Saving Money At Christmas

I wrote a post last year about why we were having a second-hand Christmas.

saving money at xmas

I just don’t understand the concept of spending too much money at Christmas and having to start the new year in a huge amount of debt.

I do think it’s possible to still enjoy Christmas and even give gifts without spending a fortune though.

Here are some tips and ideas to save money at Christmas.

Make little gifts instead of buying them. Admittedly it takes a little bit more time but at least you can do it in your own home while listening to music and having a festive drink. Much more enjoyable than hitting the heaving shops in the freezing cold weather.

There is a whole range of things you can make too. Homemade alcohol is a great gift for adults, my  friend is making homemade limoncello to give to her family. Pinterest is full of ideas and I’ve just found this spiced pear vodka, creamy Nutella liqueur and you can even make your own Bailey’s, yum!

I’m planning to make some chocolate truffles, I did this a few years ago and it’s really easy and fun. Plus you can flavour them in any way you like. I’m also going to make some dairy free ones for Mr C who’s allergic.

If you have children then you can get them to do the hard work and create presents, this works especially well for grandparents who love receiving things that have been made by their grandchildren. Salt dough decorations are a great option and if you take care of them can last forever. We made these ones last year, it’s a really easy and fun activity too.

If you really don’t want to make something and don’t have any money to spend either then offering your services can be just as good as a gift, if not better! If you’re good at cooking then why not offer to cook someone a meal? If you know someone with kids then give a IOU babysitting voucher. Offer something that you are skilled at but the other person isn’t. Obviously you wouldn’t want to do this for everyone as it could mean quite a lot of work but for close friends and family it’s a good way of giving without spending.

Buy second-hand. I love finding bargains in charity shops and on eBay. Local Facebook buy and sell groups are fab too, kids don’t know whether something is brand new or not, obviously it doesn’t work for everything depending on what they are into but for books / play sets etc it’s great. Also anything washable like clothes / cuddly toys as they appear as good as new after a good clean.

saving money 2

Be organised. This is something I am not and will never be but I know some mega organised people do their Christmas shopping in the January sales, or at least spread it out throughout the year so it’s not such a big blow to the bank account come December.

I also know someone else who saves up her Tesco clubcard points all year then uses them to buy all her kid’s toys at Christmas.

And lastly shopping around can be a really great way to find the product you want at the cheapest price. I live near a Sainsbury’s and they quite frequently run 25% off clothing deals, as a result I don’t like buying anything when the offer isn’t on. It’s always worth comparing prices of something you want to buy as it will always be on offer somewhere!

The cost of living is so expensive these days and everyone is saving for something. First time buyers need such a huge deposit these days and trying to save for it requires a lot of careful budgeting. Then comes the job of trying to find a mortgage, this calculator is a great tool that allows you to compare two scenarios based on mortgage amount, annual interest rate and mortgage term.

How do you save money at Christmas?

Post in association with TSB.


  1. Lex

    8 December

    I so agree that Christmas is over commercialised. Oranges used to be a much sort after Christmas present. Could you imagine if someone got oranges today?

    To save money we don’t get gifts for adults in our extended families. We just have the pleasure of their company on Christmas day. We get all the kids something small, except for our little boy who we spend a little more on. My husband and I get each other something small (we have an under $30 rule) so our son can hand us a gift on Christmas morning.

    We focus on love, happiness, laughter, good company and good food for a special Christmas.

  2. Oh. My. Goodness. I am SOOOO making nutella liqueur. You have just made my Christmas.

  3. Make your own BAILEYS? That’s like telling me I can go ahead and print my own paycheque! I am making my cards this year, and scaling down the money I spend on presents dramatically, especially for kids in the family. Quality not quantity!

  4. Laurence received an IOU babysitting voucher for his birthday last February and it really was the best present, especially as it meant we snuck one last trip to the cinema days before Ophelia was born later that month!

  5. Vijay @ NoshOnIt

    8 December

    Thanks so much for linking to our Spiced Pear Vodka, Jess. What a great list of ideas for the holidays!

  6. Donna

    8 December

    I don’t really ‘save’ money at Christmas but grew up with my parents being in debt all year paying off the previous Xmas and I promised myself I would never be in that situation. So we set up a standing order each month to save for Christmas and start buying gifts in the January sale. So we spend a lot less most other people but plan well for it x

  7. Molly

    8 December

    Really great tips. I’ve found some cracking presents in charity shops over the years. Last year I got a whole set of Angelina Ballerina books for my (then) three year old – they were in mint condition and proved to be one of her most loved presents. I think I paid about £2.50 for the lot!

  8. Becky

    9 December

    Love your post..some fab ideas here

  9. I’m always slightly in awe of those super organised people who buy everything in the January sales. How can they think that far ahead?

  10. Katie

    9 December

    great ideas/tips. tbh we don’t spend too much anyway as the boys get so much from family we only get them a couple of pressies each. Also my family do secret santa instead of getting everyone gifts which is so much less money/work xxx

  11. Lia

    12 December

    Boozy homemade gifts are so good for adults, i agree 😉 I love the idea of making more homemade gifts – I’m making my mum a calendar this year instead of handing over £50 to photobox!!

  12. fritha

    12 December

    I totally don’t get why people spend so much and get into debt either, when i was growing up we were allowed to spend £5 on each of our siblings and then my folks got us around £20 each of gifts and then we always handmade something for our parents 🙂 x

  13. laura redburn

    12 December

    totally with fritha, i dont get why people get themselves into debt over christmas!

  14. Laura

    12 December

    I totally agree – my parents never spent loads and always made a point of not getting us everything we want (we would get like 1-2 things on our list at most).This year I have picked up a few bits and bobs from charity shops and also making a few things for his stocking – it’s the best way forward I think.

    Laura x

  15. Polly

    13 December

    great tips – we made skittle vodka for gifts the other year!

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