Wouldn’t it be great to save money this Christmas and stick to the budget! I have put together a few tips to keep your budget on track and allow you to enjoy this festive season, with some spare change in your pocket. The possibilities with these savings are endless – an overdue holiday, keep in the bank or take the kids to the zoo or movies as a treat!
Sit down and work out what you can afford to spend this Christmas including:
- Christmas gifts (who for and amount of money you want to spend per person)
- food for the Christmas – New Years period and any special events (BBQs with friends etc) (I usually budget for a few days before Christmas to after New Years Day to get me through the festive season).
- Christmas – New Years drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic)
- entertainment over the Christmas – New Years period (do you want to take the kids to the zoo or the movies?)
- holiday – are you going away or staying at home (accommodation, fuel, entertainment, food and drinks while away etc)?
Do your research
Go online and research your Christmas gifts, work out which company has the best value for money and then go to the shops or order online for your purchase!
Christmas presents box / cupboard
Have a Christmas present box / cupboard and purchase Christmas gifts in the Boxing Day/New Year sales for Christmas next year. Throughout the year add to the present box as you find bargains and interesting gifts.
Secret Santa is a lot of fun and is a great money saving idea at Christmas! Instead of buying Christmas gifts for individual friends or family members (or workmates) draw a name out of a hat and you become that persons Secret Santa. You only buy for that person, wrap, write their name on a tag and presents are usually put in a box or Santa Bag and handed out (and it is a secret – no one knows who gave what present!). Set a dollar limit on the present i.e $10, $20 or $30. We limit this game to adults only so then the kids still get presents.
Some companies have sales leading up to Christmas with free postage. Have a look at voucher code websites for bargains.
Give something from the heart – homemade Christmas gifts
Get the kids involved and make something as Christmas gift! Here are some fun ideas you can make with your kids:
- design Christmas hampers
- make Christmas decorations and give to family and friends
- make Christmas cards
- make Christmas wrapping paper – buy a role of brown paper and have the kids paint Christmas decorations
- give the school teacher a bundle of homemade biscuits or other baked goods in nicely wrapped cellophane with a ribbon
- take a series of photos of the kids (staged and fun) and put them in a nice photo frame or make a fun photo album for family members
- make soap and wrap nicely as a gift
- buy canvas and have the kids paint something for their grandparents.
Use your imagination – there are endless possibilities to give a Christmas gift from the heart!
Start grocery shopping now!
Make a list of all the food items you need for Christmas and the holiday period to help stop impulse buying. Take your shopping list with you when you go shopping and look out for non-perishable bargains. Is there anything that you can freeze now – buy and put it in the freezer? My kids are great bargain hunters – they love being involved and looking for the sale tags!
If you haven’t already gone to the local Farmers Markets go down the next time they are on and have a look at the prices and compare with your local supermarket. See if you can negotiate to buy in bulk just prior to Christmas and place your order. This will help support local farmers and will keep your budget!
Do you need a whole turkey and ham? Consider buying sliced turkey and ham from the Deli and only buy what you need. Sliced turkey can be reheated slightly on Christmas Day and tastes good or serve as a cold meat platter.
Use any left over food and create delicious dishes for the days after Christmas. Use your imagination or browse through recipes. Maybe freeze left overs for another time.
Buy Christmas – New Years alcohol online
There are a number of online sites where you can purchase alcohol and have it delivered to your door with little or no delivery charges. There are bargains to be had which is particularly good if you are entertaining over the Christmas – New Year period.