WHETHER you want to admit it or not, Christmas isn’t that far away and before you know it you’ll be rushing to the stores to get your last minute gifts.
But it doesn’t have to be a stress-inducing event and Gemma Bird has a few tips to help you save now to have a cosy Christmas.
Gemma is a money-saving mum and social media sensations whose savvy & thrifty ways helped her pay off her mortgage by the time she was 40.
Here, she reveals all her savvy saving hacks on how to save for Christmas…
TALK ABOUT IT
Most of us are in the same boat, worrying about money! Now is the time to have open and honest conversations with family and friends.
Don’t feel awkward, chances are they may be feeling the same. Suggest only buying for the children. Set spending limits on gifts.
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Got a big family? Then agree to do a Secret Santa instead of buying individual gifts.
We should not be embarrassed about speaking to our nearest and dearest about finances and there is no shame in being on a budget.
Remember, handmade items from the kids make treasured gifts for Grandparents & close family – grab a frame from the £1 shop or charity shop and frame a lovely piece of the children’s artwork or have a crafts day making special presents for loved ones.
If purchasing gifts, start now. I often buy from car boot sales, charity shops, Facebook Marketplace, eBay and Vinted. Second-hand toys are fine for children, especially plastic toys which you can disinfect.
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Shopping for gifts online? Be sure to use apps like Honey to make sure you are getting the best deals.
MONEY-SAVING AMAZON TIP
Type ‘Amazon outlet’ into the search bar – they sell off stock they need to clear and there are often crazy discounts! Remember, its Amazon Outlet – NOT the warehouse.
Do you or the kids want something specific? Here is another great Amazon hack for finding budget friendly dupes (its saved me hundreds of pounds!):
- Take a screenshot of a dress you like online
- Use the camera button on Amazon to upload the image
- Amazon will scan the website to find a dress that looks similar
DECK THE HALLS
It’s so tempting to get caught up in the festive spirit and buy new and sparkly decorations, but last year my Christmas tree looked amazing for next to no money!
I used some pinecones I sprayed white and a packet of silver balloons from the £1 shop that I blew up and used as baubles.
The kids really enjoyed collecting the pine cones too!
Be a savvy shopper – frozen is often cheaper than fresh, and when buying fresh veg it’s usually cheaper to buy loose than prepackaged.
My top tips include using own brands and crouching down to check the lower shelves in supermarkets to find cheaper deals – the pricey stuff is usually at eye level!
If you are hosting – all club together. Agree with family/friends that everyone brings something to contribute – dessert, cheese and biscuits, mince pies or wine etc.
Yes, there’s still time to make some thrifty but significant savings before the festive season gets underway, here is just one easy idea…
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And don’t forget to start your prep for next year right after Christmas – start Boxing Day – put away £2 per day; that's £14 per week. That's £728 saved – and next Christmas is sorted!
So, bag yourself a bunch of candles from your local £1 shop for candlelit evenings that are cosy AND cost efficient – and remember that the best thing about Christmas is spending quality time with family and friends.
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