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