10 Ways to Save Money at Christmas

Whatever the time of year, it is never too early to start thinking about Christmas, start putting aside money and start planning your festivities. Christmas can be hard hitting on our bank accounts but these tips should help you spread the cost and have yourself a thrifty little Christmas.

1. Set a budget

 First things first if you want to save money at Christmas then you really need to set yourself a realistic budget  in advance and work out how much you can afford to spend. Why not put aside some money each month throughout the year to spread the expense rather than having one big hit when December comes. Remember Christmas is only one day a year so don’t feel the need to go completely overboard and ruin the rest of the year’s budget. Once the money has gone, it’s gone. Stick to your limits and plan for what you can afford, not what you desire. Make a list and check it twice!

2. Home baking from scratch

Mince PiesChristmas is a time where the shops will all of a sudden be filled with lots of tempting treats that aren’t available during the rest of the year. Mince pies are a great example of this and at around £1 for a box of 6, this can soon add up over the festive period. Buying the ingredients separately can save you lots of money. Mince pies are simply ready rolled pastry and mincemeat which you can pick up for about £2. This £2 worth of ingredients will easily make you 25 mince pies saving you money for other things.

 

 

3. Shop the January sales

One way to save money and give you a head start on your Christmas shopping is to stockpile gifts and shop the January sales. You can pick up a lot of gift sets, home-wears and even clothing items at majorly reduced prices. January is the perfect time to get some great bargains and not only gifts but cards and wrapping paper too. Cards and gift wrap are usually reduced by at least 50% in January so now is the perfect time to stock up and stash some away for next year. Sales throughout the year can also be a great opportunity to collect gifts. A great suggestion is to have a list or a spreadsheet with all of the items you’ve bought so far so you don’t end up buying too much.

 

4. Homemade gifts

Homemade TrufflesHomemade gifts are not only really thoughtful, they are also a lot easier to make than you think. Gifts that are really easy to make include fudge, chocolates, body scrubs, chutneys and jams. You can always bulk buy your ingredients and batch prepare a large number of gifts. Jam is really easy to make and goes a long way. Re-use old clean jars and add some festive ribbon for a really nice personal touch. These jars can also be decorated to store your homemade chocolates.

 

5. Recycle unwanted gifts

We’ve all been victim of that one gift that we have no use for, instead of leaving it to pile up dust keep it packaged up and store it away for future use as long as it’s not a perishable item such as food. You might want to make a note of who it’s from, in case you end up giving it back to the same person!

6. Make your own decorations

Christmas CraftsMaking your own decorations couldn’t be simpler, and is also great fun for the kids and super easy and cheap to do. Pinecones can be find in most wooded areas and look great sprayed with gold and silver paint. Salt dough is so easy to make with flour, water and salt and a fun decoration to create is mini gingerbread men. Simply make your salt dough, cut out into gingerbread man shapes, dust with some cinnamon and bake in the oven on a low heat for 2-3 hours. Make sure you poke a hole in the top and when they’re finished loop some string through and hang them on the tree. These would also make great gifts don’t you think?

 

7. Bring your own dish at Christmas

Hosting Christmas dinner can be an expensive affair. Cut the costs by asking everyone to bring a dish with them. Have one family member bring starters, another bring dessert, one bring a side dish and another bring the drinks. That way you don’t have to fork out the whole cost of a Christmas banquet and it also saves you slaving away in the kitchen for hours on end.

8. Secret Santa

If you have a large family why not suggest a large scale Secret Santa instead of buying individual gifts for each person. Secretly draw everyone’s names out of a hat to see who needs to buy for whom and stick to an upper price limit for that person. This way, everyone gets a gift but you only have to buy one. This also means each person gets something really thoughtful instead of piles of presents that they may not need.

 

9. Shop around

Don’t just buy the first thing you see because it’s there at the time. Shop around, browse the internet and see if you can get a better deal. Books, CD’s and DVD’s are often a lot cheaper online and you can also shop around for voucher codes to try and save even more money. Sign up to big company newsletters online and always be notified of any sales, clearance weekends and free delivery days.

10. Give free Christmas gifts

Christmas ChequesGifts don’t always have to be physical things. Are you a keen gardener? Why not offer to dig some flowerbeds for your friend’s garden. How would your partner like to receive a month’s supply of breakfast in bed, or a month’s supply of car rides home from the pub? Offering your friends and family your time or labour won’t cost a thing but can be a great gesture.

 

 

 

 

What is the Verdict?

MoneySavingPigWe hope this has given you some ideas on how to cut costs this Christmas. How do you save money at Christmas?

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