We all know this time of year is tight on the bank balance and probably the one period of the year we splash too much cash. But there is a way to go through the festive season without having to feel the pinch. I’ve compiled a list of 18 money saving tips for Christmas. In 3 separate sections of Presents, Food and Decorations I’ve listed the best ways to save money this Christmas.
Of course, the best way to save money for Christmas is to plan in advance and spread the costs throughout the year, but that’s not always easy or possible. But, for next year try and think about keeping a Christmas fund locked away, or buying presents earlier in the year.
Presents can be one of the hardest things to save money on, especially if you have a big family. Here I’ve chosen 5 different methods I use to save money on Christmas presents.
Start your planning with a strict budget. Plan who you need to buy for, their importance and list it in order. Add them all together – then chop a bit off, because you’ve probably overestimated it. I set a strict budget of £80 on presents. £40 to my partner, £10 each to my mum & dad and £5 each on siblings.
Don’t buy for everyone
You really shouldn’t buy for everyone. Yes, buy them a card but presents aren’t necessary. If someone buys you a present, but you haven’t got them one, don’t worry. They shouldn’t expect anything back, If they’re giving to receive, they probably don’t deserve a present in the first place.
Write cards early
Start buying and writing your cards now. The sooner you do it, the easier it will be to give to the person instead of having to spend unnecessary postage costs. Buy a cheap bumper pack of cards and customise a nicer message on the inside to show you’ve made a decent effort.
Shopping second hand may not sound like a good idea for a present, however, many online sites like Facebays and Ebay are filled to the brim with people selling unwanted gift cards for lower costs. Also, charity shops don’t just stock second-hand items, a lot of the time you can pick up brand new products PLUS you’ll be helping charity.
Shop the deals
Black Friday’s coming up, and cyber Monday. Once you’ve set your budget and listed who to buy for then head over to Hot Uk Deals or a similar website and start bargain hunting. Have a few ideas in mind, shop around before you make your purchase or wait until Black Friday/Cyber Monday to buy.
The second biggest Christmas expense for many families is food. When I was a child my mum used to spend hundreds on food and alcohol, just for one day! Here’re 7 ideas to help you save money on your Christmas food shop.
As with the presents set a strict budget and stick to it. Think about the main 3 days and each meal wisely and don’t over think. The chances are you’ll be eating two meals and lots of snacks every day.
Plan out exactly what you want to cook each day and make sure it aligns with your budget. Plan your recipes and what ingredients you will need to execute them. Don’t over complicate things and start making extravagant meals, just make good, homely meals that people will enjoy.
Tins & Frozen
After figuring out your recipes and ingredients, consider buying tinned and frozen goods instead of fresh, there’s always a possibility with fresh produce that it may go off – which would firstly waste a lot of money and secondly cause a lot of unnecessary Christmas drama.
Who needs a turkey
Do you even need a turkey, there’s not much difference between turkey and chicken except for the giant up in price over Christmas – if anything chicken is nicer. Use a LiveLean Discount Code when buying your chicken online with them, and save £5 with our exclusive voucher code!
Shop around before choosing where to buy your food from, everyone knows Iceland has some great Christmas deals (as if we haven’t seen the adverts) but don’t just settle on them, check out other budget stores like Aldi, Lidl and farm foods. Make sure you’re getting enough bang for your buck.
Shop the yellow labels. Every time you’re in a shop check to see if any of your planned ingredients are in the yellow label section, and if you can buy it and freeze it. Yellow label is one the best way to shop the deals, but if you want more, you can also read my post on saving money on your weekly food shop.
Remember how I said you’re probably only going to eat two meals a day over Christmas? Well, that’s probably because you’ll be living off snacks. Start filling up the cupboards now while the shops are still promoting 2 for 1 offers and the likes as these probably won’t last into December, and you can expect to see a price hike too.
The last thing to think about with regards to Christmas spending is decorations, here are my 6 top tips to help you save money on Christmas decorations.
I’m repeating it for the third time! Plan, plan, plan your budget. If this is your first Christmas then your budget may be slightly higher but if it’s not, you should be able to recycle most of the decoration from the previous year. If you want big Christmas savings then you should probably cut the most corners here.
Hand me downs
Many families have tonnes of lights and baubles hidden away in attacks and sheds, ask your parents or friends if they have anything they’re not planning on using this year, it doesn’t matter if you don’t fit in with the year’s “theme”, it’s Christmas, not a fashion contest.
I love Pinterest – I could spend hours and hours scouring and pinning Christmas decorations, although I’m not a very crafty person, there are tonnes of EASY to make decorations with loads of instructions to ensure your Christmas tree jars looks bang on.
Charity shops save all they’re seasonal goods in the back room, so in January when everyone ditches theirs, the charity shops hold them back waiting for this season. That’s why charity shops are a great place to grab a bargain – and again you’re donating to a charity, it’s win-win.
Last year my partner and I bought the majority of our Christmas decorations using Tesco Clubcard points. Around Christmas, they launch double up points so you can buy everything for half the price.
Buy for next year
After Christmas, you can pick up loads of decorations for around 50p when they may have been over £5 beforehand. Buy these now and pack them away ready for next year.
The most important thing to remember is that Christmas is a fun happy time. Borrowing money through credit cards and payday loans will only take the fun out of Christmas. It could leave you with money concerns and possibly ruin next year’s Christmas. If you’re really strapped for cash it’s worth looking into ways to make a bit more pocket money. I’ve recently reviewed a match betting service called OddsMonkey and I advise it to anyone looking for a quick, easy side earner.
With, all of these hints and tips on how to save money this Christmas fresh in your mind. Plan for next year set a savings goal and plan and keep an eye out for presents and decorations all year round.
Enjoy the jolly season 😀