How to save money at Christmas? Christmas is my favourite time of year…but when you’re on a very tight budget, it can also be stressful. Over the years of observing how my parents and grandparents saved money during the holidays, I’ve been able to apply some of those strategies to the ones I’ve learned on my own. Today I’ll share a few of them with you. Be warned: some are just average, but others are extreme frugality! I hope that you’ll be able to use a few this year.
How To Save Money at Christmas
1) Make a budget – and STICK TO IT!
2) Spread out the gift-buying over the year. When you see something on sale get it then. But make a list so that you don’t forget what you’ve already purchased and end up overspending or buying too many gifts. You may not be able to do this this year, but start with the Boxing Day sales for next year!
3) Start buying your frozen vegetables, turkey, ham, etc. in the summer and fall if you see them on sale. It spreads the cost out and you may not have to pay the premium prices that you’ll find in December. (If you budget aside some cash each month over the whole year you’ll have this money ready to use so you won’t feel the pinch so much).
4) Use Amazon, e-Bay, or other online sites to make your purchases. You can often get ‘like new’ items for much less than in the shops. Children won’t mind if the box is missing, or a book has already been read. In fact, I’ve pointed my husband in this direction for some camera gear that we could never afford to buy new. As long as it works, that’s the important thing!
5) Buy gift wrap on sale after Christmas the year before. It doesn’t have an expiry date so stock up and keep it in a dry place until you need it.
6) If you’re careful, you can save and re-use your gift wrap, too! When I was small I set myself a challenge to see how well I could take the tape off of gifts without ripping the paper! Larger pieces can be used on smaller gifts next year. My children already love to save the pretty paper for other gifts or crafts.
7) Save the bows from your gifts, they’re so easy to save in a shoe box and re-use them again next year. Those little pieces of ribbon are so expensive, and it’s a shame to send them to the landfill.
8) Drinks (both soft and hard) are often at their lowest price of the year in December. So stock up on these items now if you’ll use them later in the year. Savings are savings!
9) Make your own Christmas crackers. It’s lots of fun, and you can plan the small surprise inside for each person. Putting in something that they will actually use instead of just throwing away in an hour is so much better.
10) Give practical gifts. What does the recipient need but may not want to buy for themselves. It’ll end up being better value to give something that is sure to be used rather than something that will sit in a closet and isn’t of use.
11) Send e-cards or emails with a photo or two instead of sending a physical Christmas card through the post. You’ll save on both the price of the cards as well as on postage.
12) Remember that kids don’t have to have everything that they want! We will give our kids something that they want, but also practical items like clothes and pajamas.
Well there are my first dozen ways to save money at Christmas! Have you/will you use any of these ideas? Do you have more to add to the list? Let’s chat below in the comments!
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