It sometimes feels as though Christmas has just finished and it’s starting again. It doesn’t help that the shops start to fill their windows with Christmas decorations as soon as the pumpkins of Halloween are out of the way.
Christmas has definitely become as much about money as fun over the years. That doesn’t mean you have to give way under the commercialization of Santa. There are several ways to save money on Christmas shopping, and still have all the fun.
We’re going to give you some tips on the best ways to save money on Christmas shopping so you can make your money go further. As an added bonus you’ll also find that some of these money saving tips will help you avoid the Christmas rush.
You know the one, when you’ve been putting off getting those last presents because, you don’t know what to get/you can’t afford any more/ you are so done with Christmas already; delete as appropriate.
Our tips for saving money at Christmas won’t just help your bank balance they’ll hopefully help to keep your stress levels down too. You can have a Christmas to remember for the right reasons, and not because it takes you months to recover financially.
10 Ways to Save Money on Christmas Shopping
1. Use “Have” Money Not “Wish” Money
Sit down and have a look at your bank account. Now work out how much of that money is flexible; how much can you actually afford to spend on Christmas. Remember, before the ease of credit came around this was what Christmas was like; you spent what you could afford. Whatever that amount of money is you have spare; that’s what your budget is.
We can already hear the “but I have to get those Minecraft figures” or “I need to spend money on Christmas dinner for everyone to enjoy it”.
Here’s the deal, enjoyment of Christmas should be about the event itself and the people, not all the trimmings. And we hate to burst your bubble but that Minecraft toy will end up forgotten and abandoned eventually.
As soon as you start spending on credit you run the risk of being miserable paying it back. It really isn’t worth it. Don’t worry; there are plenty of ways for you to have a great Christmas on a limited budget as you’ll see from our other tips.
We’re not going to say that people don’t love getting presents, because they do. What’s inside is often a bit of a letdown though.
A lot of gifts that we receive can seem really impersonal; another t-shirt or more shower gel. Making a gift is often so much more personal and it means a lot more to the person receiving it.
If you have relatives living overseas then make a few video clips of everyone and send them a message at Christmas. If you need to get something for your sister or brother, why not make them a collage of pictures from your childhood.
You can get a frame and glue for just a couple of pounds and imagine how many laughs you’ll have at the memories when they open it. Making also means you don’t have to elbow your way through throngs of people in the shops.
3. Do Some Digital Detective Work
One of the best ways to save money on Christmas shopping is to spend some time investigating prices and deals online.
It may seem easier to just buy from where you buy all the time, but that doesn’t mean you’re getting the best value for money. Do some price comparisons and check out those voucher deals online. It’s worth spending the extra time if it’s going to make your budget go a lot further and save you money on Christmas presents.
Most of us have probably done this in the past, but there’s always a sense of guilt that comes with re-gifting. The thing is if you’re really not going to use a gift that you received, then it makes sense to give it to someone who will love it.
We’re not suggesting you dig out that jumper your nana bought you 10 years ago but you’ve never worn; that might be going a bit far. But recent presents in good condition may as well be passed on as sit in a drawer and not be used. There are two things to remember about re-gifting.
- Only re-gift if you know the recipient will like the gift, otherwise you get into this whole re-gifting vicious circle.
- Always make sure you’re not re-gifting to the person who gifted you originally. This will not lead to a happy Christmas.
Re-gifting may not be for everyone but it is just a better way to recycle if you think about it.
5. Check Out the Charity Shop
For some reason people are often reluctant to shop at charity shops, but there’s no reason to be. Buying second hand doesn’t just save you money; it’s good for the environment too. If everyone go shopping in charity shops there’d be less manufacturing and less damage to the planet.
US Bones actress Emily Deschanel once said that she buys most of her clothes second hand, and wears them to red carpet events. If it’s good enough for Hollywood it’s good enough elsewhere. More importantly it’s a great way to save money on Christmas shopping this year.
6. Give Yourself at Christmas
We don’t mean wrap yourself in a giant bow; although if that’s your thing, go for it. We mean give an hour of your time that would be really useful to someone; an hour cleaning, an hour gardening, an hour child minding, you get the idea.
You know your friends and family and you know what would be most useful to them.
7. Do a Booze Cruise
Now this one’s fun as well as thrifty. You may be thinking surely it costs a lot to travel over to France, but if you get a few people together and book a ferry, it can still work out a lot cheaper than buying your Christmas drinks in the UK, and you get a day out in the process.
8. Share the Cost of Christmas Dinner
If you always have a crowd of people around the table at Christmas then why not encourage everyone to bring an item with them, from drinks to desert and canapés. This means that you’re spreading the cost amongst everyone, instead of bearing all the responsibilities on your shoulders.
You could even ask Santa to bring his own cream for the mince pies next year. Talking of the man in red, if there are going to be a few adults around, then why not opt for Secret Santa instead of buying individual presents.
9. Grow Your Own
You need to plan ahead if you’re going to go completely “Good Life” and present your friends with a box of home grown veg for Christmas.
Even without the preparation there may be something to give from your garden though. Holly decorations are very festive if you have a tree you can cut a few sprigs from.
We are going with this tip last as it’s probably one of the most important and covers everything about the festive season. One of the best ways to save money on Christmas shopping is to start shopping early and buy through the year.
You can get the best deals and you also escape the last minute rush. When others are hauling packages though rain soaked streets and investing in the Anadin for when they get home, you can be sat with your feet up, enjoying a drink of mulled wine or hot coffee, safe in the knowledge that you haven’t broken the bank but you’re still going to have a great Christmas.
Have you started your Christmas shopping? What are your best ways to save money on Christmas Shopping? Share in the comments below.
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