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how to have a frugal christmas with teens?

(46 Posts)
slartybartfast Sat 17-Nov-12 17:02:50

or how to live frugually with teenagers all year round?

all these suggestjns about cheaper shampoo what no dont cut it in my house. ufnrotuatnely


any one any ideas.

HungryHippo89 Tue 04-Dec-12 14:13:04

I save a lot of money by looking at for voucher codes ... I got the MIL a bag that should of been £30 down to £15 with a selection of codes ... Also i got DSD a beautiful dress and gillet (i think that's how it's spelt) from H & M for £10 including delivery ... I use and HotUK Deals ... Also i compare a lot of stuff online by visiting places like Play/Amazon I have managed to do our Christmas present shopping for DSD MIL FIL and BIL all for under £180 But it should of been around £300 if i had got everything fully priced ... I just look around for good deals ... And just because I am getting things cheaper doesn't mean they will get more stuff .. It just makes Christmas a bit easier to cope with financially!!!

TheReturnoftheSmartArse Thu 29-Nov-12 12:49:09

We're on a tight budget too but I think I'm going to give the older ones some money to spend in the sales. I would like them to have something to open though, and they like board games. Can anyone recommend one? We have Scrabble, Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit. They are older teens, by the way.


titchy Thu 29-Nov-12 12:40:31

Sorry but have to lol at all these posters on a frugal thread worrying about their £100 per chilld budgets! Really hmm

My £25 pr child budget:
dd - set of three books from Book People - £6, 2 supeerdrug body sprays - £2, Now CD - £12, pants from Primark - £3, chocolates £2.

ds - Ripleys believ it book - £8, headphones - £5, books, £6, wallet -£4, chocolates - £2, Lynx (poundshop!) - £1.

DH - £15 of books from Book People and a t shirt £5.

DM - theatre tickets £40 for her and me (will buy in Feb)

BIL and SIL - a book each (cookery for SIL and football for BIL) - £8 , kitchen stuff - £10

DN x 3 - will get nail varnish type stuff on 3 for 2 from Boots - totla £20.

PIL - am leaving this to dh grin

Food will be about £50 on top of normal weekly shop (probably £25 extra on meat, £10 extra on Xmas pud, brandy cream, chocolates, £10 on cheese board and crackers, £5 on trimmings - cranberry, bread sauce).

I have wrapping papaer and cards (poundshop greatif not) from last year and will spend £20 on a treet, so our total Christmas budget will be £220.

My teens have low expectations as we've always had to be frugal (second-hand games, generic clothing) so we've never had an issue. I have no idea how you'd downgrade (iyswim!). We've always been honest that money is tight and I guess I'm lucky in that they've taken that on board and get that it's not a conspiracy to deny them 'nice things'. Having said that, my two eldest are boys who have no real interest in fashion. What things will be like when DD is a teenager I have no idea... grin

Graceparkhill Thu 29-Nov-12 11:20:48

I also do socks/ boxers/ hair wax etc wrapped in their stockings. And chocolate coins.
If possible something like iTunes voucher/ phone top up / one of those coffee shop gift cards.
My 2 are fairly content and have no big expectations but like stockings/ advent calendar/ Christmas music in the background etc.
We are just like the Waltons really. Night John Boy

bubby64 Thu 29-Nov-12 11:14:51

Last year was relativly cheap, they both had new mobiles, which were free with their yrs contract, and of course, I spread the payments literally over the year! This year it has come in more expensive, in the fact they both wanted and TBH needed) laptops! I have managed quite well tho, as a local computer shop had 2 which he refurbished for me, put in a bigger memory and updated the graphics card, and they have come in at £110 each, which, compared with what I was looking at on line, is a very good price. Mind you, I started planning and paying for this in August, when he was in his "slow" season, ehich prob helped, I doubt he would do the same now! They have also got a pair of very much reduced in price trainers from Sports direct (they have a 70% off sale at the moment ladies!), some Aldi smellies in their stockings and the usual coins, satsuma etc along with a book (from factory outlet). I have spent about £140 each in all this year.

sanityseeker75 Thu 29-Nov-12 10:22:57

OMG - I am reading this in shame. My budget is £250 for DS and DSS and DSD I can not afford this on top of adult presents (although I do start buying at end of August after DSD bday) - that is not including stockings (I also have to do these for DSD and DSS).

Every year DH sets budget - every year I go over and every year I stress argue and worry about it.

I have no control when it comes to Christmas every year I tell myself it needs to be brought in control but we limit bdays. I feel so bad because DSD and DS both like expense gadgety things ipod touches, netbook etc and then I can't cope with the tiny pile of presents at the end of it, DSS is only 8 so doesn't ask for any thing really - this year a Mr Krabbs teddy! But I feel that he needs to have same.

