According to the Bank of England, a typical household spends over £500 extra in December. It won’t come as a surprise to learn that we spend a lot more on going out, eating food and drinking alcohol. We also of course spend money buying gifts for our family and friends.
So here are some of our top tips to save a little with the gift buying this year...
1. He’s making a list and checking it twice
At this time of year, it’s easy to act on impulse and buy a couple of extra little gifts whilst out shopping. That £5 filler toy might not be a big dent to your budget, but they soon stack up. Make a list of what presents you need before you start shopping and make sure you keep to it. If you find a different bargain, then great! But don’t forget to check that person of your list so you don’t end up over-buying.
2. Suggest a Secret Santa for your non immediate family
Tis the season of giving, but does your second cousin’s youngest really need that makeup set? Suggest to your family that you run a secret santa instead. Then everyone gets one thoughtful gift, rather than several small gifts bought out of obligation.
3. Even better - try Bad Secret Santa (aka White Elephant rules)
4. Make custom baubles - like these great ones here
5. Or a nostalgia christmas stocking
Fill with the classics of your childhood such as nuts, sweets or satsumas. Or maybe the added extra of a spinning top or a fortune telling fish!
6. Shop smart with discount codes
Voucher codes and flash sale sites can make all the difference at Christmas, so keep your eyes peeled, and be sure to check out sites like Mumsnet or HotUKDeals. Sites like this often have forum, where people will share the best deals both online and on the high street.
7. Charity shops can be great for branded finds at a fraction of the cost. Also Christmas entertaining staples like board games and jigsaw puzzles can always be found.
8. The gift of a memory
Christmas treats like a visit to Santa or a trip to the panto are magical for children, and there are often cheaper alternatives to the shopping centres and big-name productions. Look for local community events that are often a fraction of the price, and don't discount the excitement value of activities like tree decorating, or a wintery walk followed by a hot chocolate (add whipped cream or marshmallows for enhanced treat-factor).
9. Ditch the selection boxes and gift sets
The classic filler present can often be a false economy. Gift sets, may look pretty, but a perfumed shower gel in a set can often work out considerably more expensive that just buying your normal toiletries.
And chocolate selection boxes are a staple of most childhood memories, but they can be done just as well by making your own. Buy multipacks of supermarket brand sweets and add some tinsel for that festive cheer.
10. Don’t worry,they will forgive you if you don’t buy them that ride on unicorn. Focus on the presents that are important and will last them much longer than the latest fad.