Christmas is fast approaching, and there’s a good chance that there are a few of you who, like us, still have plenty of people on your list to buy presents for.
It’s far too easy to blow your budget when buying Christmas presents, but it absolutely doesn’t need to be that way. Read on for some nifty ideas on how to save money on Christmas presents by spending wisely; after all, you don’t want to blow all your hard-earned cash on one day of the year.
How to Save Money on Christmas Presents
1. Make A List (And Check It Twice!)
Okay, first things first. You need to know who you are buying for, so sit down and make a list.
Write down everyone you plan to buy a present for, even if the gift is part of a small Secret Santa at work, or a bag of sweets for your postman. Include the maximum amount you plan to spend on each person.
Having an idea of who you are buying for and how much you want to spend will help you come up with a realistic budget.
2. Stick With Secret Santa For The Grown Ups
If you have a large family, it may be worth sticking to buying presents for the children and having a Secret Santa in place for the grown-ups.
This way, because you won’t be buying for all the adults on your list, you can afford to spend more money on the one person you do buy for.
So, while everyone will only get one present, it will hopefully be something more substantial than a pair of socks or yet another set of smellies.
3. Use Social Media To Your Advantage
Before you start buying your presents, have a look and see if your favourite shops are on Facebook and/or Twitter. Companies often give discounts directly on their social media pages. Who knows, you may just bag yourself a nice little 20% off coupon!
4. Get Clever With Your Perfumes
Do you have some fragrance lovers on your list but you just don’t have enough in your budget to impress them?
Luckily, there are some decent perfumes on the market which smell a lot like their more expensive counterparts.
According to online reviews, M&S Butterfly perfume is a dead ringer for the much more expensive Marc Jacobs Daisy, Next’s Just Pink smells just like Ralph Lauren’s Romance, Aldi’s Suddenly perfume is a pretender to the Chanel Coco Mademoiselle throne (but about a tenth of the price!), whilst M&S True Red is an almost spot-on dupe for Hugo Boss Deep Red.
You can get branded, discounted perfumes and aftershaves at up to 75% off the High Street prices. from Fragrance Direct.
5. Get Crafty!
If you’re at all creative, you can save yourself a ton of cash by making some homemade gifts for your family and friends.
Think cute bags, scarfs, jewellery, teacup candles…. whatever your skill is, you’re sure to wow your peeps and save some pounds at the same time!
6. Get Cash Back
Another good online tip: Use websites which give you cash back when you make your purchases.
These sites are completely free to use as retailers pay the cashback sites for sending traffic to them, and, in return, the cashback companies pass on some of that money to you, the customer.
The amount changes, but often the percentage you save is higher leading up to Christmas.
Is it okay to re-gift Christmas presents? It’s perfectly acceptable to regift presents. There’s always a sense of guilt that comes with re-gifting, but the truth is that 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.
I am 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 bear in mind when re-gifting an item.
- Only re-gift if you know the recipient will like the gift.
- 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.
8. Give Yourself at Christmas
Remember that you don’t have to buy every gift from the shops.
I don’t mean wrap yourself in a giant bow; although if that’s your thing, go for it. I 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.
If you’re a GBBO-worthy baker, you might make a batch of Christmas cakes and puddings, and wrap them in pretty ribbons, or gift someone a batch of cookies each month of the forthcoming year.
You know your friends and family and you know what would be most useful to them. For example, if you know your sister hates ironing with a passion, why not promise to iron her shirts throughout the year? She’ll absolutely love you for that, and it won’t cost you anything more than your time.
9. Set Aside Money throughout the Year
It’s a bit late for this tip now, but it’s worth giving it a go next year.
Starting in January, decide how much you are going to spend on Christmas presents (keep a note of what you spend this year to help you, and, if you like, include what you’ll spend on food and drink, etc.) and divide the total by 12.
Then, every month put that amount into a Christmas savings account.
This way, when you get to Christmas 2017 you’ll have the cash in place to pay for your pressies, eliminating any last-minute financial stress.
10. Check Your Loyalty Cards
Have a look at any store loyalty cards you may have, such as Tesco Clubcard, Sainbury’s Nectar or Boots Advantage, and see if you have any points that can be used up.
It’s much better value if you convert your points into vouchers instead of cashing them in at the checkout. There are loads of special promotions running up to Christmas that will help you maximize your points.
Right, it’s over to you!
What are best your tips to save money on christmas presents? We’d love to hear from you!