50 Christmas Savings

50 Christmas Savings

50 Christmas savings that can help you stay within budget across the festive season.

The closer we get to Christmas, the more easy it is to get carried away with an extra tin of chocolates or bag full of stocking fillers. It’s just one day and it’s not worth getting into debt for.

Check out these 50 Christmas savings tips to help you keep your spending down.

Shopping strategy

The way you shop can really help you make Christmas savings:

1. Shop locally. If you’re able to, shopping locally can lower costs on travel and eating lunch in a giant shopping centre.

2. Shop early in the day. If you arrive at 9am, you’ll avoid the masses, which means it will be easier to get your shopping done quickly and should result in fewer impulse purchases made in the metaphorical (and often literal) heat of the moment.

3. Ignore facebook! Need I say more?

4. Consider whether any items on your gift list, such as books and dvds, can be bought second hand

5. Look out for well looked after toys, especially if you’re buying for young children, to buy second hand

6. Take a shopping bag (or bags) with you. Those 5ps add up!

7. Steer clear of the random useful/useless aisles in Aldi (a year round suggestion), where it’s too easy to see things that are ‘too cheap to leave behind’

8. Do not browse (on line or in store) once you have what you need

9. Ask for gift receipts- if you don’t get a gift quite right, it’s money wasted if the recipient can’t exchange it.

10. Take care in January sales. Ideally ignore them unless…

11. You can shop for Christmas gifts in the sale. Nope, not for the following Christmas. If someone has asked for something specific that’s likely to be in the sale the day after Christmas, why not wait to buy it?

12. Use a cash back credit card. Keep the cash you would have spent in a savings account (some interest is better than none) and pay it off in full in January.

Food

We buy and eat a lot more food over Christmas, so it makes sense that this is a good place to look for Christmas savings.

13. Buy chocolates and other treats closer to the time- they might be cheaper now, but there’s a high chance you’ll need to replace them!

14. Downshift your cranberry sauce. Rather than pay for a named brand for £1.49, pay 75p for a supermarket brand

15. If no one really likes Christmas pudding, don’t buy for the sake of it

16. Sage and onion stuffing is another downshift, a named brand will cost around 60p or you can pay just 15p for a supermarket’s own brand. (Look after the pennies, and the pounds look after themselves)

17. Write a food list of treats. Make it a separate part of your food shopping list so you can see how many luxuries you’re planning on and consider whether anything can be knocked off the list

18. Make your own biscuits. Check out this recipe on Money Saving Expert. Add your own cinnamon or ginger to make them more festive. I made these this year with a 4 year old, they’re super easy, cheap and delicious!

19. Pick 3 nice pieces of cheese you like rather than a random selection that looks exotic or a pre-selected choice, that you don’t enjoy or could end up throwing away (did you know, you can freeze many cheeses?)

20. Choose plain crackers for cheese. A pack of good old cream crackers or cracked black pepper is all that is needed, and means they’re less likely to go to waste than a large tub.

Going out

Like Christmas isn’t expensive enough, a diary full of Christmas engagements can make Christmas savings more difficult.

21. Stay in for drinks rather than going out- it’s cosier and cheaper

22. Politely decline Christmas work do’s

23. Wear something you already own to Christmas celebrations

Presents

The biggest part of our budgets is usually the gifts. Whilst everyone enjoys treating their loved ones, their are lots of ways to choose perfect gifts that don’t cost the earth.

24. If you have Children that are too young to know what’s going on, skip the expensive gift (or put money in their savings account)

25 Cut down gift giving- talk now to friends and/ or family to see who is receptive

26. Make a list. Check it twice (sorry, couldn’t help myself!)

27. Avoid glossy Christmas catalogues- they’ll only give you ideas of things to spend more money on!

28. Pad out small one’s stocking with things you’d buy anyway- pj’s, bubble bath, crayons.

29. Cut down on stocking fillers/ gifts that you buy just to balance out so you’ve spent equal amount on people

30. Give the gift of time- I O U vouchers for your friends and family.

31. A gift of a box filled with balloons for young children is a big exciting looking gift with low cost

32. Put gifts on your own list that can save you money in the new year, e.g. vouchers for massage, board games, computer games.

33. Don’t opt for personalised stuff. It not only costs more, it’s more difficult to recycle if the recipient grows out of it or wants to donate it in a few years down the line.

