Save money at Christmas


It's the most wonderful time of the year, and also the most expensive! Today's blog looks at creative ways of saving on costs this Christmas. 

Personally, I think a carefully chosen item that shows someone knows me, and has given some time and thought to the gift, is far better than something bought in a rush in a shop. 

1) Reuse and Recycle

Not only is it great for the environment, but reusing items can save huge amounts of money.  Some of the ways to do this are:

  • Yes, you can re-gift those items from last year that are sitting in the back of the wardrobe.
  • Have a clear out of items you don't use in the house, and see if any of them are good enough to gift to someone else.
  • If you are crafty, then upcycle items you find, to make them modern and trendy - you'd be amazed at what a difference a coat of paint can make. 
  • Loads of items are given away for free online, using sites like Freegle and Freecycle
  • Look for items on Facebook Marketplace for free, or cheap options. 

2) Buy gifts in the charity shops - they need our support

  • they have a huge selection of items, many of which are new and unopened.
  • Buy a pair of wine glasses, and add a bottle of wine, package it up into a neat gift
  • Buy a lovely bowl, and fill it with chocolates or sweets, and wrap it
  • Fill a vase with flowers, or buy a plant pot, paint it, and fill it with a potted plant
  • Combine a few small items to make a hamper - perhaps a candle, bath goodies and some chocolates for a small pampering pack. 
  • Baskets and containers found in charity shops also can be used for containing gifts / hampers. Of course, scarves make a great alternative to wrapping paper. 

3) Auction sites

  • pick up new and packaged items from auction sites (like ebay; Vinted etc) 
  • Buy something that is collectable, and rare - such as a signed copy of a book by a favourite author, or an antique, or a new item to add to something they collect. 

4) Give personal vouchers

Think about something you can do for a friend or family member that will be helpful to them. Your time is valuable - what can you do make someone else feel special? You can find Christmas Cheques here to use. The site also lists ideas for those cheques. Some other ideas are:

  • A babysitting voucher for families with small kids
  • A home cooked family meal, delivered at a date of the recipient's choosing. (If cooking isn't your strength, then offer a delivered take away instead)
  • if you are one of those people who likes to iron and clean, offer free ironing or cleaning services
  • For immediate family, think about vouchers for reading a story; breakfast in bed, or a back rub, or doing their chores for a day. 
  • Offer to bake a cake etc. 

5) Shop online

avoid the crowds, but also use Voucher sites, and price comparison sites to find the best deals. See our previous blogs for details:

6) Save money on food

Only buy what you need, but look at sites like Olio, where people give away food that they won't eat. The food has to still be edible to be included! This blog from the Money Saving Expert gives lots of tips for saving on the costs of food.

7) Home made gifts

Are you a wiz at baking, or perhaps at woodwork or crafting? Why not make your gifts

  • Make some traditional sweets - you an find loads of recipes at AllRecipes. Package them in cellophane with ribbon, or in nice jars and tins
  • Bake cookies, and package them in attractive tins
  • If jewellery making is your thing, pretty bracelets and earrings also make great gifts. 
  • This blog has some very simple ideas that are easy for anyone to make.

8) Free games and activities

Keeping everyone occupied can be a challenge, so see the options on these sites:

Christmas is a great time for friends and family, but it needn't cost a fortune! 

Merry Christmas

© 2018 Denice Penrose
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