Top tips for saving money this Christmas!

There’s no denying the fact that Christmas is an expensive time of year, even more so with four children. There seems to be an ever growing list of presents to buy for the children, friends, relatives, even the dog wants a look in, and without some serious budgeting it can easily get out of hand. I was not surprised to learn that, during a recent survey, seen here, 42% of people are trying to save money this Christmas. Those polled said that they were buying less because of the ongoing uncertainty following Brexit and the weak pound pushing up food prices, with some stating that they were waiting till the last minute to see if they could get a better deal.

With this in mind, I asked a group of parent bloggers for their best tips to save money at Christmas and whether they too had cut down on their spending. With many of these ladies on maternity leave, stay at home parents, or relying on money made via their blog, between them they had some fantastic tips on how to afford Christmas.

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Spread the cost throughout the year.

I save throughout the year. I do the penny a day challenge. So you save 1p on day 1, 2p on day 2 etc. Giving you around £700 by the end of the year!”. ~ Katy at KatyKicker 

“We put our child benefit in a savings account and top it up each month by direct debit. I also make sure I look for bargains throughout the year and have a “present box” hiding in the wardrobe full of things I’ve picked up for people.” ~ Steph at MentalParentals

I don’t really save I just begin buying early. I’m happy to grab things in July and put them away for Christmas, by the time December rolls around I’ve gotten so much already. You don’t feel the cost as much when it’s spread throughout the year.” ~ Emily at Babies and Beauty

Use voucher code and cashback websites.

I am a huge fan of using voucher codes, it’s a running joke amongst friends that I could find a discount voucher for just about anything. I use My voucher codes religiously and it saves me a fortune each Christmas.

“I start buying a couple of months before Christmas. I use discount codes online where I can and use cash back websites religiously. It all helps. ” ~ Jayne at Sticky mud and belly laughs.

I do it all last minute. I have every intention of saving but it never happens…but I do stick to a strict budget. I try and shop for things that are on offer or I look for coupons.” ~ Kirsty at Winnettes.

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Use supermarket saver cards.

“I use a supermarket saver card and round up my food shopping each week. EG, If I spend £63, I’ll pop £7 on the savings card. This pays for stocking fillers and food.” ~ Lisa at  That british betty.

Buy during the sales.

“I love Boots 75% off sale in January and have been known to have all my shopping in by August or so just by shopping in the sales. No one knows you’ve bought stuff in the sale and you can pick up some real bargains!” ~ Deborah at Country heart and home.

I buy gifts throughout the year in sales or when they’re on offer. I often start getting bits in the Christmas sales! It just helps spread the cost out a bit and means I don’t have to worry about not having enough money at Christmas.” ~ Louise at Mummy Miller.

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Prioritise your Christmas gift list.

“I try to save for the kids from August, then do a big shop the start of November so they’re sorted and then buy bits for family as I go through November/December. I definitely prioritise the kids first so depending on what they want is what everyone else gets.” ~ Beth at Twinderelmo.

Use loyalty card points.

I try to save up all my points on various loyalty cards for Christmas. This year I bought nearly all my daughters Christmas presents with Boots Points. I use my nectar points to pay towards some of the food shopping.” ~ Naomi at Not a perfect parent. 

“I save up my Nectar points and Boots points too to use at Christmas, it makes Christmas a little easier for me.” ~ Emma at  Mrs Hilts.

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Have a budget in mind and stick to it.

I think it’s so important to have a budget in mind or it’s very easy to spend more than you realise. I keep a tally of gifts in the notes on my phone so I can tot up as I go along and make sure that we are staying within our means.

I generally set a budget per person and am pretty good at sticking to it. I don’t put money away but rather spend what is in my account after I’ve paid the bills. I find that way I am only spending what I can afford because if there’s no money, then I can’t buy it. I am a huge believer of not going overboard on presents and also not comparing myself to others. We spend what we can afford, not what our friends, family, neighbours, colleagues can afford!” ~ Abi at Something about baby.

“This year I’ve had to budget using mainly the money Danny gives me for food etc. We haven’t gone crazy on presents max is only 2 and kai 5 months.” Kristine at Max and Kai.

Avoid credit cards

“We try to avoid credit as much as possible because we only end up regretting it in the long run, but that can be hard with 5 kids, especially with 3 teenagers “ ~ Claire at Big Family Big Fun Blog.

Club together with family members for bigger gifts

“I start buying bits in August and then wait til nearer to Christmas to see what they want for their ‘main’ present. I also buy a lot of smaller bits, like books and crafty things so it looks like a lot of presents but I haven’t spent a huge amount. This year they are all getting Microscooters, so both sets of grandparents have chipped in for those.” ~ Gemma at Somewhere after the rainbow.

“I also am very mindful about gifts and would rather buy one wanted item or contribute towards one than lots little ones which will add up in cost!” ~ Irina at Wave to Mummy.

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Buy second hand/regift .

