Are you worrying about Christmas and money already? It can all be quite overwhelming, particularly if you’re feeling the pinch, but over the years I’ve found these best ways to save money that work for my family, making the holidays a whole lot more affordable.
As a stay at home mum over the last eight years I’ve picked up tips and tricks to make Christmas more manageable on a budget. Here’s what works for me – give it a go, but remember it’s important you start thinking about this in advance, as last minute panic-buying always costs more!
1. Christmas dinner
An often forgotten expense in the calculations, Christmas dinner can be an expensive meal. If anyone invites you and yours, do seriously consider the offer. It will save you lots of money as well as effort and energy and you can just relax.
A handmade card and some kiddie baked cakes are a lovely thank you. This is by far one of the best ways to save money at Christmas time, as it’s a hugely cheaper option than cooking yourself.
2. Christmas tree
I’ve always liked real Christmas trees, particularly the smell of them and collecting them, but they are expensive, so you should think about buying an artificial tree, which is a one-off expense that can last you many years.
B&Q has some great offers on at the moment for artificial Christmas trees and other cheap Christmas decorations.
3. Christmas cards
A photo of your child in a Santa hat or with Happy Christmas written on it is a lovely e-card idea. It saves pennies and the planet to send greetings this way. Purchasing and posting regular cards can soon add up.
JibJab.com is a great site that allows you to upload photos of your family and then turn them into dancing Christmas elves. These are totally free and great fun for your family and friends to receive.
For older relatives a child’s attempts to paint a Christmas tree always go down a treat. Potato stampers also work well.
4. Christmas gifts
Often at Christmas items are at their most expensive so keep your eyes peeled through the year and cross off each gift as you buy it.
Similarly, with your own child, try and have a budget and stick to it. They will get lots of gifts from other people and just one from you and one from Santa really will do.
By telling other people (if they ask) exactly what to get them, you will be able to ensure your kids get a lots of things they like.
5. Christmas traditions
Traditions replace the need for spending, yet they totally fulfil us and make a season special. Why not start some in your family now. Ideas could include:
- A walk and hot chocolate each Boxing Day morning
- Attending a nativity play at your local church
- Giving three pre-loved toys to your local homeless shelter
- Reading the Night Before Christmas each Christmas Eve
- Taking the neighbours Christmas tree cookies
- Making handmade Christmas ornaments each year
Wishing you a wonderful, affordable Christmas!