Create a budget in advance
I know, it sounds boring, right? But it can actually be pretty fun. Planning a budget for Christmas can be as simple as writing a list of everything you want to buy (such as Christmas dinner and decorations) and who you want to buy presents for. From here you can brainstorm your gift ideas and budget per person. The process of sitting down and actively thinking about your purchases can help prevent impulse buys and promote thoughtful gift-giving.
Ditch the Christmas Cards
Sure, it may make you feel a little “bah humbug” but ditching Christmas cards is a great way to save money AND it’s good for the environment. Instead, create an e-card with a meaningful message or video and send it via text or email so you can still embrace your Christmas spirit!
Embrace Secret Santa
I come from a large (ever-growing) family which makes Christmas very fun, but also very expensive. That is until we started doing Secret Santa! This year will be our fourth year doing it and it’s made such a difference. Not only to our bank balances but our overall experience, as we are no longer stressed running around trying to buy everything for everyone. Instead, we each get to focus on one person, and can put more thought into the present we have to buy. Each year we have two rules: the budget must be determined up front, and anybody under 18 and over 80 gets presents like normal! Which we basically put there so the kids don’t miss out and we get to spoil our Nan!
It might feel awkward to suggest doing this with your family, but trust me, I’m sure they will thank you for taking the step because it’s so much fun and less stressful!
TIP: I use a website called Draw Names which takes everybody’s details and allocates them a person to be Secret Santa to, via email. It takes the headache out of the allocation process completely!
Make the most of loyalty schemes
No matter what your shop of choice is, make sure you’re signed up for their loyalty scheme. Whether you opt for Nectar points from Sainsbury’s or Argos, Clubcard points from Tesco or points from Boots, you get access to exclusive savings, and discounts and can even convert points into a method of payment.
Last year, I bought my nephew’s presents from Argos using Nectar points I collected throughout the year and the year before that I bought a relative her favourite Chanel beauty products using Boots points! It makes such a difference—and comes at no extra cost!
Be savvy with the sales
Who said Christmas shopping had to be done at Christmas? *wink*
Save yourself some money by getting savvy with the sales. They can be a minefield to navigate at first, but if you have your handy list (as mentioned above) you’ll know exactly what you’re looking for, for each family member!
What else would you add? Share your favourite cost saving tips with me on social media, and I’ll add them in!