A recent study has revealed that Brits will spend a staggering £19 billion on Christmas presents this year. No matter what your budget for the festive season, I think we can all agree that is one eye-watering sum. I’ve rounded up some of my top tips to cut back this festive season and I hope they will help you too.
Make your own presents
You don’t have to be one of those green-fingered, D.I.Y types to make seriously brilliant homemade gifts. From fudge, to macaroons, buttery cinnamon swirls, marmalade, soap, even knitted gloves if you’re good enough, there are plenty of excellent present ideas you can easily make your own — and at a fraction of the price if you bought them in the shop. Homemade gifts also add a personal touch that shop-bought gift sets simply cannot compete with.
Set a budget
It’s so easy to over-spend during the Christmas period. If you don’t set yourself a budget (and stick to it), you will easily find yourself dipping into your savings and spending way more than you need to. Whether it’s £10, £20, or £50, know how much will you be spending in total and how much you have to spend on each person. Be open with your friends about budgets. If you’ve got a close group of girls, try doing a secret santa. That way you’ll only need to buy one present, instead of 10 for example. It’s a great thing to do with your church youth group for some extra added festive fun!
Be aware of retail tricks
Everyone loves a gift set. Boots stack them up like dominoes and there’s a fancy foodie hamper down every Tesco aisle. But how purse-friendly are they really? A recent money saving expert revealed that beauty box sets are in fact often more expensive than if you bought the products individually themselves. Being aware of retail tricks will save you plenty of extra money. I love to make my own hampers at Christmas. I’ll buy a mixture of food items and beauty pieces and pop them into a lovely wicker basket — and for a fraction of the price of those sold in shops. Why not give it a go.
Go plastic-free this Christmas
Around 450,000 buses worth of plastic waste is discarded every Christmas in Britain, equating to 114,000 tonnes. Just take Sellotape for example, or Christmas crackers, or even those fiddly plastic wires all toys are tied to in boxes — plastic is everywhere this season. And it’s getting harder to avoid it every year. But, much to my delight, there are plenty of ways we can all try to have a bit more of a plastic-free Christmas.
Wrapping paper can easily be replaced with recyclable brown paper, and tied neatly with pretty ribbons instead of Sellotape (which can’t be recycled either). Another tip is to say no to plastic cups, plates and cutlery. It might be easier than washing up, but another cup used is another cup in the ocean. Say no to single-use items.
Perhaps one of the easiest options we can all help with is by bringing our own reusable bags with us as we shop for presents. Not only will you save plenty of 5p’s (they do add up), but you will do this beautiful planet huge favours. Going plastic-free will help you to save extra cash this season.