I know that we’ve only just waved a fond farewell to Christmas, but whilst things are still fresh in my mind I thought it would be good to jot down a few ideas, that I think may save some cash (and valuable time) in our house and hopefully in yours too, for when the festive season rocks up again!
What I’m going to natter to you about, isn’t rocket science, but simply about making and editing lists, being a bit thrifty, and doing what you can to make your hard earned dosh work even harder for you!
Save on your Christmas food shop
Whilst I’m getting much better at this, as the years go by, I can still be left with random things knocking about in our cupboard that were bought to be enjoyed over Christmas! When doing my festive food shop, I really have to put the blinkers on, to stop myself from getting distracted with everything that other people have in their trolleys/baskets, and appreciate that we don’t all have the same tastes and that I don’t need to replicate everything that other people are buying. But instead pick out the things we will enjoy and use.
So, thinking about all the things that got ‘polished off’ in your house at Christmas, it would be good to do a list now, whilst it’s still fresh in your mind, of the food you (and your family and friends) really enjoyed. Include amounts too (thinking about what maybe you could have done a bit more of), you can always increase or decrease accordingly to the numbers you are catering for at the time, but it’s surprising what details you will forget in the busy year ahead.
Personally I always over cater slightly with quantities for Christmas dinner, since leftovers can be frozen and enjoyed at a later date. By having a written list of exactly what you need for next time, will hopefully, help you resist the urge to slip any unnecessary extras into the trolley and fingers crossed, save you a bit on your Christmas food bill!
Save on gifts that you give
Make a list
Jot down all the people you buy for, either in a notepad or on your phone – dependant on what you tend to carry around with you all the time. It’s then accessible to make quick notes of gift ideas that pop into your head, when you are out and about, or stuff you hear your friends and family say they love! If you have a clear vision of what you are after, it makes gift giving a doddle. And preferably if you can pick things up throughout the year, it will save that last-minute panic buy too. Which more often than not, will work out far more expensive.
Scoop up bargains in the sales
From wrapping paper and cards to that perfect thing you spot, sales really are amazing places to grab a bargain (if you can brave them!). However, unless something immediately grabs you, or it’s on your wish or gift list, maybe best to leave it in the store!
Shop at outlet villages and discount stores
On my wish list last year, I had a French Connection blouse and a Mint Velvet bag. I didn’t think in my wildest dreams I would have ever been able to buy either of them, as they were rather pricey! But joy of joys, I spotted them both at Cheshire Oakes at a fraction of the price. The blouse I treated myself to and picked up the bag as a Christmas present from my dad. So, this goes to show, you may just be able to pick up exactly what you are after at a fraction of the price at places like these. And to be honest, I think they have lots of other gorgeous things to inspire anyway!
Save time (and do a good deed in the process)
Give to your chosen charity instead of sending Christmas cards
Now I confess, I’m not quite brave enough to do this (so will have to save in other ways and still contribute to my chosen charity), as I’m a bit of an all or nothing person, and I do think you have to be strong and say no cards at all, otherwise you are faffing around sending to some people and not to others. But, if unlike me you can go the whole hog and not send any cards, then I applaud you. Think of all those stamps you won’t need to buy.
Take advantage of free gift wrapping
Many counters in department stores offer this service and it’s a great way of reducing the number of gifts you then need to wrap. Plus, they always tend to make it look really special too.
Double up on your cooking when you get a little nearer to Christmas
Well that’s my handful of suggestions that may help you save a little cash and time, at probably the busiest and most expensive time of the year for so many people.