The last few months have been very expensive (a new boiler being only one of many huge unexpected expenses) and we have found ourselves in the position where our savings have been depleted and our credit card debt has risen. As such, we are looking to be even more thrifty this year and have a frugal Christmas.
Here are some things we will be doing to cut our spending this year compared to previous years:
We have agreed with some of our family that we will do Secret Santa gifts for the grown ups, that means that each adult is responsible for buying only one gift, with a maximum budget of £50. After all, we are all at a point in our lives where if there is something we really want or need, (after saving up) we just buy it for ourselves. This will save all of us a lot of money and means an end to giving and receiving gifts that don’t fulfill a purpose. Since we all live hundreds of miles apart I used Elfster to organise the Secret Santa.
No more decorations
Obviously we have lots of decorations from over the years, but this year we won’t be adding any more to our collection. I follow lots of interior accounts on Instagram who have had their decorations up for a couple of weeks already, and the temptation is strong to splash out on wreaths and garlands. But not this year!
Use loyalty card points to buy booze
I’ve already done this – I used the Sainsburys Nectar Card Double Up promotion that happened mid-November to buy wine for Christmas. Just need to hide it now so that it’s still all there come Christmas day!
Shop for food on Christmas Eve
I’ve been too chicken (or should I say turkey…) to do this in previous years but this year I will be heading to the supermarket on Christmas Eve to do all my food shopping. I popped into Lidl last Christmas Eve (after I’d already bought all the food) and the turkeys were all 30% off which is a massive saving.
Buy very little for the kids
Because my kids are so young – 4 and 2 – they aren’t fussed about expensive things, in fact some of their favourite toys are ones that have come with magazines or from party bags. As such, this year we will really be keeping our spending to a minimum, focusing on creating special memories.
Buy things second hand
From our local Facebook selling site, from charity shops or from eBay, I have no qualms when it comes to buying things like Christmas jumpers or even the kids’ presents second hand.
It might not make me popular but I’m going to stop the tradition of pulling crackers before Christmas lunch. Not only are they terrible for the environment – all that packaging – they are so expensive and the tat that comes in them either gets lost within 2 minutes or just goes straight in the bin. I think I will print out jokes or look online for a little game we could play instead.
Make a comprehensive food plan
We will be hosting family for a few days over Christmas, so it will be expensive to keep everyone fed. As such I am vowing to make a meal plan to keep costs down and to ensure nothing goes to waste.
Allocate things for guests to buy
Speaking of our guests, I am in the habit of telling people “nothing, just yourself” when they ask what they can bring. Well, this year I am actually going to make some requests – perhaps some beers or nibbles. Every bit helps.
Do you have any more tips on how to have a frugal Christmas?