Okay so if you have been reading my blog for a while you might remember that my plan for Christmas 2016 was to buy all of my Christmas presents, cards and other bits and bobs for under £300. I will admit that I have failed by going over budget but I have spent nowhere near what I used to, so I thought I would share with you my top tips.
- Boxing Day is the best time to start - I actually started buying presents for Christmas 2016 right after Christmas 2015. The reason I did this was simply that there were so many different price reductions whether it was the actual presents or the gift wrap and I found that I could also buy the big hamper style beauty boxes for a fraction of the price. I have been able to split this down into smaller packages to give to various people.
- Write a list - This is a must for me because in previous years I have bought something, then forgotten about it so bought something else and then finally found the original present which all costs money. By writing a list I have been able to jot down ideas when people are talking about the things they like, as well as making a note of any presents I have bought and who they are for.
- Second-hand is just as good. I am no snob when it comes to buying from charity shops, in fact I used to volunteer in one. I was always suprised by how many unopened gift sets and presents people would donate either because they had too many or they simply just didn't like them. Therefore charity shops as well as eBay are a great starting point where you can buy something at a fraction of the cost.
- Double check with friends if you want to do presents - I have a couple of friends that I no longer buy for. Not because I don't want to but because we decide to do something together instead. Whether it is meet up for a drink and catch up or go out for the day. It has worked for me because it is one less person to buy for and by asking them in advance there is none of that awkwardness where they have got you a present but you turn up with nothing.
- Re-gift an item - It is something that not many people admit to but there have been a few occasions where I have received a present that is not really me or I don't want and so if there is someone I think will like it, I will use it for there present. This happened to me a couple of years ago when my nan gave me a nail polish gift set containing 20 different colours, many of which were blues and greens which I don't normally wear. However, I knew somebody who loved these types of colours and appreciated the set much more than I ever would have.
- Home-made vouchers - I have done this in the past with both family and friends and it is a great way of spreading the cost of Christmas. If there is a place that the recipient really wants to go to - for example my mum would love to go to the Harry Potter studios - I simply design and print off a voucher style leaflet, stating where we are going and for them to pick a date and I will pay. Then all you have to do is pop it in an envelop and set a date later in the year.
- Buy in bulk - I did this recently when I went to B & M. I bought a set of six large scented candles for about £5. I decided to take them out of the box, pair them with some hand cream I also go in B & M, found a small box, filled it with shredded tissue paper and wrapped a ribbon around it and hey presto it was a new gift set at a fraction of the price
So that is my top tips for doing Christmas on a budget. I am feeling the pinch now more than ever before, all of which will be revealed next year. However, Christmas is a time for enjoying the company of your family and friends, it shouldn't be about how much money you spend on someone and I think with all the adverts on TV, that message sometimes gets forgotten.
Until next time