I am the original over spender at Christmas (I would like to say though I am low maintenance myself - just give a a few books and I am happy).

Even food shopping - We spend Christmas day at my moms and still send stupid amounts on food and even as I am buying it I know most will be thrown away.

I just do not what I can do to change it - handcuff myself to the stairs and send DH out to do the shopping - fat chance. I just feel so pressured by it all - maybe need help sad

BigBirdisSaved Wed 28-Nov-12 17:11:20

We don't do Christmas, but for other gift giving occasions we do the "something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read" as a way of keeping things in check.

My kids like foodie presents. Junk that I wouldn't usually buy. For instance, my 16yr old would be supremely happy with a large box of a particular brand of bright orange cheese crackers. DS#2 is 12 and would equally love a jar of nutella. He likes cashmere so a pair of cashmere socks or a scarf would probably be appreciated. I usually buy their books secondhand so I usually either get them a pile of secondhand ones they want or one brand new hardback (we wait until they are in paperback).

I avoid electronics generally. #1 they are expensive and #2 it is part of my parenting philosophy that parents shouldn't be providing all the good stuff so that kids want to earn money to buy it themselves. They get birthday and holiday money from their grandparents and can save up.

Sometimes we give trips as presents. For instance, for 16yr old's birthday we paid a bit extra for him to fly by himself two days earlier than us to grandparents this summer. He has to go to Utah once a year and that flight is usually his main gift.

DS#1's main gift is a fountain pen this year. He really wants a nice one. I have to get on and buy one, thanks for the reminder.

OhMerGerd Wed 28-Nov-12 15:23:53

My first ever post and it's in the frugality thread blush. Last year was bad so we gave our DDs the utility stocking fillers deodorants, nail varnish, shower gel and body cream. A pair of earrings from new look, a book, tin of chocs and the big ticket item was in the form of a voucher (home made promise note really, so no cost at the time) for a treat some time in the year DD1 was a good hair cut and DD2 a theme park day. They were redeemed in March and August. This year is looking very likely to be in the same mold sad but hey ho, we've all made it through 2012 so that's something to cheer about.

cory Wed 21-Nov-12 18:35:27

Our teen and pre-teen can expect something like this:

a DVD box set (if I can find one on special offer)

a calendar

a couple of cheap DVDs or paperbacks

an extra paperback or Primark t-shirt/scarf for the stocking

Shouldn't come to more than £50 each if that.

HappyTurquoise Tue 20-Nov-12 22:25:18

I just got over £60 worth of skin care, makeup, bits and bobs and some main boxed pressies, hair things, bath/shower things for under £40 online from superdrug. Lots of things are 3 for 2 and there's £10 off if you spend £50.

NamingOfParts Tue 20-Nov-12 13:43:08

This year we are going for each DC:

- main present (about £60-£70) - specifically a Kindle, a TV, contribution to Blackberry phone contract (currently PAYG brick)
- a book
- a t-shirt
- ANO up to about £10

The stocking is made up of:

- an apple
- an orange
- a hand full of roses
- chocolate money
- a couple of really cheap toys (eg a slinky! or an airfix model)

DCs are 17, 14 & 12

MaryZezItsOnlyJustNovember Tue 20-Nov-12 11:56:59

I'm continuing with my bags of crap this year which always look huge under the Christmas tree. I'm going to start stocking up with various necessities in my weekly shop from now on and will be making a trip to Primark. None of mine are getting big presents this year - ds2 got a new guitar recently (part paid by me, Granny and him), so won't expect anything, and dd got a new phone for her birthday, so doesn't need anything at all.

So they will get their FC stocking (the same as when they were little - tangerine, book, jelly tots, toothbrush, chocolate coins), a bag of crap varying from pj's and underwear to shampoo/shaving foam/veet/deodourant, food they like etc - all stuff that I would have to buy anyway. Probably a game or dvd as well.

The younger two need clothes but that will have to wait until after Christmas.

ds1 doesn't really want anything, so I will probably get him something for work - uniform, equipment, that type of thing.

SecretSquirrels Mon 19-Nov-12 14:32:35

TKMaxx have lots of headphones and gadgets in the clearance at the moment.

flow4 Mon 19-Nov-12 09:03:56

Second-hand games don't work for my DS, sashh: yes, they do play the same, of course, but they are old by the time they make it to the second-hand shops. All his friends will already have played it, and the chances are he will also have played it already, at other people's houses as well... So the pleasure of the present is much reduced. But my DS is v impatient, and perhaps second-hand games are fine for less impatient teens!

sashh Mon 19-Nov-12 01:56:40

Don't forget the sales. If they have a stocking on the day and cash to spend in the sales they can get something they like.

Superdrug do loads of lip balms, mascarra, nail varnish for £1.

