Many parents are concerned about making ends meet for Christmas this year. With budgets tighter than ever before, many parents are wondering if they should use their credit cards and go deeper into debt. Per a recent survey, the typical family spends an additional £165 during the month of December. However, it’s possible to cut this expense down without cutting out the gifts. Here are some tips to help you have a frugal and festive Christmas Holiday.
1. Pare Down Your List
Sit down now and plan out your gift giving for friends and family. Agree not to exchange gifts with some of them and set a price limit for others. Especially set a price limit for adults. Use a children only rule or create a secret Santa. Draw names if you wish so that everyone only has one gift to buy. This saves a lot and will still be fun. By setting the amount in advance, you’re sure to save a lot of money.
2. Take Advantage Of Vouchers & Freebies
Look around your home for unused vouchers. Many go unused so you may have some lying around. Collect these and use them up. Don’t forget to check for loyalty points on your cards and reward cards. These can add up and if you can convert the point to gift cards on your reward cards you’ll save even more. Look for buy one get one deals and watch for special promotions that are used often in stores around the holiday season. This can all work toward getting some great gifts and saving you money. Also getting freebies is a good way to save money on stocking fillers, which are always fun presents, I also give my daughter the free perfume samples, which she loves.
3. Switch Your Shopping Out
Go to less expensive supermarkets and save a bundle. Make the most of discount supermarkets like Lidl or Aldi. Take stock of what you do have and go from there so that you’re not buying anything that you may already have on hand. Focus on making it yourself or watching for sales. You may find that the store brand beats the name brand.
4. Don’t Over Buy
Of course you want to put on a nice spread, but remember, you can have everyone bring a part of the meal. Don’t do it all yourself. Don’t waste food, consider the site lovefoodhatewaste.com to get you an idea of proper portions and more. If you’re going to be catering a party that lasts for 2 hours, this site suggests seven party food items per person. It also helps by showing examples of ingredients and helping you with a shopping list.
5. Cut The Drink Bill
Don’t buy costly alcohol, instead, find some great recipes for non-alcoholic drinks or use a less expensive brand. It can really add up. Buy alcohol on sale in the off season and save it for the holiday.
6. Check Out eBay
Sell your excess on eBay to make room for more things in your home. Take this cash and use it for gifts. One mans trash is another mans treasure so remember to weed out what you’re not using or needing. It’s really simple and you’ll find that you can make a small fortune. If you have used books or textbooks, Amazon is the place for these. You can really rake in the cash in this fashion.
7. Get Paid For Your Shopping Experience
Use cashback programs and consider mystery shopping as ways to earn enough for gifts. There are many cashback sites such as Quidco.com or even Topcashback.co.uk. Simply set up an account and use this site to get to high end retailers and save a lot of money. You’ll get a percentage back when you shop this way.
Shop outlet and clearance stores online or off to gain access to great deals on all your favorite brands. Just because something has a big name doesn’t mean you can’t afford it. Shop big by using such discounts stores and you’re sure to save a bundle. If you learn the sales routine you’ll do even better. Always know the retail value of the items you’re considering so that you won’t be overspending.
9. Cut Back On Postage
Many discount couriers are less costly than the Royal Mail. Especially if your items are heavier. Consider drop shipping directly from the company. Interparcel.com has great deals on book deliveries like DHL and UPS to get your items where they’re going fast. You can also go for next day services and urgent parcels. Remember to use every discount deal on postage that you cannot afford. This can save you a ton of money in the long run. ship early and don’t stress as you can rest assured the earlier that you ship the more likely your items are to arrive on schedule.
10. Save Money With Twitter
Stay in touch with social network sites. You can still send money saving gift cards and more but do it all online. You’ll save on postage and shipping and your friends and family will still get their gifts. Just do a search engine search of the term “money saving ” or “frugal gifts” and find ways to get them to your friends and family inexpensively. You can also watch pennygolightly and moneymagpie on Twitter for more sales ideas, hints and money savers. There are many sites like Amazon and eBay that use twitter and other social networks to spread the word on great deals and discounts so be sure that you’re following the right people on your social networks to get the deals.
These tips should help you to find all the great deals and have the best Christmas holiday ever without having to over spend. Your friends and family will think you spent a fortune if you follow these tips. You’ll be happy that you saved a fortune. What a great feeling to wake up the day after Christmas and know that you aren’t going to have to take out a loan to pay off your holiday. These tips will give you peace of mind.