Christmas Day fun

Ultimate Christmas savings- games and entertainment that are basically free (ok, so you might need some paper and a pen…)

34. Play charades

35. Play who am I

36. Create a family Christmas quiz

37. Create a Christmas gift treasure hunt

38. Swap board games with a friend for the day to play something new without shelling out

Cards, Decorations and the other trimmings

Christmas, like Weddings, can become more expensive due to a load of extra trimmings. Can you cut some of these out of your day, to find some extra Christmas savings?

39. Don’t buy greetings cards, or trim down your Christmas card list

40. Go without an advent calendar (or share 1 between 2)

41. Try an eat well for less Christmas challenge in the lead up to Christmas

42. Wrapping paper gets ripped off, don’t go for expensive paper, with all the bells and whistles.

43. Avoid Christmas novelty wear that only comes out this time of year

44. If you are sending cards, wrap up warm and hand deliver as many as you can, rather than driving or posting (within walking distance)

45. Don’t buy new decorations, use what you already have

46. Make a small investment each year in decorations you want for the long term

47 If you’re buying a real tree, buy it as close to Christmas as possible

48. Opt for cheap crackers- the prizes may be better, but they’re still not wanted. The best option- fill your own so you don’t end up with plastic rubbish

49. Re-use gift bags

50. Buy silver or gold gift bags that can be reused for birthdays too

 

What do you think of this list of tips? Are they too extreme for you, or not extreme enough? Feel free to share more Christmas savings ideas below, I’m sure there are simply hundreds!

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

13 thoughts on “50 Christmas Savings

  1. I love the idea of putting money in a savings account for kids. We have a niece who is getting born next month, so she’ll only be a month old come Christmas time. Buying her a gift won’t do her any good at that age – she’s too young to even understand what’s going on. But maybe just throwing a few bucks into a 529 plan for her would make sense.

    1. It’s often easier said than done, it can be so tempting to buy cute outfits or toys, but often you’re just buying to satisfy your own needs (that’s true for me, where my nieces are concerned). When she’s older, I’m sure she’ll be glad of what that money has become and not be bothered that she didn’t get another toy to play with or outfit to wear that she wasn’t even old enough to be aware of!

  2. My wife and I have struggled to put together some of his toys. Why they make them so hard to put together is besides me. My wife now tells me to find these things on Craigslist to see if we can find a gently used item that is already assembled because saving time and money is definitely worth it 🙂

    1. That is such a brilliant reason to buy second hand! I remember watching my brother in law wrestle with a toy kitchen for 3 hours one Christmas eve!! (We did offer to help, he was adamant he didn’t need any.)

  3. All wonderful suggestions, Sarah! I love how you mention the Aldi aisle – too cheap to leave behind. Sometimes I get drawn in because…it’s so cheap. But I’m usually able to walk away.

    When my kids were babies, we didn’t buy them anything beyond one or two small toys. They don’t know the difference at that age.

    I never buy gift bags, as I reuse every single one that is given to our family. I do occasionally have to purchase tissue paper to put in them, but that is relatively cheap.

    1. Thanks Amanda! I love Aldi but some of those aisles can do more harm than good…

      That’s a sensible approach for babies. It’s easy to carried away buying things you want them to have, rather than things they want or need themselves. I’m a doting Auntie to 3 nieces so have to remind myself of this often!

  4. I’ve done a huge box filled with balloons and a helium balloon each- it was the best thing ever and kept them amused for days!! Each year since they ask if Santa will bring them a balloon box again!! So cheap and easy!! Xx #KCACOLS

    1. That’s adorable! It’s tempting to pile a trolley high in toys r us, but you really don’t need to spend a lot to create a magical Christmas 🙂

  5. So many good tips here, I’m definitely cutting back on food this year, I’m sick of having Christmas chocolate still hanging around in February, really there is no need! #KCACOLS

  6. This is a great list of Xmas savings. We are trying to since last year something different about presents within the family but just the adults. We all say what we want and then we do a kind of secret Santa and we only have to buy one present per family so each of us receives one present. This saves us a lot of money and also we don’t have to worry much as we will also know what to buy. Hope it makes sense! lol Thanks so much for sharing this list at #KCACOLS.

    1. It makes complete sense! Whilst the perfect surprise gift is the best, a surprise gift you don’t want can be the worst… and such a waste of money!

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