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The three things that have made Christmas affordable for me

(38 Posts)
festiveferret Sat 20-Aug-11 19:38:45

Firstly, cut down on your 'buy for' list.
I stopped buying for my sisters or their children and they for me - we were just buying each other crap stuff we didn't want - it was a shared decision that we'd rather spend the money on our own kids, and it was a real relief. 8 less people to buy for! I don't really buy for friends either. If you drop a hint, you might find that some of your your 'buyees' would be pleased to mutually agree to no exchange of gifts this year - the credit crunch is a perfect excuse.

Secondly, go 2nd hand for littlies, they couldn't care less. Ebay and car boot. I got DD stuff to the value of £300 last year for £50.

Thirdly, start early, start now. 4 or 5 paydays to spread it over, bollocks to the moaners who are posting a biscuit whenever they see the word 'Christmas' in a post in August. They probably are on a squillion pounds a year and will have it all delivered giftwrapped on December 23rd in a big John Lewis van wink

tigerlillyd02 Sat 20-Aug-11 19:44:13

Couldn't agree more! I've started already and, from my list, saving loads just by getting the majority from Ebay instead. Some things there are half price and still brand new.

As my family always buy each others children, I've decided to actually give them my ds's list this year and asked them to choose something from that - at least it's less for me to buy and he still gets what I know he'd like. I've asked them to do the same.

CaptainMartinCrieff Sat 20-Aug-11 19:49:49


CaptainMartinCrieff Sat 20-Aug-11 19:50:09

I'm joking! I couldn't resist!

Whenisitmysleepytime Sat 20-Aug-11 20:35:47

Last year I saved all my nectar points and used them on the Christmas shop. It took £20 off smile
Only buy for immediate family.
Hand make presents for friends and nursery etc. We baked gingerbread biscuits for people like nursery workers, dh's aunts etc.

This year I've started an ISA just for Christmas. I'm only pitting in £10 a week but should help a lot come the 25th.

LordOfTheFlies Sat 20-Aug-11 22:30:32

My nectar points are £65 at the moment so by Christmas I should have a tidy wodge. All the double points help.

I've got a tin for £2 coins.Because they are weird they don't feel like real money, so I can put them away as soon as I get them. This will be for the DCs to buy a pressie for DH and I and each other.

Used my last lot of Tesco rewards on a mobile phone for DS (£20 vouchar doubled up in store). He got quite a nice phone out of it.
Next lot I'm going to put towards a down duvet.

We don't buy for adults (except DH and I buy small gift for each other. And I send mum and MIL flowers)

LordOfTheFlies Sat 20-Aug-11 23:54:28

There was a thread last year about the pre-Christmas reductions that are out there, mainly food/perishables.Some real bargains to be had, especially turkey (though odd sizes) or hams. Not alot of use to a vegetarian TBH hmm
I don't think I would be brave enough to wait til Christmas Eve though to buy my food.Knowing my luck the snow will stop any deliveries and I'll be left with two rubbery carrots, UHT milk and a crushed box of Mr Kipling Mince Pies grin

Nihilisticbunny Sun 21-Aug-11 00:32:09

Well tbh we are cutting it fine, robbing Peter to pay paul each month as it is, we have school shoes and uniform to buy this month, children's birthdays for the next two months. Winter clothes and coats to buy, we literally can't afford to spread the cost because we don't have anything spare.

We will cut right back to the bone in November and December to afford presents, it's a frigging nightmare, food going up, gas/electric going up, wages are static. For the past two years we have been trying to catch up on our selves, hasn't happened yet, we are still chasing our tails trying to get caught up on on bills sad.

twinklytroll Sun 21-Aug-11 01:08:01

We just opt out of the present buying, other than for dd. She gets one small present. Dp and I are adults so don't need presents for each other . I give away foodie presents that I have made over the year so I do not feel the cost. Christmas dinner is a cross between a sunday dinner and a dinner party so need not cost a fortune . Much I have made in the months leading to Christmas so we do not notice the cost.

tummytickler Sun 21-Aug-11 08:05:55

I really agree with the second hand for kids idea. I would say I get our dc at least 50% of their gifts second hand. DS turns 9 four days before Christmas, so we have that to do as well, so I like to be on top of Christmas before his birthday so I can enjoy his birthday without it being taken over by Christmas stress!
We have started pressies and got ds loads of vintage Star Wars figures for his 9th birthday. I have also go the presents for most of the extended family kids (they always get books from us).
Dh and I tend to buy each other books, and I tell him to buy me bits from charity shops (new books seem like a waste of money to me, and you get more pressies this way!!)
Then its just my mum and dad.
we have 4dc, so need to really get my act together in September, but glad to have started.
I will make a big batch of Skittles vodka to give to friends.
I could never stop giving presents to extended family, as I really enjoy the prep for Christmas, but it is just a token, and we don't do adults.

