Happy December everyone, I hope you are beginning to feel a bit festive as we approach the big day! As you probably know by now, I adore this time of year and the build up to Christmas. I love buying presents, eating ALL the food, decorating my whole house and spending time with friends and family. However, just because I like to go all out with my Christmas doesn’t mean that I need to break the bank. Over the years I have picked up a few tips and tricks to help me save my pennies and today I can’t wait to share them with you, so you too can have the best & most inexpensive Christmas yet! Let’s get saving…
- Be prepared. You may think it is a bit late for this, but there is still time to get prepared for the festive season! Why not use this week to make sure you’ve bought all of your Christmas presents, so you don’t end up impulse buying expensive items on Christmas eve, or maybe decide what you are going to have for Christmas dinner and pick up any unperishable bits & pieces on offer as we go through the next few weeks. Whatever it is, being prepared gives you more time to think over everything and when you have time to think, you have time to choose and save. And it will also allow you to make the most of some of my other top tips, including…
- Try to shop around for the best deal. This probably sounds tedious but if you know what you want to get someone it may just be worth having a five minute google search to see if there is anywhere that can offer it for a better price. Make a list of all the things you want to get people and the prices that they are, then try a few alternative sites to see what happens, you may be surprised! For example, if I am buying anyone a book for Christmas I always check eBay before I start adding anything to my basket. More often than not you can find brand new books in perfect condition, for up to half the price and they come directly from the warehouse!
- Here’s one you can do on a cold winter’s night sitting in front of the fire… make your own christmas cards. I did exactly that this year and as well as saving money, as I had about 40 cards to write, I also had a great time creating the cards & personalising them for my family and friends. All you’ll need is some white card, some envelopes (my favourite place to buy these is Papermill Direct) and a bit of imagination! Stuck for ideas, hit up Pinterest for some beautiful easy designs. If you want to give it a go, be quick though because you don’t want to miss the last postal deadline.
- And the making doesn’t stop there. Most of your family and friends will love it if you put the effort into making them a handmade gift, so why not make an edible present this year. I know that these delicious cookies from Tanya Burr would go down a treat (they are a guaranteed winner) or why not try my personal favourite, peppermint creams. Yum!
- If you’re not a master baker or crafter, that doesn’t mean you can’t give a personal gift to go with your card and save some money at the same time. One of my favourite go-to ideas is to frame my favourite photos of places & people that mean something to the person who will be receiving the gift. You can pick up photo frames for great prices at places like Ikea & Dunelm and get favourite photos printed out at your local Boots for just a few pence.
- Want to try out a new look this Christmas? Fancy a silver, snowy themed tree this year and have only got gold and red baubles? Never fear, you don’t need to spend a fortune to get the tree of your dreams, check out your local charity shop for decorations – they hoard their christmas donations all year round & bring them all out in late November. Bags of baubles for £1.50 and tinsel for 20p a garland, yes please!
- As well as decorations, the charity shop is also the perfect place to pick up an a new glitzy Christmas party outfit or a new Christmas Jumper for a fraction of the price of the high street shops – especially if you are having a Christmas Jumper Day at school or work. Plus, you are shopping and giving to charity at the same time & that is very fitting for this time of year, don’t you think? Sparkles & novelty jumpers galore!
- One of my favourite things about Christmas is getting together with friends and family around a dinner table. To save some money this year, why not skip the dinner out at some fancy, expensive restaurant, and instead all go over to someones house for your bestie Christmas dinner! This can be so much fun, and super easy if everyone brings a course or a snack. Trust me, you will have food for the five-thousand and an evening of fun to remember.
And there you have it, my top tips for keeping your bank balance looking as happy and healthy as Santa Clause this Christmas!
How do you save money during the festive season? Leave your tips down below, I’d love to read them.