“I buy stuff throughout the year and mainly from the charity/ car boots so don’t spend too much money on anything.” ~ Ella at ellamentalmama.

“Club card points have saved my bacon and having a clear out and selling stuff that is no longer used! We also regift.” ~ Amy at The smallest of things.

“I buy things through the year and also buy at carboots. Especially when the boy is so young and doesn’t fully know. He gets treats all year so I don’t go mad at all!” ~ Emma at meandbmaketea.

Handmade presents.

This year was the first year that we have made handmade presents for Eva’s teachers and Megan’s nursery staff. We followed the lovely Louise’s slow cooker fudge recipe found here on her blog, Pink Pear Bear, and although it was low in cost, it was gratefully received.

“A few bits of handmade Christmas to the right kind of recipient is always appreciatively received!” ~’ Vicki at TippyTupps

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Thank you to all of the lovely bloggers who contributed to this post, wishing all of you a very merry Christmas!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ethannevelyn

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47 Comments

  1. December 22, 2016 / 8:02 pm

    Some fab tips here what amazing collective wisdom! I will be taking some learning points from this post that’s for sure X

    • Laura Dove
      December 22, 2016 / 8:52 pm

      I know, I wish I had wrote this a few months ago! xx

  2. December 22, 2016 / 8:12 pm

    We have done most of these this year – great advice, Christmas can just be such an expensive time of year x

    • Laura Dove
      December 22, 2016 / 8:52 pm

      It really can, it’s so easy to get carried away!! xx

  3. December 22, 2016 / 8:30 pm

    I am a big believer in second hand not being second best and always keep an eye out.

    • Laura Dove
      December 22, 2016 / 8:52 pm

      Yes it’s a great tip, a lot of “second hand” things haven’t even been used! xx

  4. December 22, 2016 / 8:41 pm

    We do the same as Mental Parents and put our child benefit into a savings account. My parents did this for my brother and I when we were children and the money they saved they gave for our weddings. It was so lovely to receive it. Great advice, this time of year is so expensive! x

  5. December 22, 2016 / 8:47 pm

    Great tips here! I’m definitely going toBoots in Jan, I always leave my shopping until far too late and then I get stressed and panic buy. I’m going to be much more organised in 2017 x

    • Laura Dove
      December 23, 2016 / 1:32 pm

      Oh me too! And the boots gift sets! xx

  6. December 22, 2016 / 10:43 pm

    So many great tips, it’s great to find out what everyone does to save money at Christmas! 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      December 23, 2016 / 1:32 pm

      Thank you, yes I agree it’s interesting to hear how others manage the expense! xx

  7. December 22, 2016 / 10:48 pm

    Many good ideas! We are not strictly on a budget but we are mindful. Husband and I don’t offer each other presents (we don’t feel the needs and one expense less!). Budget for family presents is minimal too as we are abroad and only offer presents to who is spending Christmas with us (this year, my dad and stepmum). Christmas cards are minimum too. Food is simple and no alcohol (well we have a bottle of prosecco in the fridge for the last 3 months, unopened, that will do for this year!). No new Christmas decorations and kids are making most of the decorations this year using supplies already available. Their gifts were the biggest expense (and probably no more than £100).

    • Laura Dove
      December 23, 2016 / 1:31 pm

      I am the same, I’m not on a strict budget as such but I am mindful about what we spend. I’m always shocked at the amount people spend on food and drink, we don’t spend a lot more than usual! xx

  8. December 22, 2016 / 11:05 pm

    Great advice and a reminder that only a few more days and we have to start all over again! Thank you for featuring 🙂 ox

    • Laura Dove
      December 23, 2016 / 1:30 pm

      Thank you! I know, I start buying all over again in the sales! xx

  9. December 23, 2016 / 12:08 pm

    Brilliant tips and much needed at this time of year when everyone is suddenly panic shopping!

    Stevie x

    • Laura Dove
      December 23, 2016 / 1:29 pm

      Oh I know, I’ve just got back from town, it was heaving!! xx

  10. December 23, 2016 / 12:43 pm

    I set a strict budget with mine – it is not so bad with the little ones as they are happy with cheap and cheerful toys, but it’s the teens with an ever growing list of I wants that I struggle with

    • Laura Dove
      December 23, 2016 / 1:28 pm

      I agree! I could buy a mountain of presents for the little ones for a fraction of the cost for Lewis! The older they get the more expensive everything gets! xx

  11. December 23, 2016 / 3:03 pm

    There are some really great tips here. What’s made a big difference for me this year is doing online surveys and saving up the points I earn with them, which I then turn into Amazon vouchers to buy presents with. x

    • Laura Dove
      December 23, 2016 / 9:57 pm

      That’s a great idea, I used to do a lot of surveys to cash in for vouchers. I must get back into it. xx

  12. December 23, 2016 / 3:16 pm

    great tips. I try and spread out the buying leaving the kids for last since they change their minds a millions times on what they want. It doesn’t save money, but it also doesn’t hurt so badly.

