1. Reduce expectations of Presents
Always under promise presents. If you start promising a lot of gifts it becomes very pressured for you to spend money. Start working on this as soon as possible. If your children expect very little, they will be happy when they get a bit more than what you promised.
2. Eat In.
At Christmas time, restaurants often charge a premium. With drinks, eating out can become very expensive. Unless you really hate the idea of cooking and washing up, eat in. – It is easier to create an intimate atmosphere as well.
3. Look ahead.
Buy Christmas cards / decorations e.t.c in the new year sale. It may be too late for this year, but, buy the minimum and look out for bargains in the New Year.
4. Get a Cheap flight and Leave
Sometimes to save money we need to spend it. Buy a cheap flight to somewhere warm and miss all the costs of Christmas (well most of them)
5. Get the Kids to Make the decorations.
If your children are really excited by Christmas and are driving you crazy with eagerness, keep them busy – ask them to make some home made crackers and decorations. Christmas Crackers are usually ridiculously overpriced for what you get. They can probably only get away with charging so much because it is a one off Christmas purchase.
6. Just Buy Your Kids A Cardboard Box
Have your children ever got a present and been more interested in the box than the present? Why not just get them a cardboard box and save yourself £200. The latest Xbox or whatever will be soon out of date in a few months anyway (Perhaps this is a little risky – your kids may not quite share your way of thinking. )
7. Don’t feel obliged to send a Christmas Card to Everyone you ever met.
Do you really need to send a Christmas Card to the dinner lady at your primary school. It is not so much the expense but also time consuming.
8. Shop Online.
Many of the best bargains can still be found online. – It can take some of the stress out of retail shopping. If you order soon you can get all your presents sent in time.
9. Stuff Stockings with big things that don’t cost anything.
Whenever I got a stocking I always had the obligatory – “Well, why I was a child, we were lucky to just get a couple of apples in our stocking” – Apparently people were happier in the olden days so why not give your child the joy of a frugal stocking.
10. Make Sure Presents are Valuable.
I did a deal with my sister. I will buy her £30 in book tokens, she will also buy me £30 in book tokens. It is easy to buy, and we will both be very happy on receiving the present. You may say this is very boring present. But, if it is boring, no harm. I would rather have a boring present than a useless present.