’t very affordable or practical. We borrow ours from our local library and place items on reserve as early as possible so that if they need to be brought in from other branches, there’s enough time to do so. Both our local libraries do not charge for reserving/ requesting items so it’s worth visiting your local library to see what you can score! If you can’t find any, you’ll still be able to borrow some new books to keep your children occupied throughout Ramadan.
5) Meal plan, make lists and shop in advance
If you are on a budget (and even otherwise), it’s important to meal plan and shop in advance for Ramadan. The amount we spend on food decreases quite a bit during Ramadan and I’ve found that if I plan well, we can save quite a bit.
If you don’t know where to start, or you’ve never created a meal plan before, this 30-day Ramadan version does it all for you at a very low cost. The meal plan and recipe ideas are of course not limited to Ramadan and can be used all year round so this is a good bargain. Some of the proceeds are donated to charity too!
Or if you’ve got planning covered and are just looking for nutritional tips on what makes a great Suhoor and Iftaar and some recipe inspiration – this is a good, free option.
Not only are you saving some money here, by planning what you are going to eat in advance and shopping for it, you are saving precious time in Ramadan that you can use for ibaadah instead of in a supermarket.
Gift-giving does not have to be expensive or extravagant – it defeats the purpose of Ramadan. Instead, create homemade gifts that are personalised and often mean a whole lot more to the recipient than something purchased. You can find some great DIY gift ideas here.
Another gift that I have given in the past that the recipient loved, was a voucher book. Voucher books essentially involve gifting your time and can be as personal as you want them to be. You could even gift this to children – your own, or your nieces and nephews that you would like to spend more quality time with. If your husband is hard to buy for and the kind who already has everything he needs – this would be a brilliant idea. For a friend, your voucher book could be filled with inside jokes and things you know she would find it hard to ask for help with.
The best part? All you need is some paper and a few colourful pens to put this gift together!
If you would like to gift a family something, rather than find various items for each family member that you hope they will enjoy, find a print that you think they will love and frame it. This can cost very little if you purchase an inexpensive frame and get one of the many beautiful free printables available online. It is something they will be able to enjoy for a long time and something every family member will benefit from when they walk by it. I found some inspirational, Islamic-themed ones here.
It’s easy to get caught up in everything you see on social media and think that your preparations aren’t as elaborate or beautiful as others’, but I encourage you to stay within your means and avoid comparisons – they are the thief of all joy. Save some of those pennies and put them towards sadaqah during Ramadan – the investment of a lifetime. I pray that your homes, wealth and possessions are filled with barakah during this very special month and that Allah eases all our affairs.