Christmas can be an expensive time of the year. If you are not careful things can get very out of hand very quickly with all that festive joy !
Here are 20 tips to help save at Christmas
1. Make Sensible Gift Purchases - read how I follow a strict gift category purchasing system in 'Better Ways To Buy For Kids This Christmas'
2. Buy Gifts Through The Year Don't Leave It Until December! - That way you can catch the sales. Even steadying in Boxing Day fir things such as bikes, jewellery, trampolines etc can save you considerable $$$
3. Purchase Second Hand - younger kids will not even notice if you do it to not have things in the original packaging . In fact opening a gift and being able to play with it straight away is do much more exciting fir them than having to wait fir something to be unscrewed from a box and out together . Your local Facebook Buy Swap And Sell or Ebay are great places to find bargains !
4. Meal Plan For Christmas Day - you know I'm huge on meal planning not only because it makes my life so much more simple , but because you save so much more by being well planned out . With Christmas meal planning if you start early November you can start collecting things throughout the weeks leading up to the day .
5. Make Gifts - great inexpensive gifts such as family photos or tins of cookies are great ways to save money . Check out my blog post on 'A Better Way To Give A Candy Cane' for an inexpensive and informative gift kids can give.
6. Use Reward Points - I save and use a lot of my FlyBuy points as real $$$! I can use this money to buy anything I want at Coles, Target and Kmart. It's great to help at this time if the year it through the year with gifts - so far this Christmas I've used nearly $200 in flybuys dollars for gifts !
7. Buy Gift Cards Through The Year - if you keep an eye out sometimes stores have sales in gift cards eg 20% off ITunes cards. The other idea is Shen you have spare $$$ buy yourself gift cards such as Coles Myer to use at the end of the year so you not have to come up $$$ for food on the day or gifts you still do not have . It can save a lot of stress, just make sure the expiry is long enough !!!
8. Start The 52 Week Money Saving Challenge - there are a few ways of doing this but I found the best to be where you are saving more in your first months and less around Christmas. What ever way you do it you save $1000+ by the end of the year !
9. Christmas Club Account - many banks run a Christmas club account program where you open a special account to save money weekly into it and it's not accessible until the end of year . Another great way to save money and not be tempted to spend before Christmas.
10. Shop The Mid Year Big Toy Sale - 9 times out of 10 toys go on sale during the year at some point , especially during the giant mid year toy sales the big box stores have here in Australia around May - June. Be prepared and scout out what everyone has comparing places. Get the kids to take a look at the giant catalogs and see what they want to ask Santa for. You can save hundreds of dollars by shopping sales !
11. Do A Toy Swap - Toy swaps are a great way of getting new and different toys for no cost ! Get a big group of mums together with similar aged children and see what you could swap and make work as gifts for your own kids.
12. Plan A Holiday Or Family Experience Rather Than Doing A Lot Of Gifts - plan your usual family holiday for Christmas time and your not spending out twice for the year. Depending on how big your family is it can also cost you less to have a holiday or experience with the family than spend money on big ticket items.
14. Get Everyone To Chip In For Christmas Lunch - instead if making the one household host and supply fir the big family lunch, ask everyone to bring a main and a dessert to have a Christmas buffet!
15. Buy Only For Children - once you become an adult with children the most exciting thing about Christmas is watching your children experience the day and gifts they get to open . Opening your own seems less important and the older we get the less we want or need anything. Have an agreement in your family that no adults are brought for just the children.
16. Start A Kris Kringle - I know families that do a Kris Kringle system every year even when it comes to buying for children , so they buy just for one person per family member rather than for every family member or child in the extended family .
17. Make Extra $$$ Through The Year - Christmas (& birthdays ) bring in new items to the home whether you like it or not lol. With that it's always good to clear out and de clutter when you can . So go through each room starting just after Christmas and see what you no longer need . Sell at a garage sale, on eBay or your local Facebook buy Swap and sell and then put that money aside towards Christmas expenses fir the next year. It's quiet possible to do Christmas for free!!!!
18. Don't Get Sucked In By The Latest Decoration Trends - every year the stores bring out new decorations, new colour schemes and new novelty items. I'll admit myself every year I get blinded by all things glitter, so it's very hard fir me not to want to buy the latest when I see amazing displays ! ... I remind myself how much I loved my Christmas set up the year before and stick to what I have, instead adding just a couple of new pretty decorations that I've stumbled across. From Boxing Day on wards I check out the 75% off decorations and pick up a bargain if I still live something .
19. Reuse Previous Christmas Cards - instead of buying new cut The front of your Christmas cards off and write a loving message to the one that gave it to you to show them how special the card meant to you that you kept instead of disregarding . If you have card spare laying around you could also attach to this to make a whole new card . Another great idea is to turn your Christmas cards into gift tags by cutting them into desired shapes and attaching to gifts .
20. Avoid Paying Postage For Online Shopping - There are other options to avoid paying postage for items these days. When doing groceries you could choose to 'click and collect' rather than pay for delivery. Online shopping places such as Ebay & your big box stores offer 'click and collect' & free postage options most of the time now if you look around. Do not pay unnecessary postage fees if you do not need to as it can surly add up over the year.
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