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ideas for cheap xmas

(44 Posts)
mumtooo2boys Sun 15-Nov-15 10:46:23

hi really worried about xmas this year .im currently waiting for benefits to start and been told i cant have a benefit advance but on the other hand was told on friday i have to wait up to 9 weeks for my first paymet (universal credit ) i was declined due to my child benefit £33.40 every week so thats got to get gas,elec,food ,and things my 2 boys need
has anyone got any cheap ideas for xmas presents and a cheap xmas for a 3 month olkd and 8 year old any ideas will be greatfully recieved right now i feel like a complete and utter failure :/

ClashCityRocker Sun 15-Nov-15 10:53:54

Charity shops, facebook selling groups. Could you sell some of DCs old toys?

Tbh, on 33.40 a week it's going to be a struggle just to keep things running, let alone sort out christmas. Hopefully it will be sooner than that til your benefits get sorted.

Wrap up a big box full of blown up balloons. We did this for dn and he loved it.

mumtooo2boys Sun 15-Nov-15 10:58:55

ive just added a load of stuff to ebay things the baby no longer uses and sometoys that my ds has never played with .i picked up some fab lego books in the charity shop last week i think im panicking over nothing hoing everything is sorted quicker than 9 weeks been told they say this to cover thereselves but i dont really understand universal credit .
love the balloons idea smile

TakeMeUpTheNorthMountain Sun 15-Nov-15 11:02:45

You would be better going to your local FB selling page I think, as its more instantaneous than Ebay- you can meet someone and get cash
Equally you can put up a specific request for items for your son- loads of people selling lego etc

3 month old is no worry, a few cheap things wrapped up from the charity shop.

I don't know your circumstances, please don't feel like a failure, if you want to tell me the general area you are in, I can find out what assistance you can get, food, toys clothes etc, people are very generous over Christmas.

ClashCityRocker Sun 15-Nov-15 11:04:36

Hopefully someone will be along who knows more about universal credit than I do - last time I was on benefits it was JSA and iirc it only took a couple of weeks to go through, and you did get your money backdated...but of course things might have changed since then.

I'm shocked that they would leave a family to survive on child benefit for over two months though.

mumtooo2boys Sun 15-Nov-15 11:07:49

yes ive added them on there to and also going to put them on gumtree i think .yes my 3 month old is easy its just my older one .
my circumstances are partner just lost his job wouldnt be to bad if we had savings but we just dont .were in the northwest near to liverpool .im sure it will all work out im just stressing over it im going to keep an eye out over the next few weeks for bargains im sure it will be fine .feel better for posting and having something/someone to vent to

mumtooo2boys Sun 15-Nov-15 11:10:54

we was getting tax credits but with partner loosing his job i assume this will be stopped and from what lady over the phone said re universal credit the child tax credit is paid monthly along with the universal credit in one payment and cthere is no backdating now .

Beebar Sun 15-Nov-15 11:15:14

Get a few pound shop bits that you know your 8yo will like and one slightly more expensive present. 3mo doesn't need any presents.

wigglylines Sun 15-Nov-15 11:15:28

9 weeks?.that's shocking Why so long?

I knew about the 5 week wait when you change systems (which is immoral IMO), but 9?! What are you expected to do?

Please don't feel like a failure, the Tories are in and they are hammering people, disproportionately single parents (and the disabled). Don't blame yourself, it's not your fault, vote these fuckers out first opportunity you get!

We're also stuffed for money. I have managed to buy some bits and bobs but also our 2 year old is going to get some of DS's old toys wrapped up, she will have no idea they aren't new.

Also I was about to chuck some old playdoh pots out, but it occurred to me I could make some (just flour, colouring and maybe salt isn't it? Will Google) and give her that too.

I wouldn't worry about your 3 month old at all, he will have no idea.

DS is more of an issue, he wants a PS4! (No chance!)

What does your 8 year old like?

wigglylines Sun 15-Nov-15 11:16:40

Did you know about the 4 week run on with Tax Credits?

You get 4 weeks after the job ends IIRC

wigglylines Sun 15-Nov-15 11:17:52

Are you a member of your local frecycle / freegle?

mumtooo2boys Sun 15-Nov-15 11:23:36

poundshop yes ill be going there next week i think .
i didnt no about the 4 week run on that would b great if were entitled to that ill ring up tommorow .i have no idea why 9 weeks its absolutely stupid .hs into minecraft heavily into minecraft he did ask for an ipad but i have said he will have to wait until his birthday which hes non to fussed about hes actually quite easy to buy for he likes reading ,minecraft,lego ,his beloved xbox so im sat here thinking it could be worse a lot worse going to look out for some cheap games etcthankyou everyone for allowing me to be totally moany on here feel bad saying it to my partner as he feels its his fault were in this mess
i think im a member of freecycle ill try to find my log in details for that

Unescorted Sun 15-Nov-15 11:26:44

Wiggly cream of tatar as well ( Aldi have started selling it).

Accept invites to Christmas dinner from friends or family.

MrsGradyOldLady Sun 15-Nov-15 11:31:06

Have a look on freecycle too. I've cleared out old toys and clothes that way. People will just be glad for you to take it away rather than it ending up in landfill.

