How To Cut The Cost Of Christmas

Christmas can be an expensive time of year. Most of us have felt the cost of Christmas by the time the January sales hit. However, I suggest we need a change of mindset at Christmas time. It doesn't all have to be about the amount we spend on friends and family. 

So let's have a look at ways we can cut the cost of Christmas. 

Shop in the sales

Black Friday and the January sales can be great times to get a discount on presents. Use sites that give you discount codes for the best deals on almost any brand. All my American friends talk about Dontplayfull as the go-to resource for online savings.  No one bats an eyelid in the US when they use a code for discounts in all manner of establishments. Any money saved you can use for essentials or luxuries whatever the state of your bank balance. 

Shop in charity shops

You can pick up a bargain at a charity shop. I especially like rummaging through movies and books in my local shop. When my son was small I picked up some great toys too, the ones that can be easily wiped clean. When children are young they don't care where their present is from. Check out your local charity shop for cool presents like Disney DVDs, toy trucks and storybooks, all well looked after at a fraction of the price of new.

Use auction sites

Auction sites are great for a bargain. Independent sellers sell new items and you can pick up a bargain on nearly new products too. Just make sure you check out the seller's feedback to ensure they are reliable too, as there are a very small amount of scammers around. 

Make your gifts

Sometimes more thoughtful gifts can mean much more and can be affordable too, so why not make your gifts?  If you are good at cooking, why not make some homemade fudge or chutney? If you are good at handicrafts knit a jumper or scarf as a gift. Make your own hamper for your grandparents at a fraction of the cost of buying one. Think about the skills you have and how that can turn into a great gift. I always remember the dolls house my dad made for me when I was a child. It was a bit rough around the edges but it was the best present I ever had.

Win your gifts

Have you thought about entering competitions as a hobby? If you have the time why not give it a go and you could win your Christmas presents in time for next year. I used to enter competitions all the time, and I've won breaks away, the latest tech, hampers and more. Set up an email address just for competitions so you can keep the spam separate to your normal email address and check out competition sites like Loquax, Competition Database or The Prizefinder for competition listings. Also while you are here, why not enter one of my competitions too?!

Gift your time

Gift your time and your skills. Many people are time poor so why not gift your time and your skills? If your sister has a young family, gift her a babysitting voucher for Christmas so she can have a night out. If your gran needs help with shopping online, gift her a voucher so you can teach her how to shop safely.  If your friend has dogs, offer to walk them for her once a week for a month. Gifts like these can mean a lot.

Save your loyalty points

Many shops have loyalty cards and loyalty schemes, so sign up for the cards and use them throughout the year. Supermarkets like Tescos and Sainsburys and high street stores like Boots and Superdrug have especially good schemes so if you shop throughout the year and use your card, it can soon add up. Keep the vouchers for Christmas to help with your gift buying. Supermarkets also have their own food stamps that you can buy and in December many will give you an extra stamp or two if you fill up their savings card. Worth considering!

Spend less on Christmas dinner

Christmas dinner can be very expensive. So think about cutting the cost of Christmas dinner. Firstly see if you can get invited to Christmas dinner at someone's home, but don't forget to take a bottle of wine and a gift.  If that isn't an option, go through a list of what you need and see if you can make it cheaper. Do you really want turkey which gets hiked up in price, when a chicken will be nicer? Go for supermarket own products like cranberry sauce rather than the big brands. If you can make gravy from scratch, do so as it will be much cheaper than bought gravy. Or ask guests to bring an item, like stuffing, the dessert or the crackers to help you cut the cost.

Don't buy unnecessary presents 

When all else fails, agree not to buy unnecessary presents, after all, Christmas is about family and friends, not presents.  This is easy to do if no kids are involved, of course. If your budget for Christmas is exceptionally tight, for example, if you are a student, are on benefits or just strapped for cash this year, those that matter will understand. You can always buy a token present like a box of chocolates. Don't forget, Christmas is not worth getting into debt over.

Do you have any ideas on how to cut the cost of Christmas?


  1. These are brilliant ideas, Mel. We're making most of the presents for our extended family. Feels like the right thing to do from a cost and personal point of view :) x

  2. Love your ideas. I have been wanting to win my gifts but as they say, "You gotta be in it, to win it" so I have to step up my game on entering comps. xx