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.
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.
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.
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
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!