It's not easy to look forward to Christmas if the worry of money is stealing your joy. Most of us are feeling the pinch, but you can still make the most of the festive season by making small changes.
My tips will reduce the cost of Christmas without sacrificing the sparkle. Read on to find out how.
Family Secret Santa
Buying a gift for every family member can get expensive. Why not have fun with Secret Santa Gifts? Just as you would in the office or with friends; decide on a budget, pop everyone’s name in the hat and just buy one gift for that family member. It will massively reduce the cost of gifting.
Ditch wrapping paper for brown paper
Brown paper is generally a lot cheaper than traditional wrapping paper and you get more for your money per roll. Leave the brown paper plain for a contemporary feel or get the kids to decorate it! In addition to this, don’t waste money on expensive ribbons and add ordinary household string to your gifts. It’s worth remembering that a lot of cheaper wrapping paper isn’t recyclable either, brown paper is - win-win!
Avoid the expensive advent calendars
Whether it’s chocolate or cosmetics, you can blow a fortune on advent calendars. And if you want to buy a few of them it becomes an incredibly expensive tradition. Consider buying a reusable advent calendar and filling it with chocolates or treats., there are loads on the market or you could consider buying your own if you’re crafty. You don’t need to do 24 days either - 12 days leading up to Christmas is perfect for younger children.
Budget Christmas days out
Christmas markets and events are great fun, but expensive. Get the kids wrapped up warm and head to a local park. Create a checklist of things to find eg: oak tree, robin, yellow flowers and so on. Once the checklist is complete there’s a festive prize. My kids love a chocolate reindeer. In addition to this, we love the Christmas lights drive every year. Most neighbourhoods provide a plethora of festive cheer for free. If you do have a small budget, why not head to the cinema and see a Christmas movie with the family, take your own snack, sit back and enjoy!
Festive hot drinks at home
There’s nothing like a festive hot chocolate or coffee but for the price of one in your favourite coffee shop, you can buy all the ingredients you need to make one for every family member. Go crazy with the sprinkles, watch your favourite Christmas film and enjoy! If the thought of making your own doesn’t appeal use any free coffees you have earned via loyalty schemes.
Get ahead on the Christmas food shop
Christmas starts earlier every year and although we may not like it much, it can save you money. Pick up chocolates and booze throughout November whilst many are discounted, especially if you have store loyalty cards. You will save money and spread the cost, just don’t eat and drink them all before Santa arrives! And don’t forget to make the most of freezer space, stock up on offers that are available now. Reduced foods can be frozen on the day of purchase and enjoyed at a later date.
Swap turkey for chicken
Yes, turkey is traditional but you don’t have to be. A whole chicken is far cheaper than a turkey but equally as delicious. And if you have a bigger family and need more meat, 2 or 3 whole chickens is still cheaper! And there’s less chance of anyone complaining about dry meat. Or ditch traditional Christmas dinner altogether and have your favourite meal anyway - who says you have to do what everyone else is doing?!
Cut back on Christmas cards
Receiving a Christmas card is always lovely, but it is an additional expense. As well as buying the cards, the cost of stamps has shot up over recent years. Why not make a small donation to a charity instead? Family and friends will understand when they find out you have supported a good cause. And if a donation isn’t an option, send an e-card to let loved ones know you are thinking of them.
Host parties and gatherings for less
Whether it’s Christmas Day or parties over the festive season you can still be a super host by asking everyone to bring a plate of food. Make it fun and have a theme or cuisine in mind. Likewise, ask your guests to bring a bottle. Why not have a cocktail party where everyone brings the ingredients -It will reduce the cost whilst having a wonderful time together.
Regifting is still gifting
From books you have loved to ornaments that aren’t your thing - they make great gifts for someone else. There always seems to be a negative stigma attached to regifitng, and there shouldn’t be! It saves money and prevents perfect items from going to landfills too. Toys are a perfect regifted gift, especially those that only left the packaging briefly - they could be another child's dream pressie this Christmas.
Hi, I’m SJ. I’m an editor and content executive here at MyVoucherCodes. I started my journey here as a deals expert which gave me the skills to become a money-saving expert. You can find my tips and recommendations in various publications including The Sun, The Mirror, and The Telegraph.
I gained a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing in 2018, and I’ve put my writing skills into many projects since then. My portfolio at sarahjaneoutten.com includes my work with Cardiff Times, Buzz Magazine and more.
I write poetry and short stories for pleasure and enjoy getting creative with watercolours and lino printing. I hope that I can merge my love of writing and art into a children's book in the future - watch this space!