How to Celebrate Christmas on a Budget
Does the thought of Christmas only being five months away freak you out a little?
Do not panic, we’ve thought of lots of money saving ideas which might help your money go that little bit further.
For many of us, Christmas is the most expensive time of the year and can leave our bank balances feeling a little empty in January and our mood a little blue. We’ve decided that this year it will be different!! We might sound a little optimistic, but with a bit of budgeting and forward planning then we’re determined to be organised and save some pennies.
Presents are a large proportion of the overall cost of Christmas and the lists of people to buy for can sometimes spiral out of hand; especially if you have a large family. Buying gifts for children’s teachers, the postman and the lady in the local shop may need to be kept to a minimum as this is all extra costs and they really do start to add up.
The best option is to make a gift list and allocate everyone an amount of how much you can afford to spend on them. Then, it is important to stick to your budget to prevent any extra costs accumulating. If you have an idea of what you want to buy people, make the most of the internet, voucher codes and shopping around. If you can find the same product in a different shop for cheaper, this will save you money and all the savings will definitely start to add up.
Another option is to have a go at making some homemade gifts, sites such as Mumsnet and Pinterest have some fantastic ideas from tasty festive fudge to homemade snow globes. Children will love getting involved in making Christmas arts and crafts and they will be gladly appreciated by family and friends. Another sentimental family present which will go down a treat is a family picture in a nice frame. This would make a great budget gift and no one would ever know!
Christmas food is also a major expense, especially when as a nation we’re noted for overindulging and splurging on treats for all the family, just in case any long lost relatives pop in on the off chance we always want to be prepared. One of the main helpful tips we have found is... buy what you’re going to eat. Don’t be tempted by all the supermarket offers and promotions just because they’re cheap and on sale. However, if you do want to buy the offers for stocking fillers, nibbles and snacks then buy in advance to reduce a mass cost during the festive period. But make sure to put them out of the way so no-one’s tempted to tuck in before the big day!
According to statistics we throw away almost 40% of all food purchased for the festive season, we doubt that includes all the chocolates we stock up on! But for many of us we over buy meats, vegetables and seasonal treats like cheese and puddings which don’t always have a long date and more often than not end up going in the bin.
Decorations! The thought of making that dreaded trip up to the attic is enough to bring out our inner Grinch! Bah Humbug!
We want to make the decoration side as stress free as possible for you; our online shop UK Christmas World stocks a large variety of artificial Christmas trees and decorations to suit everyone’s preferences at affordable prices. There is sure to be something for everyone, regardless of your budget. We have Christmas Trees starting from £16.99 and Baubles from £1.99, perfect for everyone’s budgets. So if you can’t brave the loft then we can ensure you’ll have a fantastic Christmas that won’t break the bank.
There are a number of saving schemes available from large stores and supermarkets. Morrison’s offer savers stamps, where you can buy stamps for a pound, these can then be redeemed against your shopping whenever you’re a little short of money. When you save £98, Morrison’s will give you an extra £2 to spend instore! Another option which may help, especially if you’re purchasing toys, is the Toys R Us saving scheme. This works by selecting the toys you want to purchase then paying a 20% deposit and paying the remaining bill within 12 weeks, terms and conditions to the scheme do apply so it is best to check on their website.
Another company which offer a fantastic saving scheme is Park, they are the suppliers of the Love to Shop vouchers! You can buy these directly from their website or through a representative if you know someone. It works similar to a voucher saving scheme, where you deposit amounts of money in and then you get vouchers back to spend in shops or you could give the vouchers to your family and friends instead of presents.
Christmas cards are one of the older traditions of Christmas and they can be a costly expense! Not only are they expensive, they also have a high environmental impact. Each year the UK alone sends more than a billion Christmas cards, the majority end up in landfill or incineration. Supermarkets and large stores do offer recycling facilities for Christmas cards; this will reduce waste and not be as environmentally damaging. Our thoughts on this topic are to send a text message around all your friends and family wishing them a very Merry Christmas and make a donation to a local charity of your choice. This will save you time shopping for cards, reduce environmental impact and it will also make a difference to your local community.
All in all, Christmas is as expensive as you make it. Don’t feel pressured to buy your children more than you can afford, especially if they’re only little they won’t know any difference whether they have a hundred presents or ten. They’ll just love their day just as much, spending priceless time with family and friends is much more important.