Five thrifty tips to make more of your money this festive season
Enjoy yourself without breaking the budget with our top tips
Whether it’s buying presents, stocking the fridge or decorating the house, it’s easy for any household budget to feel extra stretched over the festive period. Here are our top tips to help you enjoy the season and spend less time stressing about money.
1. Make homemade treats
Unlike Santa you don’t have a team of elves at hand to make a stack of presents at a moment’s notice. But while it could be pretty impossible to create the toy of the season for your kids, it’s simple to make affordable gifts for neighbours, colleagues and friends. From fudge to rocky road and chocolate truffles, why not create a batch of homemade treats? Lots of craft shops sell small bags that you can put sweets in. To make them extra special, seal the top of the bag with a festive bag topper. You can find a selection of free printable themed bag toppers in our Kids’ Corner that will make your sweets look fun and personalised. You can choose a snowman, reindeer, or Christmas tree.
2. Plan your food shop
Is it an abundance of cheese, chocolate, cooked ham or mulled wine that tickles your taste buds this time of year? Food and drink has got to be one of the things that people most look forward to, so it’s easy to get carried away with buying everything in sight. Don’t let your belly overrule your head; go to the shops with a structured plan that takes into consideration what you already have, how many occasions you’re hosting and the total number of people you need to cater for. This should keep you on track and minimise your costs and potential waste. If you buy stuff ahead, check the dates so that nothing goes off before you hit the festive season.
3. Organise festive but free family activities
Gathering up all the family to go to the theatre or ice skating might fill you with cheer, but could easily make a dent in your bank account. Save yourself a bundle and plan some epic Christmas themed movie nights at home with some DIY popcorn to get everyone feeling festive. If you’ve got a projector, supersize the experience and wow family and friends. But that’s not all; why not get everyone in their warmest gear and head out for a bit of carolling? If your vocal chords aren’t quite up to scratch, you could do a tour of the local area taking in the best festive lighting displays instead.
4. Get savvy with your Christmas decorations
Whether they’re glittery, embroidered or carved from wood, it’s hard to resist buying more baubles and decorations each year. While there’s no need to be a scrooge, a good place to start is by reminding yourself of all the lovely things you already own. You might find that you have more than you remember or underused items that could be brought to the fore this year. If you like crafting, a new lease of new life can be given to existing decorations with a new finish or even a simple bow. For families that proudly display their kids’ drawings, there are some gems to be found in our range of printables. There are lots of bright and colourful decorations and baubles the kids will love colouring and sticking together, that will give your home a really personal touch.
5. Appreciate the gift of giving
Doing good makes us feel good, so boost your festive cheer for free by offering your time to a charity. Even if you can’t make a regular commitment, lots of organisations can accommodate volunteers that can only offer a one-off day. Get on the internet to find out what’s going on in your area. You could also see if your employer has a volunteering scheme as companies like Epson help and enable employees to take part in charitable deeds. For example, UK employees gathered up coats to donate to the Wrap Up London charity, giving warm clothing to homeless people to help them through the winter.
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Check out our festive themed bag toppers, DIY Christmas decorations and our full range of free printable templates and sheets in the Kids’ Corner. There are free colouring-in printables, activity sheets, scrapbooking ideas and customisable celebration cards.