Christmas can be a stressful & expensive time of year so here are top tips for the 12 days of Christmas to help make the festive period a little easier
Have a look at the www.moneysavingexpert.com website; it has lots of money saving tips for Christmas. Plan your budget for the whole festive season and stick to it.
Instead of buying gifts for every family member or friend, make one donation to a charity on behalf of some of them for a nominal amount per head, that will be one Christmas Present that won’t be unappreciated or go to waste. Or get together and make a joint donation.
Try and buy charity Christmas cards, so that a donation will go to charity from your purchase.
Make a pledge instead of buying a present, e.g. offering your help for decorating, gardening, babysitting or cooking a special meal. How about thinking about friends and family and maybe instead of a gift a pledge to support them to achieve one of their goals in the coming year.
Homemade presents can be made quite easily at low expense. Maybe a family photo made into a calendar, or some baking or handy craft. If you are a whizz on the PC, you can make Christmas cards to print off or send E-cards.
Make a limit for presents – say £10.00 or £20.00 per person, so you can either choose a voucher for a shop that you know the person you are buying for will like. Or have a “pound shop safari” – it’s amazing what Poundland sell!
Do a BOGOF hamper – If you know two people who would appreciate a little food hamper, a lot of the shops do ‘buy one get one free’ on Christmas foods like chocolates, biscuits etc. So you can do two presents for the price of one!
Plan an alternative Christmas day so that you don’t have to worry about Christmas dinner. Go to the countryside for a walk, or the beach if you are lucky enough to live by the sea! Your Christmas dinner could be a packed lunch (and a hot drink!) looking at a beautiful view (and no irritating Christmas TV!).
If you have to have a Christmas Dinner, try a last-minute supermarket sweep and bag all the bargains (but you may have to be a bit inventive with your menu!). Or get together with friends & family and either arrange for each person to bring one course or item. Or put a set amount per head into a pot and then do one big shop & share the cooking. Buying in bulk is often a lot cheaper.
For decorations, look at a theme. Make your own decorations for a 1930’s/40’s/50’s Christmas. Raid your parent’s garage & loft for 1960’s/70’s & 80’s decorations. Who said white plastic Christmas trees are tacky?!
Or even go green. Cut greenery from the garden and compost it all when Christmas is over.
If you don’t want to “do” Christmas, swap DVD’s & computer games with friends and have a day of Soprano’s or James Bond or have a marathon computer games playoff, but make sure they are multiplayer games.
The gift of giving – spend Christmas Day helping out at a local charity, for people, or animals.
Stay in bed (with or without the partner of your choice!), or even a good book or film. Wake up bright eyed an bushy tailed on boxing day – ready to look forward to next year!