TakeMeUpTheNorthMountain Sun 15-Nov-15 11:32:45

This crowd helped me with toy donations food and money for coal last year when I was in the same boat as you are now. ( yes its christian charity and I dont know if that floats your boat but they are not overt about it)

Please dont feel bad about asking for help because once you are back on your feet you can pay it forward

mumtooo2boys Sun 15-Nov-15 11:38:23

just looking on freecycle now at the mo its mainly wanted ads but ill keep checking it to see if anything comes up .everything has just gon wrong this year moved in to the house from hell and having to be moved due to the state of it have only been here a few months currently waiting for a call to say they have found me a property so think its just everything happening at once.when we moved last time i lost all my xmas decorations so im going to google ideas and think me and ds can make some to cheer us up smile .
i will take a look at that link shortly not sure if my partner would accept help he doesnt even no ive posted on here if he did he wouldnt be impressed

Unescorted Sun 15-Nov-15 11:53:44

People are always trying to get rid of mixed bags of Lego.... we have never bought any but seem to have accumulated a huge crate of it. I am sure someone in your Freecycle group will have some. Playmobil is another that gets given away. In fact anything with small sharp bits that get left on the floor for parents to stand on go for buttons.

The Works do cheap kids books. One really tight year I got the kids library cards and the promise they could get new books every 2 weeks... they were too young to realise that they are free to everyone.

"kits" - I still do these.

Printing = 2/3 bottles of poster paint, paper, interesting shapes (cut sponge, anything with a texture - leaves, plastic toys, etc) and an colouring pen to put borders or outlines on.

Paper mache = newspaper, white tissue to cover. Make paste from flour & water (1 part flour 4 parts hot water). You can use card (boxes from teh supermarket cut to templates) for structure to make 3D things. Paint & brush to finish.

Scarf / hat making kit - Chunky knitting needles or crochet hook (charity shops are fab for these). Instructions from titnernet and a ball or 2 of approriate wool.

Animal sewing kit - there are loads of templates on the internet, get some fabric (clothes from charity shop), cut out the fabric shapes, add needles, buttons cotton as required.

Explorer kit = sewing kit to make a bag to hold magnifying glass, notebook, pencil, map of local woods (or the like) and if you can find a cheap one a compass.

Bug finder kit = large jar (I get these from the recycling bins), magnifying glass, notebook, pencil and a print off of some bugs. worms etc to identify. I make these into a little book.

TakeMeUpTheNorthMountain Sun 15-Nov-15 12:24:06

He doesnt need to know OP and you can always say you won something in a raffle etc

But its Christmas. I know some people can be too stubborn for help but he will have to suck it up

mumtooo2boys Sun 15-Nov-15 13:10:53

yes thats true ill have a good think about that .
just listing stuff on preloved now aswell hopefully it sells.
we have decided that this year for xmas dinner we cant affors it so we cant have i mean at the minute we have nothing in for now so i guess worrying about xmas is silly ,it has made me feel better posting on here though and have been given some great ideas already .thanks x

wigglylines Sun 15-Nov-15 13:29:58

I don't see any reason why you wouldn't get the 4 week run on, but keeping my fingers crossed for you anyway!

This page says you are entitled to Tax Credits "For 4 weeks after you’re laid off or the lay off becomes indefinite"

I imagine the 9 weeks maybe comes from that - it's 5 weeks from when the 4 weeks ends. (Still totally immoral, just setting everyone up to fail - or perhaps simply providing a business opportunity for loan sharks and payday loans companies).

You don't even need to tell tax credits he's lost his job immediately - IIRC they want to know about any changes within 4 weeks.

wigglylines Sun 15-Nov-15 13:34:21

I saw a mum on here before describing her Christmas dinner with her DS when they were skint. She asked him what he would want if he could have anything. I can't remember what it was, but it was really simply like icecream and biscuits, and to be allowed to eat them first, then his favourite dinner. It wasn't Christmassy at all but he loved it.

Could that work for Christmas day? It's adults who want the turkey and all that. Your DS might be delighted with sweet crap something much more affordable which will still make it special (and you have to eat something Christmas day!)

mumtooo2boys Sun 15-Nov-15 13:43:05

were thinking of doing a little party tea much cheaper and my ds would love it so thats the idea i think were going with .so much easier aswell .hopefully we get the 4 weeks run on i thought everything was paid under the guise of universal credit so confusing hopefully i can clarify whats what tommorow going to call the cab before anywhere have a feeling they will be more helpfull than the dwp

wigglylines Sun 15-Nov-15 16:09:58

A tea party sounds lovely smile

My mum always made peppermint creams too when we were little which we loved cutting out (and eating!). So simple - just icing and mint flavouring.

Could you make some Christmas biscuits with DS too maybe?

Such a bummer about the decorations ...

Thinking of home made Christmas decorations - paper chains are always a winner here.

Make-your-own-snowflakes are great too.

Also, pine cones, gathered and maybe painted.

Also one of the charity shops near us usually has a huge tub of baubles really cheap - do any of the ones near you do that kind of thing?

wigglylines Sun 15-Nov-15 16:11:58

What's your garden like / how rural are you? Could you also gather ivy etc as decorations?

My mum always decorates the mantlepiece at Christmas with seasonal evergreen from the garden and it looks amazing.

iwantgin Sun 15-Nov-15 16:42:25

This is why I find Christmas so 'overblown'.

I'm sorry you are struggling right now. It's not good. I don't know much about the benefits situation but hopefully you will get something sorted.

Gifts - don't worry about the baby - wrap up some existing toys - or as suggested upthread a trip to a charity shop will be fine.

8 year old - Poundshop - or Home Bargains - just some games - make your own kits etc.

You can still buy packs of paper chains to make. Do some baking -mince pies are pretty cheap - and it takes a while to make the pastry.

Some good suggestions on this thread for items you can make - involveyour eldest and show that christmas is about more than just a sackful of gifts.

Good luck - and Ihope that you get back to some kind of solvency soon enough.

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