Christmas on a Budget

Like a lot of other families this year, I will be struggling a lot this Christmas.  We’re almost at the middle of November, and I have gotten to the point where I am wondering if I will be able to get any Christmas presents at all…  And that includes for my 2 year old.  Although I am sure that I will be able to work something out, here are some hints and tips for you…

Spread the cost of Christmas

It may seem a little silly storing Christmas presents away in July, but paying a little bit every so often is easier on the bank balance than buying everything all at once and being left with the hefty bills over Winter.  If you’re super savvy, you could even start your Christmas shopping when the January sales start!

Homemade Decorations

Decorations are simple to make, and can save you a lot of money.  Not only can this be a good way to get your children involved in crafting, but you end up with treasured memories and festive keepsakes that you can use year after year.

Search for Vouchers Online

Some gifts can be particularly expensive, but by searching around online you may be able to find a code or voucher so that you can pick it up at a discounted price.  Before buying anything, always look to find it cheaper – it could be worth the search.

Check out Nearly New Boards

You can find ‘Nearly New Boards’ practically everywhere.  Check out ebay, amazon local marketplace, gumtree…

Make your own Christmas Cards

Making your own cards could be the perfect way for saving a bit of money, and it will get the kids involved in some quality crafting (and quiet) time.  Be as adventurous, or as simplistic, as you like.  Making your own cards means that you’re not limited to the designs that you find in the shops.

Ask Guests to chip in for Christmas Dinner

What?  Really?  Yes!  The costs of Christmas dinner can mount up quickly, so it may be a good idea to ask guests to help out a bit.  You could even allocate a different part of the meal to each guest if you’re having a large group of people over – so one person can be responsible for starters, one can bring around the pudding, one can bring the veg, and you sort out the turkey!  It is easy to be nervous about asking, but most people will be happy to chip in if it means the meal will be that ‘little more grand’ for everybody.  Oh…  And don’t forget to ask someone to bring the crackers!

Home-make whatever you can

On the subject of food, try to stay away from pre-packaged additions to your Christmas dinner.  Not only is it the healthier option, as you can be sure of everything that is going in to your meal, but it is actually a lot easier on your purse strings!  I’m sure you can manage rolling the pig up in the blanket, and there is NEVER a need for the taste of Smash when you can buy a whole bag of potatoes for less than a portion of pre-mashed spuds.

Don’t be afraid of Charity Shops

Christmas presents don’t have to cost a fortune; in fact, some of the best toys can come from car boot sales and charity shops.  Kids love opening presents so will be much more excited at opening ten £1 presents than one £10 gift.

Print off your own ‘Santa Stop Here’ sign

There are a variety of signs available these days for children to hang up outside their doors, telling Santa where he needs to stop.  Save money on a much desired sign by printing out your own one, allowing children to give it that personal touch by colouring it in themselves.

Make Gifts Yourself!

Get your creative juices flowing and save a bit of cash by making gifts yourself.  Whether it’s a bundle of sweet treats, a hamper you’ve collected goodies from your area or a special keepsake from your children, people always appreciate that you’ve put in a special effort to make their gift.  To give yourself ideas, why not research online?  I like to use ‘Pintrest’ for inspiration.

Stock up on PLAIN Wrapping Paper

It’s so easy to get carried away buying festive wrapping paper, only for it to go unused in the cupboard for a year, getting crumpled along the way, then to be ripped open and binned… What not buy paper with no occasion writing or image on it, so that it can be used any time of the year, and will never go to waste?  You could even decorate the paper yourself with drawings or stencils.

Plastic is Fantastic

No, it’s not a real tree, but a plastic tree can be used year after year, it can be as large (or as small) as you want, it doesn’t drop needles, and it saves you more money every year that you have it.  Not only that, but a plastic tree can look just as festive while bearing the brunt of over enthusiastic children just that little bit more than a real tree.

The True Meaning

Overall, too many people are too quick to judge what other people have for Christmas.  Whether it be food or gifts, they always forget the true meaning.  That, I suppose, is why I am not particularly worried about struggling this year.  I know that even without anything to give, my family are still going to have an amazing Christmas.

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