If the cost of living crisis is making you worried about your Christmas budget then the following tips may help you to have an equally great Christmas for less.
While you may feel like you don’t want to let your children down with what’s under the tree on Christmas Day, there are ways to avoid going overbudget and still please them. Plus, we have plenty of ideas for saving money on food, wrapping paper and more.
What can I afford?
Before hitting the shops and saying yes to every request from your children, work out what you can afford to spend on Christmas. Setting a budget removes the stress of potential overspending. It’s easy to get carried away but Christmas is only one day. It’s not worth getting into debt or spreading your finances too thin.
Decide on who to buy for
It may be a long-standing family tradition to buy for every adult in the family, but is it affordable or necessary? Instead, float the idea of doing a secret Santa among the adults, or not buying for the other adults at all.
Shop savvy for deals
Try and get the kids to write their Christmas list early, so you can aim to make the most of Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals. To ensure you’re getting the best deal check price tracker sites such as CamelCamelCamel. Our biggest tip for sale shopping, however, is to decide beforehand what you’re buying and stick to it- the lure of bargains can easily make you spend more than you intended.
If it’s tech they’re after, consider opting for a refurbished model. A refurbished tablet, phone or smart watch will save you hundreds, and stores like CEX offer pre-loved games consoles and games for big savings.
Buy second hand or from charity shops
Children won’t care whether their toy garage is brand new or from eBay. Local charity shops are excellent for inexpensive gifts, including books, toys and even dressing up outfits. If it’s a certain item they’re after, look on eBay or Vinted, where it’s likely you can pick up the same item for less. The same goes for branded clothes and accessories that can be picked up for much less on second-hand sites, including trainers and sportswear.
Save on Christmas dinner
You needn’t have a big, expensive turkey for Christmas- chicken is just as nice, is less hassle and tastes very similar. Look for frozen items for your meal for the big day- frozen meat, vegetables and desserts usually cost less. If you’re having guests, ask them to bring something to contribute for the meal- perhaps drink or a pudding. Plus- don’t feel you have to have traditional Christmas dinner at all if you don’t want to- if you would prefer pizza or tacos then go for it!
Get the kids to make cards and wrapping paper
This is both a great way to keep little ones entertained, and a fab money saving idea. Using folded card or paper, get the kids to go wild with the pens, glitter and stickers to make cards for friends and family (we guarantee that a homemade card will make them smile!). Children can also make paper chains by decorating paper, cutting into strips and sticking them together. If you want to save money on wrapping paper, they can also decorate plain paper with paints, pens and craft items. They will love telling relatives that they made the wrapping paper!
Above all else, remember what Christmas is about. It can be tempting to overspend and shower the kids with gifts, but it will be the time spent with family, or the fun you had together that will remain in their memories.
This blog has appeared on DAD.Info. DAD.info, now part of Spurgeons is Europe’s largest advice and support website for fathers. DAD.info was established in 2008 as a new generation men’s lifestyle channel and the leading voice for Dads. DAD.info aim to celebrate the changing role of Dads with engaging, helpful, practical, entertaining resources and content for every stage of their journey. It is home to the largest connected community of active, involved Dads through its interactive forum, providing great peer to peer support and advice for what can be one of the most challenging and rewarding life experiences.