PC games are fine second hand, the game plays exactly the same as a new one.

I bought a teen tickets for Avenue Q last year, they went down well and not expensive - it was for mid week matinee. You could fill a card in with details of a trip to a theme park in the summer - and not buy it for a couple of months.

I have 4 teens and it's always a struggle. I ask them to choose one 'main' present.. DS1 has asked for Nike trainers at £65, girls similar stuff (all want boots!) Then I top up with small gifts.. primark pjs, new headphones (sports direct often have cheap but ok ones and as they lose them I'm not paying more!) and a bottle of perfume/aftershave each.

Relatives usually send me a bit of money to spend on them so that tops them up with a pair of jeans each/new jumper. Stockings and useful essentials.. fave hair products, primark socks and pants, gloves, scarves etc and sweets. Also favourite magazines.
I try to do the hair/perfumes in Boots and look for their deals. and in total I reckon it tots up to about £150 per child.
Luckily they have never asked for brand names and seem genuinely pleased just to have whatever they getsmile Mind you, two are students now and uber broke so they'd probably be pleased with a stack of loo rolls grin

taxiforme Sun 18-Nov-12 21:22:35

Set a limit and and deffo the idea of "looks a lot but is a little" works. Like marmite, mini bottles of stuff, shower gel (the lovely mint source ones are £1 in boots at the mo) socks pants ect. Matalano does nice undies. Three for two deals sometimes are good- Boots do it.

Groupon deals? Hair cut/colour/beauty treats for £20 or so??

flow4 Sun 18-Nov-12 20:56:20

I do stockings with lots of bits from the pound shops and charity shops, for fun. I spend £10-12 on that, with at least 10 items. (Multi-packs from pound shops are useful, cos you can split them and the kids get more items for less ££!)

I then set cash limits for their 'main' prezzies - generally around £100 each, but last year it was £80.

SecretSquirrels Sun 18-Nov-12 12:01:29

On the question of all year round, it's about expectations. I think you have to start when they are younger. I have never ever been sucked into the labels and brands thing. They may joke about having supermarket own brand breakfasts, or Aldi's chocolate, for example, but they are perfectly happy with them because that's what they have always had.

They will get one main present and lots of bits which I might have bought anyway like PJs and toiletries.

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 18-Nov-12 09:36:11

Um, I mean we don't have them in the house and easily to hand, but cake and crisps are eaten year round outside the home.

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 18-Nov-12 09:34:32

I definitely set a limit, it's usually been £100 each, but a couple of times it's been £70.
They also get a stocking from FC. Our Christmas involves food and a tree, not much else other than all the traditions we've built up that cost almost nothing.
Food doesn't sound exciting until you consider that we don't have pop, crisps, biscuits and cake etc as a regular thing the rest of the year. smile

slartybartfast Sun 18-Nov-12 09:20:26

THANKS, all helpful,
i will just tell em, there is a limit. birthdays more pricey, but christmas, the money needs to be shared.

HappyTurquoise Sun 18-Nov-12 09:07:33

Lots of good ideas here that I'll be pinching. Did my first bit of Christmas shopping yesterday. I was going to buy some craft books new, but saw second hand ones in a craft market, and I think my dcs would prefer second hand for things like books anyway. DD1 says she'd like to be with extended family for Christmas, so have invited, but it's scary to think of extra presents to buy and them seeing our meagre offerings and comparing. Will just have to cross that bridge if our invitation's accepted. DH has lots of hotel points from work travel, so will offer to put them all up in local hotel. (At least they'll have a working shower!) And they can come to ours for all the food.

I think I will swap to Lidl, Also and the Pound shop and see if that saves us anything. (Its extra petrol and parking charges though.)

To save money year round, I've just had to be blunt with DCs. They know that our shower isn't working properly and I've been trying to save up to replace it for months, and that is top of my list of things to spend on. Same with some other things around the house, saving up is very hard.

I've stopped buying treats and fizzy drinks. I've asked them to stop buying sports drinks at school because we just don't have the 70p-£1 a day for that. I've told them that helps to pay for their sports. I buy cheap own brand deoderant and shampoo.

Dd1 is expected to buy her own make up, deoderant, tights and bus fares and cinema outings. When I see that she's bought something new, I remind her that one day she will want driving lessons and i don't get any pocket money, so I won't be able to pay for them, best she starts saving up now! Mine get £1 pocket money per year old (so £13 for a 13 yo).

I've started to sell things we don't need, instwad of give to charity, and that will help pay for our Christmas.

notactuallyme Sun 18-Nov-12 08:22:03

Could you do a pre filled stocking? I've saved loads of money by doing this - depends if you need to put essentials in tho. The teen boy or girl ones this year from partytoo are good - got one for dd and my nephews (14 and 10)

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