How to save money on Christmas
Christmas 2020 will be like no other. But if we want to focus on the silver liners (or silver balls), this year’s celebrations give us a unique opportunity to reduce usual expenses. Whether you usually host a home or travel across the country to visit loved ones, 2020 could be the year we can actually save some money this Christmas. This is how we will try to be frugal while always enjoy.
Budget for Christmas gifts
At this time of year, all good financial sense goes out the window of our house (well, it is Christmas is not it?). This year, we are showing common sense and we have set a budget.
Setting a limit on how much we spend per person might not sound like fun, but it’s definitely a quick and easy way to save money this Christmas.
There are also beneficial side effects. For example, this means cutting out all the tattoos and choosing the gifts that will actually be desired. In fact, some of the best gifts we’ve received over the years have been homemade by friends (like chutneys and sloe gin).
If you have a large circle of friends and family to buy from and can’t consider making gifts for crafts or baking, why not give Secret santa claus a go instead?
Take advantage of seasonal bargains
I always save money on Christmas by using points and vouchers accumulated throughout the year through loyalty programs. For me, that means getting the most out of my Boots Advantage card points.
Used in conjunction with their three-for-two offers, this guarantees big savings and means you can always feel generous. I also tend to save all of our Nectar Points and offset them with our Christmas food store.
Years ago we had earned so many points that a shop of £ 100 and above was worth around £ 30 (unfortunately we were never able to recreate this magical event).
Reduce food expenses
Being realistic about the number of people you treat for can help you plan better, minimize food waste and to save money.
In truth, this is the one I’m used to wrestling with. We’ve been hosting the last Christmases, and my paranoia about making sure everyone is well-fed usually means we’re still munching on Christmas goodies in February. We save money by baking our own Christmas pies and cakes (with the amount the kids eat, making our own saves us a fortune).
Additionally, I have learned that if visiting family members offer to bring or contribute something, accept it. It’s not rocket science, but it took me a while to come to terms with the fact. Contributions also mean that everyone feels like they’ve brought something (literally) to the table.
This year is, of course, a little different and we are only looking after the four of us. To make sure I don’t spend more than I need, I’ll plan the meals we’ll have over the Christmas holidays, making the most of leftovers and the freezer. According to a survey by YouGov, the average Christmas food and drink spend is almost £ 160 (I’m aiming well below).
Use technology instead of travel
Our families live across the UK, from the Yorkshire Hills to the other side of London, Cornwall and the Channel Islands. Usually that means going all over the country for some of us. This year (despite the slight easing of restrictions) we have decided to call the family by video conference so that grandparents and cousins can see each other and open presents.
This is obviously not the same, but it does mean saving money on fuel costs and everyone can stay safe at home.
One of the best ways I’ve found to save money this Christmas is to plan ahead. It means getting good deals in the post-Christmas sale (yes, I am that person).
In fact, it works so well that I haven’t bought over-priced Christmas crackers, wrapping paper, or gift tags in years (seriously).
The biggest savings are in stores that need to replenish their stock fairly quickly. Supermarkets and mixed retailers like Wilko have some of the best deals. A few years ago I bought gift bags for 10p each and wrapping paper for 20p.
Save money on Christmas to enjoy the new year
At the risk of sounding like a charlatan, Christmas is just a day away. Saving now means worrying less about tightening your belt at the start of the year.
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