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How to do Christmas on a shoestring

(17 Posts)
Marzipanface Mon 12-Nov-12 09:55:02

Anyone have any ideas?

So far I think I have managed to spend approx £80 on presents for 6 adults and four kids by careful spending, picking up bargains and ebay/second hand goods.

e.g DH wanted specific games for his Xbox but told me not to worry as we are skint, I have managed to get two in good nick from Ebay for a total of a tenner instead of 40 quid. He's going to be so chuffed! Similarly for brother, I got 2 DVDs of some stand up comedians he likes for 7 quid off ebay. Brand new they would have cost far more.

I bought a pack of books from the Book People as recommended on the bargain thread and have split them up to give to niece and nephews.

DD is only three so not that fussy or demanding so her presents come to £15, and are a selection of toys from pound shop and bit and pieces I have stashed over the year - perhaps that is cheating? Such as slippers that were bought for her ages ago which turned out to be too big but should fit her at Christmas.

I need to get more presents but am running out of money as what's left out of £150 is to go on food and drink.

Can it be done? Christmas presents, Christmas dinner and some alcohol for £150 quid? Or it this madness!

altinkum Mon 12-Nov-12 10:02:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

altinkum Mon 12-Nov-12 10:03:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

InNeedOfBrandy Mon 12-Nov-12 10:06:16

Could you pick up one extra thing food wise (cupboard or freezer) towards christmas dinner in your normal shop so you don't notice it?

Kendodd Mon 12-Nov-12 10:09:18

Is it just the three of you for Christmas or are other people eating with you? If other people are coming ask them to bring something.

I think you could do a brilliant Christmas on a shoestring and I think it's also very wise to do so if you haven't got much money.

One thing I plan on doing for my 4yo is a big box of balloons, you're supposed to wrap the box but I might just potato stamp it so I don't use loads of wrapping paper.

AuntieShirley Mon 12-Nov-12 10:11:32

We are now on a budget too, so I will be watching with interest!
Have you tried Freecycle - get rid of some bits you don't want anymore, and put out a 'wanted' post. Lots of people are having a clear out this time of year, and there might be some bits you could use (DVD's, games, toys, books, decorations) as presents?
Do you have a shop called Tiger near you? They have great bits and pieces and are pretty cheap.

Kendodd Mon 12-Nov-12 10:18:19

When my children were younger I used to buy then stuff they needed and pass it off as a present as well. One year they got duvet covers (as well as other stuff) and new toothbrushes always go in their stockings.

AuntieShirley Mon 12-Nov-12 10:21:41

I do that too Kendodd! Glad I am not the only one. If I have to buy it anyway, I may as well wrap it up and give it as a pressie!
You could give your husband the booze as a present! He gets to unwrap it, you get to drink it!

Marzipanface Mon 12-Nov-12 10:22:18

*Wine asda £10 for 3 bottles.
Dh beer £7 for 12 cans
Gammon joint/beef joint, and a turkey £15 for both.
So that leaves £28 for side orders tatties, veg, cranberry sauce etc... *

This is brill - thanks Altinkum
What's a sweetie tree though?

Funny you should mention Tiger Auntie Shirley There was one where I used to live and I have got a few bits and pieces stashed away from there!

InNeedofBrandy - I have picked up a few bits and pieces over the last few months. My mum used to do that!

Ken Dodd My family will be eating with us but they are more than happy to contribute despite all the furore on here about how you should never ask for contributions! smile

It can be done can't it? Quite a few people I know have looked a little aghast as my suggestion... I sort of understand - in the past 150 quid would have barely covered my food bill!

Marzipanface Mon 12-Nov-12 10:27:06

KenDodd Ha! My little girl is getting a toothbrush and some fancy flavoured toothpaste. I am also considering getting a bedset from Ebay!

I didn't think of the wrapping up booze. What a good idea! My DH likes rose wine. I could wrap the bottle I was planning on getting him for Christmas dinner couldn't I? He will be the only one drinking it as no one else likes it and I am pregnant.

Thank you. Already I have some great ideas.

FireOverBabylon Mon 12-Nov-12 10:30:25

Marzipan this is a sweetie tree. You need oasis, cocktail sticks and sweets of choice, I think.

Marzipanface Mon 12-Nov-12 10:34:57

I've never heard of sweetie trees before. They look great. Not sure if I have the skills to do it though.

FireOverBabylon Mon 12-Nov-12 10:37:27

it might be easier as a first attempt to use jelly sweets such as haribo or fruit gums, rather than flying saucers or liquorice allsorts, but they shouldn't be difficult. I managed a button tree last Christmas as a present for MIL and she still has it on display, so it can't be too bad, despite me having the creative abilities of a hippo.

Kendodd Mon 12-Nov-12 10:42:15

How do we feel about re-gifting?

My MIL gave me some jewellery last year and although my MIL is lovely and a really appreciate the thought, I'll never wear it. I was planning on giving it to my cousin this Christmas. I also have a couple of Kath Kidson mugs I don't want.

ProPerformer Mon 12-Nov-12 10:48:13

My DS (3) is getting a new duvet cover and curtains for his birthday in December plus an outfit. He always gets pants and socks in his stocking and never seems to mind!

We're also doing Christmas on a tight budget, DS and DH's main presents are from charity shops, DS's stocking is mostly bits picked up throughout the year, DH is getting me an £11 enhanced e-book for my joint Xmas and birthday prezzie (my birthday is early January) and family presents are also from charity shops, 3 for 2 Boots/SuperDrug offers, eBay and copies of DS's nursery photo in nice frames from the 99p store!! (That's provided the photos look ok..... He flippin scratched himself on the face so I've sent him to nursery today for his photo with a lovely red mark under his eye!! GRRR!! Kids!! Lol)

Marzipanface Mon 12-Nov-12 12:55:42

I would regift if I had something to regift!

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Mon 12-Nov-12 13:49:27

If you are regifting, be sure to check for "best before" dates. A mum of a boy at school who was in DS's class gave me and DS gifts last year, very unexpectedly. I felt awful that I did not have the time to reciprocate. When I can to use the bath oils and saw that it was Best Before 2006, I did not feel so bad anymore!

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