Are you ready for my best Christmas money saving tips? Read on!
Christmas is great. It’s just such an expensive time of year for many people, but I wanted to share a few ways in which we try and make Christmas a little more affordable.
Firstly, we limit the amount of gifts we buy. I’m not buying things for friends I barely see or family who I haven’t spoken to all year. Mr R and I also don’t buy each other anything. In reality, we don’t need anything so we end up buying things just for the sake of it and these things can often be sh*t. I’d rather have nothing than some shoe polish, which is what he got me one year.
I spread the cost of Christmas by buying presents from the beginning of November. Hols is more than happy to start thinking about Christmas before Halloween, so she does a preliminary Christmas list and I work from that. I’ve also drummed it into her that Santa won’t be bringing everything on her list. Well, he has to buy for everyone else, doesn’t he, so he can’t bring everything for one person. On a side note, we’re currently phasing out Santa. He still brings gifts, but only one or two. The rest are from me and Mr R. There’s no way Santa is getting all the credit for the best gifts!
I’ve bought second hand items before. EBay or Facebook Marketplace are great for this. Holly is really into Sylvanian Families, but to buy them new is so expensive! A few years back we picked up the Grand Hotel for £10 as opposed to the hundreds it would have cost new. We did have to collect it from Manchester (well, Mr R did as I wasn’t sure I could make it fit in the car!) but it saved us a fortune and Holly was over the moon on Christmas morning. Things like wooden train tracks and even Maileg items can be found online for much cheaper than the brand new prices, and kids genuinely don’t care whether something is new or not. They just want the item!
It’s best to try and support small businesses at this time of year, and a lot of them offer discounts for new customers. I’ve ordered some gifts from Scandi Mini and Bijou Lifesyle this year, both of whom offer 10% off to new customers. If you start buying early as well, you can take advantage of any sales they may have ongoing.
Can you make or bake? If so, good quality handmade gifts are a great way to save money. Hols has asked for a sloth teddy this year, so I’m going to make her a crochet one. I bought a really cute pattern from Etsy seller Irene Strange (here) and can’t wait to get started!
Speaking of gifts, for wrapping I use brown paper. Not only does it look good, it can be recycled which is obviously better for the planet than the crappy glossy papers. I’ll create a post with my favourite ways to “style” brown paper for gifts as I’ve got a load of ideas – it’s really versatile. It’s also cheap – I buy a big roll from Amazon (see here) and use it for all my presents, even the ones Santa brings. He’s pretty good – we leave him the roll out, and when he brings the presents he wraps them in our wrapping!
Spot Oscar’s paw! Each of last years presents featured a pre-chewed ribbon and had a faint cat food aroma. Thanks Oscar!
For decor, I’ve always liked to bring the outdoors in. Foraging for foliage is a great free way to get greenery for your home and the amount of things you can do with it – it’s amazing! From stair garlands to wreaths, from greenery chandeliers to mantlepiece swags – there are so many things you can do. Just make sure you ask permission from the landowner if you’re going out foraging! Here’s an easy rustic table setting you could do. I’ll be having a look out in the garden to see what foliage is around in the next few days and will be making a start on my door wreaths soon.
We also use loyalty points at our local supermarket, the Coop. Over the year Mr R and I have each racked up about £60 on our loyalty cards (and we don’t even do our main weekly shops there – this is the product of nipping out for a bottle of wine on an evening!!) so we’ll either get our Christmas wines or food using these points. We’ve decided to just have us three for Christmas this year, which will also keep the costs down as we won’t have to cater for anywhere near as many people!
Another money saving thing, although not necessarily for Christmas, is to look at your mortgage. We recently used Habito to remortgage and I can’t recommend them enough. I have quite dodgy credit – throw being self employed into the mix and I’m the kind of person that banks won’t touch with David’s (as we say here in the R household). Habito managed to find us a great deal, saving us £110 a month! If you need to remortgage in the near future, you can use my personal link to get £100 cash when you complete your deal. It’s also free, as Habito get their fees from the lender. A lot of mortgage advisers we looked into charged the client a fee AS WELL as getting a fee from the lender, which I thought was so unfair!
So I hope this gives you some ideas as to how to make Christmas more affordable. Do you have any other Christmas money saving tips? Comment below!
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