, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3rd Ramadan-Kareem-WallpaperIn addition to the festivities and religious fervour that mark Ramazan, exorbitant expenditures due to lavish sehri and iftar get-togethers causes much stress and anxiety.

Here are a few tips to make this Ramazan less taxing on your pocket:

Try home-made recipes. Instead of purchasing parathas, samosas and pakoras from your local bakery, opt for homemade food that is hygienic, nutritious and costs significantly less. People lacking in cooking talent – or time – can buy frozen foods, which are substantially cheaper in the long run. An even cheaper option is buying puff pastry for samosas and rolls and making them at home.

Look out for bargain deals. Keep an eye out for bachat bazaars that offer value deals on items such as sugar, besan, cooking oil, masalas and chickpeas. Remember to stock non-perishables, such as pre-packaged juices and milk, flour, imli and vermicelli before Ramazan; this can result in substantial saving. People planning to revamp their houses for Eid should lookout for home stores offering special discounts on furniture and electronic appliances.

Plan a kitchen garden. Prices of Ramazan essentials such as coriander, mint, lemon and green chillies increase by almost 30-35% since they are used by most people. Therefore, plan a fruit and herb garden; buy lemon and green chilli saplings, as well as coriander and mint seeds, and plant them now. This will ensure that you have an abundant supply of fresh, home-grown fruits and herbs for cooking by the time Ramazan starts.

In order to have extra spending money next Ramazan, start a committee after Eid, in which all members pool their savings and receive a lump-sum in Shaban next year, instead of every month. This way, by the time Ramazan comes around next year, everyone will have the much-needed cash to eat and shop!

– Uzma Nawaz
First published in the ADBUZZZZ Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on June 22, 2014.