10 tips for cutting the cost of Christmas

It’s not just presents that end up costing a fortune at Christmas. Although with children and family to buy for, spending on gifts soon adds up. But it’s the other stuff too. Like the fact that I see it as a personal challenge to make sure that there are no mince pies left at the end of any day. Which means buying more the next day.

I estimate my mince pie costs alone to be in the region of £29,384,795 per year. Well, maybe not quite that much. But you get the gist. So, I’ve put together a list of tips on how to cut costs this Christmas. You might find it useful if you also have a mince pie habit to fund.

1. Homemade gifts

Several years ago, I made a Christmas cake for my husband’s family. His aunt particularly loved the cake, and it became tradition for me to make one for her each year. This is a great way to cut the cost of gifts. I make our own Christmas cake every year anyway, and I’ve started to give one to my dad as his gift. And best of all, homemade gifts are always appreciated.

2. Split the cost

My mum joins us for Christmas lunch every year. It’s rare for us to have a large number of people there, but a lunch with all the trimmings can still be expensive. So, my mum always makes part of the lunch. She’s better at roasted veggies than me anyway, and it allows us to split the cost between us.

3. Look for savings

Even retailers understand that Christmas is expensive, and there are discounts around if you look for them. Black Friday is always a great money saver, but you don’t have to buy all your gifts that day. You can find discount codes for most online retailers. A great one for parents is the Smyths toys voucher code. But whatever retailer you use, it’s worth hitting Google to find out what reductions are available.

4. Shop local

I’m a big fan of supporting small businesses with my spending. I recently bought some amazing slippers from a friend who makes them from start to finish. And the advantage of supporting small businesses is that if they’re local, you save on postage. So it can end up cheaper to buy good quality, handmade items with the added bonus of supporting your local economy.

Slippers | The whole family will love these ethically manufactured slippers that were handmade on a smallholding in Scotland. The whole process from sheep rearing and shearing takes place on the same land. The wool is spun and the slippers are knitted by hand with a sheepskin base. They are available in your choice of colours and sizes from babies to adult.

5. Quality over quantity

I’ve learnt the hard way over the years that you really do get what you pay for. So these days, I set myself a budget on what I’m going to buy and go for quality over quantity. The girls have had numerous toys and clothes over the years that just haven’t lasted as they weren’t great quality.

But with the discounts available these days on top brands, you don’t have to compromise. I’d rather buy a small gift with a JoJo Maman Bebe voucher code and have something that will last, rather than a cheaper gift that will fall apart.

6. Spread the cost throughout the year

I’m really not great at planning and being prepared. But it does make Christmas so much easier. If you purchase little things throughout the year, you can get them cheaper when there are sales on. Even if you prefer to buy just before Christmas, it’s a great idea to put some money aside each month throughout the year.

7. Limit other costs

If, like me, you’re not organised enough to put money aside in preparation for Christmas, you could consider cutting other costs over the next couple of months. For example, I often find myself buying coffee or lunch in a café when it would be much cheaper to eat at home. So in the run up to Christmas, I’ll be cutting back. Realistically I can probably save around £30 per week just by making lunch, cakes and coffee at home. This will really help at Christmas.

8. Make sure you’re getting the best deal

We quite often use sites like Groupon to get better deals on gifts and days out. But did you know that you can get a Groupon promo code to make it even cheaper? I hate the thought of paying more for things than I have to, especially at a time when money is tight anyway.

9. Go veggie

This is an easy one for me because I’m vegetarian anyway. But eating veggie for Christmas dinner does make it a lot cheaper. And you can still have all the trimmings – roast potatoes, gravy, stuffing, veggies and bread sauce. Just have it with a veggie option for an instant saving.

10. Secret Santa

For years now, I’ve been doing secret Santa with my brother and sisters. We set a limit of £25 per person and pick names from a hat to see who we’ll be buying for. As we have quite a large family, this is much cheaper for everyone. Another option is to agree that you’ll only buy gifts for children. This is often a relief for the whole family as it saves time as well as money.

Christmas money saving | The cost of a family Christmas soon mounts up. Whether you are a parent with children to buy for, or looking to save on gifts for the wider family, these 10 festive money saving tips will help you on your way. There are tips on how to save money on food, gifts, discount codes and how to make your money go further by cutting costs elsewhere. #Christmas #MoneySaving #Holidays #Festive #Frugal

What are your tips for saving money at Christmas? Please do leave me a comment to let me know.

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  1. Great advice here! My sister and I always go together on our parents’ gifts as it means we can still get them a good present but at a fraction of the cost! We then set a budget on what we’ll spend on each other, and in our family we all aim to give at least 1 homemade gift each a year.

  2. Some great tips here. I feel smug that I rarely buy lunch out and never buy coffee out (I don’t drink it!). I like the idea of a family Secret Santa. We don’t tend to buy much for the adults, but that would be even more economical!

  3. These are such good tips. I love doing handmade gifts for people – it’s great for saving money and giving something that is a bit different and a bit more personal. I try to save up during the year to cut the cost of Christmas and cutting back on little treats in the run-up to the festive season also helps with saving money.

  4. I start early and spread the cost over 3 months and I love a bargain, I very rarely buy anything full price and this applies at Christmas too. I find the food is the bit that catches me by surprise, but I’ve been saving my points up and should be able to buy most of the food with them x

  5. Hi Nat, great tips and isn’t Christmas cheaper when you don’t have hundreds to cater for? Our Christmases are quiet and planning is the key to keeping costs down, that’s for sure… I’ve made your Christmas cake recipe since you shared it a couple of years back and it won’t be long before I’m using it again! It’s so simple to make!


  6. I am quite lucky that my parents have us all over for Christmas dinner which saves us so much money as I forget how expensive food is!! We have been trying to find voucher codes for all presents this year, the toy shops have some great deals!! Great post lovely xxx