    • Laura Dove
      December 23, 2016 / 9:56 pm

      Yes! My son did that one year, he was so into power rangers and I literally bought EVERYTHING power rangers, then a week before Christmas he decided he didn’t like them anymore!! Agghh! xx

  13. December 23, 2016 / 3:44 pm

    Great tips, I do some of these as well. I try to spread out the present buying over a few months and make the use of 3 for 2 deals when I see them as well.

    • Laura Dove
      December 23, 2016 / 9:54 pm

      We always spread the cost out with there being four of them, it would be impossible to afford Christmas all out of one months pay cheque! xx

  14. December 23, 2016 / 4:05 pm

    These are great tips. I also look for sales items too. And I buy second hand – nearly new items for the kids. I used to buy new but toys are toys they will only get broken within such sort amount of time. This year I opted for a second hand keyboard for Ethan and some piano lessons – which are already costly. There is no point getting him a flashing new one – if he decided piano isn’t for him.

    Thank you so much for sharing your tips with us on #FabFridayPost xx

    • Laura Dove
      December 23, 2016 / 9:53 pm

      I agree, I hate to spend a lot on toys that inevitably end up broken. Id rather spend less and know that my children can play with them without worry of breaking something expensive. I hope that Ethan enjoys is keyboard! xx

  15. December 23, 2016 / 4:48 pm

    This year we started our shopping early to get stuff on sale. It really works! You save a lot of money, get good stuff, spread the spending out over months, and there is less rushing around at Christmas. I say less because even with the best inentions, a few presents were still being bought the week before Christmas #FabFridayPost

    • Laura Dove
      December 23, 2016 / 9:51 pm

      Haha yes, I’m the same. Infact I think I end up buying more because I think, well that was half price….aghhh!! xx

  16. Jen
    December 23, 2016 / 5:53 pm

    Some of these I do, but some I hadn’t even considered, but may now do so. I have found that it is easier than you think to help yourself. My shopping bill at the supermarket was halved today due to loyalty points. Happy Jen.

    • Laura Dove
      December 23, 2016 / 9:51 pm

      Loyalty points are great, it’s only when I add up how much I’ve had to spend to have gained them that it knocks me sick!! xx

  17. Sophie
    December 23, 2016 / 9:46 pm

    Great tips! We stock up on Lego throughout the year when it’s on sale!

    • Laura Dove
      December 23, 2016 / 9:50 pm

      Great idea! Lego is so expensive isn’t it? I’m relieved none of mine are into it….yet! xx

  18. December 23, 2016 / 11:23 pm

    Great tips, when the kids were little I did lots of second hand and always made teacher gifts. Merry Christmas from Coombe Mill #FabFridayPost

  19. December 24, 2016 / 3:34 pm

    I have a big family and I hate the pressure of being expected to buy for everybody. I used to love spending at least £30 per person but I now mainly concentrate on the children and again they probably get around £70 each spent on them. Sarah #FabFridayPost

  20. December 24, 2016 / 6:34 pm

    I can never seem to find any good coupons so I definitely need to enlist your help haha. Love to save money of course !

  21. December 24, 2016 / 10:53 pm

    Similarly to Steph I look for presents throughout the year and have a designated spot where I keep them safe until xmas. I can’t say I’m surprised that so many people are cautious and saving cox of Brexit, I think it’s a very good idea with tough times ahead. Some very useful tips, thank you all. Merry xmas!

  22. December 26, 2016 / 8:47 am

    We don’t do credit cards here either. I have a strict budget and I stick to it – it’s the only way

  23. December 26, 2016 / 11:20 am

    Some great tips here. I like the idea of putting the child benefit aside each month x

  24. December 26, 2016 / 3:57 pm

    Very good advice! I already do a couple of these. I usually buy throughout the year as I see stuff, and I always make a fair few handmade presents too, which keeps costs down at christmas/

  25. December 27, 2016 / 7:35 am

    We get some.presents for the kids during the year in sales with a budget and do homemade gifts for our families we dont spend alot we just enjoy time together.

  26. December 31, 2016 / 6:36 am

    I use a lot of discount codes, points and shop the sales when I can. These are all great wisdoms shared and I have picked up one or two to try for the future

  27. December 31, 2016 / 7:23 am

    Hi Laura, there are some great tips there. I’m already thinking about starting to save for next year and we are lucky that we don’t have so many people to buy for! I do miss the sales, though, and used to love Boots sale for stocking up on small gifts for the next Christmas.

    I also collect loyalty points for a couple of the supermarkets here and usually end up with seventy Euro worth of coupons that I save for the festive season, which is always handy for those Christmas treats.

    Wishing you and yours all the best for the New Year and thank you for supporting the #MMBC.

    xx

  28. January 2, 2017 / 2:02 pm

    These are great ideas, I spent so much money in Christmas.

    • Laura Dove
      January 2, 2017 / 8:49 pm

      Me too, going to cut right down next year! xx

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