Don't go overboard this Christmas! Check out these top money saving tips!
Friday 26 October 2012
Christmas can be a very expensive time of the year, but Closer are here to make sure you don't go too overboard when it comes to the smaller things - check out these money saving tips.
Make your own decorations
Go for a walk in the woods and spray paint your findings, or make tree decorations for the tree out of scrap paper. It's cheap and fun for all the family.
What you'll need:
A4 paper, cutting mat, scapel, glue stick, wool
1) Cut 12 0.5cm strips across the full width of the paper. Take two and stick together to make a cross (fold in half to find centre points). Glue another strip on either side of each original strip, making three horizontals and three verticals.
2) Take a vertical side strip and its nearest horizontal side strip and glue their points together. Repeat at each corner. Repeat steps 1 and 2, so you have two halves.
3) Lay one loops up. Glue the other (loops down) onto it at a 45˚ angle, so that loops are matched with straight strips. Feed each strip through its loop and stick to the point, leaving 1.5cm of strip sticking out. Thread onto wool.
Idea from http://www.housetohome.co.uk
And if your theme is DIY, then why not make your own crackers too? There are kits available from the Oxfam Ethical Collection for just £3.99 which are available in store or online.
Head to Poundland
Poundland and other low-budget shops are great for finding festive bargains! Not only do they sell an array of decorations, they have some great festive home stuff too such as tableware and stockings - all for £1!
It's quite likely that if you are worrying about money over the Christmas period, your friends are too. So why not introduce Secret Santa into your family and/or office? Set a budget of £5 or £10 and have fun trying to find a present to match your secret recipient.
Don't be scared to shop in charity shops
There is no shame in shopping in second hand and charity shops. In fact, you can often find some great buys for a fraction of the normal price. They're great for things like vintage jewellery, books and stocking fillers.
If you would rather give your gifts a personalised touch there are plenty of homemade gift ideas online, try websites such as http://pinterest.com or http://www.skiptomylou.org and search homemade Christmas gift ideas, such as these personalised scrabble names.
There are always deals on at the supermarkets, Tesco are currently selling champagne for as low as £3.99 and 3 Crates of cider and/or beer for £21, but make sure you shop around - Asda and Morrissons do great Christmas deals! Keep your eye outfor special offers in papers and ont he television.
Small sacrifices can boost your Christmas coffers. Start walk instead of taking a £1 bus every day and you could save up to a £100. Or make a coffee in the office kitchen instead of going to Starbucks every morning!
The Internet can be a lot cheaper than the high street. With sites like Moneysavingexpert.com, you can search for the cheapest presents without any effort!
It might be boring but by making a list and strictly sticking to it could be the most beneficial thing for you when Christmas shopping! Avoid buying last minute ‘bits’ that your recipients may not even notice.
Sending a package or parcel to friends? If it weighs more than 2kg, you can save by using a discount web courier service instead of the Royal Mail - and even have the goods collected from your house! http://www.p4d.co.uk/ deliver up to 30kg from £8.99
Don’t neglect next Christmas!
The perfect time to start saving is January. As well as buying cheaply at the sales for next year, you can start a savings fund, putting cash aside each month and earning interest on it. Cards and decorations also plummet in price so stock up in advance to avoid sky high prices.