Ah Christmas, a time to spend lots of time with family, eat too much food, play board games and drink sparkles. But it all comes at a cost, in the UK we spend in excess of £1000 on Christmas. And this cost is often not saved for and can end up being paid back for months afterwards.
We have drastically reduced the cost of Christmas here by agreeing to not gift expensive presents to the wider family. This has saved alot of money. Here are lots more tips to help you save.
I’ve split my top tips lists into Presents and Food/Booze..
Presents – Top Tips
Write a list as early as possible and stick to it. Get ideas from your friends and family on what they/their children would like. People will always prefer to receive things they want. Why do you think Ebay is so busy after Christmas??! Set a budget and stick to it. You will get a glowing feeling when you get things for free/cheaper than your set budget.
Try the 52 week Mrs Mummypenny saving scheme but reverse it. Week 1 save £52 in a jar, week 2 save £51 and so on. Each time you are out shopping or browsing online keep your list in mind. When you see a special offer snap it up.
- Scan websites like hotukdeals and voucher code sites for online/print out vouchers to save you money before you buy stuff. You can pretty much always find a voucher for most retailers. I love these sites and use them most days.
- When buying online always purchase through topcashback. This is free money. It really is. Just set up an account, search for your chosen retailer, click through to your retailer from topcashback, buy as normal. You can earn lots. I have earned £2500 in six years! When the cash is confirmed you transfer it straight into your bank account.
- Be more clever with your Tesco Clubcard vouchers are use them for triple up/double up offers.
- Make stuff! Grandparents love the handmade stuff by the children, glass jars/chocolate boxes decorated make a great jewellery box. How about making a pile of chutney and decorating jars all christmassy? Get down to your local bead shop and make some jewellery? Fig chutney recipe!
- Make your special cards for mum, dad, grandparents. My kids love glueing stuff and glitter…so we make one card a night in December.
- And my big thing for this year, am not writing cards. Such a waste of energy and time. Especially the children’s cards, when they receive a card from every child in their class. Not doing it!
Food & Booze – Top Ten Tips
- Avoid the last minute dash on the 23rd of Dec around the supermarket at 3pm in the afternoon… it’s stressful and this is what would make you panic buy.
- Last year we had a good plan which was to hit the supermarket really early in the morning on the 21st Dec; it was lovely, everything was in stock & there were hardly any people. Make sure you check use by dates on the fresh stuff. Disadvantage being we had to get up at 5am to do it…with 3 kids, they had fun to be fair with the self scanning gun.
- Make good use of the frozen food section at the supermarket. You can pretty much get a whole Christmas dinner and lovely party food in the frozen section. One of the best bits about Christmas is the party food 😉
- Try not to over buy, easily said, as I know I always do it!
- Get your Christmas sweeties early..and hide them. There are some great offers around at the moment, but only worth it if you resist eating the box of Celebrations!
- Don’t buy selection boxes, buy the chocolate individually and make up a bundle yourself. Much cheaper.
- Buy a chunk of ham and roast it. The hairy bikers do an amazing recipe. The ham lasted for a week and went well with my home made chutney.
- Check out Lidl and Aldi, their fresh meat and cheeses have a great reputation and are great value.
- Buy local, I’m a huge fan of buying my meat from the local butchers purely because the quality is amazing and the prices are better than the supermarket. Our butchers – Trussells of Knebworth also has lovely condiments. I love a condiment, so I’m going to make a hamper (in a box decorated by the kids) as a present for the grandparents with a nice bottle of booze, chutney, some nice bbq sauce and other bits. This will go down a storm.
- Again use voucher codes for your food shopping, all the online shopping sites are desperate for your business and will offer £10-£20 off your first order.
There you have it…please comment with more ideas. Share my blog and the love.