12 Saves of Christmas

Christmas comes but once a year. And without meaning to sound like a Scrooge, we say: ‘thank goodness!’

Christmas is great but it can be very costly too. Check out these 12 tips for cutting costs:

1)      Set yourself a budget

The first thing you should do is set a budget and stick to it! Remember Christmas isn’t about the stacks of presents and mountains of food. Try not to put too much emphasis on the commercial side of Christmas and instead focus on the family and friends around you. Christmas is a lovely time of year but it’s not worth getting into debt over.

2)      Order your shopping online

Fall not ye for the special offers and abundance of cheese available. Instead, opt for grocery shopping from your own home. We know it costs to get it delivered but you’ll have the advantage of checking your cupboards as you shop so you don’t double up on supplies, whilst also being able to organise your festive menu – hopefully stopping you from over-spending (and over-eating too!)

3)      Use cashback sites

If you do a lot of your shopping online, consider using cashback sites where you can sign up for free and earn money by purchasing products via their site. Companies offer cashback sites money for referring customers to them – they pass a percentage of this reward back to you.

4)      Send ecards

Sending Christmas cards can be really expensive, especially when you factor in the cost of stamps. On the other hand, sending Season’s Greetings is a nice way of keeping in touch and letting those faraway friends and family know you’re thinking of them. There is a compromise. Sending ecards is cheap and quick to do. Ecard sites usually work on a membership basis where you can send unlimited cards for a small annual subscription. We offer 12 months unlimited ecard membership for £7.50.

5)      Alternative wrapping

You’ve bought the gifts, you’ve sent your Christmas ecards. What comes next? Wrapping. And if you’re not careful you can spend a small fortune on paper that will probably be in the recycling bin by the time the turkey hits the table. So consider recycling materials from the get go, with some of these alternative methods of wrapping.

6)      Take part in ‘Secret Santa’

Secret Santa is a great way of limiting the amount of presents that you need to add to your already substantial Christmas list. These work particularly well in the workplace and often benefit from an imposed price limit of £5-£10; no-one will be expecting anything too fancy and the ‘secret’ element adds a bit of excitement and mystery to gift-giving at work.

7)      Make Homemade Decorations

Rather than buying a new bauble for the tree or extra decorations why not have a go at making some of your own? You might not have a huge amount of time – what with Nativity plays and Christmas shopping – but this is a great way to create some unique decorations. And with sites like Pinterest, you’ll never be stuck for homemade decoration ideas. Get the kids involved and make something that you’ll treasure forever.

8)      Consider sharing entertaining costs

If you’re sharing the big day with others, consider sharing the costs too. If you’re hosting it’s not unreasonable to ask whether your guests are able to contribute a little something to the celebrations. If you’d rather money didn’t exchange hands, you could suggest that each person could provide a crucial component of Christmas dinner such as drinks or desserts.

9)      Make your presents

How many times have you heard the phrase ‘it’s the thought that counts?’ So what could be more thoughtful than taking the time to make someone a present? It doesn’t have to anything too complex, a batch of homemade mince pies or one of those decorations that you made with the kids could be the perfect way to say happy holidays without breaking the bank.

10)   Take advantage of free entertainment

Whilst you might be spending quite a bit on gifts and food this Christmas, thankfully, there’s plenty of free entertainment on offer to help get you in the mood for Christmas. Wander Christmas Markets, attend your local church’s carol service and even just get cosy in front of the box and enjoy a packed schedule of top telly.

11)   Use your loyalty points

Christmas is the perfect time to spend all those Boots, Tesco and Nectar Card points you’ve been saving up all year. Look out for special promotions in the lead-up to Christmas from retailers that could help your points go further.

12)   Be social and save

There are thousands of articles out there with great advice on how to save and be resourceful; use sites like Twitter and Pinterest to find money saving tips. Also, retailers often use their online presence to publicise special offers to their followers, so don’t forget to follow your favourites and keep a keen eye out for any deals available.

All these tips are useful in a practical sense but we think the best piece of advice we can give you is to just enjoy it. Try not to get stressed if things don’t go to plan, with good company and a relaxed atmosphere, we’re sure you’ll have a very happy Christmas.

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