Cash ER: 10 tips for enjoying Christmas on a budget

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Christmas money saving tips, ideas and gifts...

Christmas budget
If you're feeling the pinch this year and want to have a cheap, budget-friendly Christmas, you'll need to stop thinking about your credit card and start thinking smart.

From cheap Christmas recipes, foodie gifts and hamper ideas to affordable party dress and gifts; there's always a corner to cut without sacrificing the festive spirit.

Tips for saving money at Christmas

1. Create a weekly or monthly budget

Now is the time to be aware of those small expenditures you don't even think about - we're talking about those daily lattes. One sure fire way of making sure you budget your money is by writing down EVERYTHING you spend. It can be eye opening.

Christmas on a budget: Discover the festive events and days out that will save you money.

2. Ask friends and family what they want to spend on Christmas gifts

Be clear with friends and family about just how much you can afford. No one wants to feel like they've not spent enough nor do you want anyone feeling hard done by after they've splashed the cash.

Christmas on a budget: Take a peek at our £10 and under Christmas gift guide for some creative and affordable present ideas.

Colin-Firth-Christmas-Jumper-Sweater - knitwear in films - handbagcom

© YouTube

No one wants to receive a comedy jumper when they've given you a watch

3. Make the most of loyalty cards

If you have a lot of make-up or toiletries to buy, make sure you do it in Boots; the points will come in handy when you have to buy your mum a gift set.

4. Don't be afraid to shop at the cheapest supermarket

There is no benefit to buying Waitrose if you can't afford it. Take a trip to Aldi and Lidl and leave your judgements at the door. With produce straight from Italy and Germany the foods often the best available anyway.

Christmas on a budget: For cheap and cheerful Christmas food and recipe ideas take a look here.

Waitrose store

© Waitrose

Nobody will be able to see the wrapper anyway

5. How to avoid getting in to debt at Christmas

It can be tempting to lose your head at Christmas and buy things you can't afford in instalments or worse yet take out a credit card you can't pay off. Be very sure you know where the money's coming from if you're going to do this.

6. Get great gifts for friends and family

It may sound obvious but writing a Christmas list will save both time and money. Listen out to the little things friends and family mention - they're often much cheaper than what you end up panic buying on 22 December.

Christmas on a budget: Check out our £20 and under gift guide and our gift ideas for him.

Tulisa Text Santa Christmas Card

© Text Santa/ Tulisa

A nice gesture, a massive waste of money (also never say 'Crimbo').

7. Don't send Christmas cards

Unless you feel really strongly about keeping a tradition alive, or want to return the favour to distant relatives - don't bother. If you do, make them yourself. This is especially important if you have children, who will undoubtedly want to send several hundred to all their class mates.

8. Don't waste money on gift wrap

If you want to use ribbons make sure they're reusable and keep them year on year. It's also worth remembering that tissue paper is often cheaper and looks nicer. Or you can get creative with old sheet music or books from a charity shop.

*An alternative wrapping technique we wouldn't actually recommend (but not for budget reasons)...*

9. Dont' bother buying posh crackers

When it comes to crackers, all we really want is a hat, a joke and something that goes 'bang'. Unless you can afford the likes of Fortnam and Mason give posh crackers a miss. Is a metal screwdriver kit less likely to go in the bin than a plastic one?

10. Only buy as much food as you actually need
We're not suggesting a diet Christmas. You have every right to roll your way into boxing day, just remember the Queen and her corgis probably won't be coming.

Will Ferrell in Elf

© New Line Cinemas

Just remember to chew.



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