Debs75 Sun 21-Aug-11 08:17:12

we buy a lot of dd1's amd ds's presents online. some older books on there are for 1p saving us £3-4.
dp has started shopping already and is usually finished by october
i buy a morrisons stamp everytime i go there so often have about £80 to spend on food and i save £5 every asda shop so usually have between £100-£200 to spend on presents
we have birthdays aug, sept, oct and dec which cuts into budget but we do tend to manage each year, i do have a panic at the end of november. a mince pie or two usually helps thoughgrin

twinklytroll Sun 21-Aug-11 09:45:56

Second hand is a good idea, For dd's stocking she gets books from Oxfam. Most of get clothes are also second hand.

mamalino Sun 21-Aug-11 14:43:44

Tummytickler, skittles vodka?!


Is this a typo if not please would you mind sharing how it's done?

cece Sun 21-Aug-11 14:47:13

I make Nigella's Rocky Road to give to colleagues/teachers and so on - wrap up so it looks pretty and it is delicious.

I buy presents from carboots over the summer.

Just bought DS1 a BMX for £35 from tesco sale - perfect! smile

brightermornings Sun 21-Aug-11 14:54:13

I started my shopping this week. People think I'm mental. Both dc's have birthdays before Xmas so I have them to plan for aswell. Ds will be 17 in october so he will be getting driving lessons . Dd not sure yet maybe a dsi but I'll hopefully get that 2nd hand. I love Christmas!!!'

bigun1 Sun 21-Aug-11 14:56:38

oooh ooh, can i join...heres what i do:

I have a pot and all year i save up my 50p coins & my £2 coins. When i have £10 or £20 worth i put it into a little account at my local Hlaifax.(only becuase its at the end of my road)
Last year i had £340, year before i had £400 saved.

(honestly, you dont miss these coins)

Also Tesco do a stamp scheme, so each time i go, if i have a couple of quid in my purse i get a couple of stamps, i save £100 for last Christmas....i gave this to a family member as a Christmas pressy as they were skint, it paid for their Christmas food shop that week.

I begun to get stuff in June, getting quite a little booty now, sale stuff mostly.
I have a HUGE family & i have 8 God children as well as my own so i HAVE to do this in order to keep from drowning!

tummytickler Sun 21-Aug-11 16:08:13

mamalino here is a link
It's scrummy, but very sweet.
I am going to give a set of miniatures to each person (and save the big bottles for me grin )
Looks really impressive, but dead easy.

mamalino Sun 21-Aug-11 18:23:39

That looks amazing, thanks so much! Love the different flavours too, will be making this for sure.

GrownUpNow Sun 21-Aug-11 18:46:34

My three things are:

Put away money every month for Christmas. I save up twenty pounds a month, so by about September there is enough to start picking up bits and pieces for the kids in sales or shopping around.

Buy wrapping paper and discounted stocking fillers/toys/decorations in the January sales. By saving for Christmas, you don't end up skint in January, so take advantage of when they are trying to get rid of all the bits and pieces which add up. Saves you splurging when you are in a last minute rush.

Get crafty. I do Christmas baskets every year for family and they are always well received. I buy clear Christmas wrapping paper and do some themed baskets, like Girls Night In with a mini bottle of wine, a bath bomb, a CD, some nail varnish and a face pack, or Movie night, with a DVD, some popcorn, sweeties, etc. You can personalise them and they never end up regifted or as unwanted clutter.

bigun1 Sun 21-Aug-11 19:22:56

Grownupnow that is a cracking idea! Where do you get your baskets?

Becaroooo Sun 21-Aug-11 19:34:58

Am starting next week (although am not buying for adults with children this year - the money can go on their dc!!!)

I will make some food too - usually mince pies, candied peel dipped in chocolate and (nigellas) rocky road to give as gifts.

Love the personalised giftbasket idea smile

Cards, crackers and wrapping paper already got in the sales, although am also cutting down on cards this year and giving the stamp money to charity (I spend £££££'s on stamps, its ridiculous!!)

GrownUpNow Sun 21-Aug-11 20:48:16

If you shop around in places like Home Bargains or Pound Shops, you can usually find something suitable bigun1.

bigun1 Sun 21-Aug-11 20:59:25

ah ok, will have a look, thanks

Tinkerisdead Mon 22-Aug-11 09:10:08

I do hamper/baskets too but I use ikea cardboard patterned boxes, there like 2.50 for two. Last year I got blue ones with White pattern and did icy blue type ribbon, snowflakes etc on it. Much cheaper than baskets and I buy big florist rolls of cellophane off eBay.

Becaroooo Mon 22-Aug-11 09:11:31

oh good idea thedoctorswife Will check those out!

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