This page is our Christmas Credit Crunch page updated to cope with the money shortage.
Some of the traditional traditions have been slightly purged, and if you can do the same it will save you money.
More importantly it will save you unnecessary hassle as you start saving money for Christmas.
Have you noticed that on public holidays, such as Christmas, when demand is high for goods,certain web sites such as Amazon may increase their prices on Saturday and Sunday and then return them to normal on Tuesday? Just be observant here - you need to be saving money for Christmas - and at other times!
One extra savvy reader writes that "I buy Christmas (and birthday) presents with my Tesco Clubcard Points." He adds he is using his Airmiles Card to buy the shopping which then gives him Amazon Vouchers. He says he is averaging £120 worth of Amazon Vouchers and excess of £250 Tesco Vouchers per year. He has Tesco delivering the presents that are a long distance away at £3.00 per time, saving him on fuel charges and time.
Just how Credit Crunch savvy is that?
If you want to give a present of clothing to young children, instead of buying the present prior to Christmas give the 'Mums' the money instead. Children grow so quickly they may prefer to buy a size larger in anticipation of future growth.
The 'Mums' might well want to go to the Boxing Day sales and take advantage of the good bargains where prices can be reduced by as much as 70%
Unfortunately this can become a card ‘war’. X and X must be sent a card because they normally send you one.
Before you send out your own cards, why not just wait and see what happens? Prune your list then send your cards out to the people to whom you really want to remember.
When you are particularly busy how many times do you 'groan' when a certain card arrives? Do you have a suitable card? Do you have enough postage stamps? If not, when can you get to the Post Office - assuming there is still one near to you?
– not enforced/customary/’social’ good will and unneccesary hassle.
It is also a time when we are saving money for Christmas!
Encourage the younger children to make their own Christmas cards. Grandmas and Grandads will love to receive a 'home made' card
Set a spending limit on gifts. This is not mean but realistic.
Trim your gift list - you are saving money for Christmas - or you are supposed to be!
Again be realistic. Are there people on your list you have not seen for a long time? Children of distant relations whom you never see and who are now on the brink of becoming young adults?
Surely in cases like this, chances are a kind, hand written note from you ahead of Christmas, would be a relief. Yes, it will take five or ten minutes of your time in writing this letter, but use it to express good will etc. and it will be well received. Almost like being let off the hook.
It should also be possible to make an agreement with close friends that this year you will only buy for the children not the adults, so saving money for Christmas.
Make good use of coupons and items that have been bought in the sales.
According to research done by 'Which', shoppers can secure up to a 17% reduction in price by shopping on the Internet and that special offers in supermarkets can even beat this figure. Certainly a case for being extra savvy this year.
Encourage your own children to write their own 'thank you' notes to the gift giver. This is a part of growing-up that is often sadly neglected now and is a good grounding for their future adult life.
Take a country walk and search out natural items that would look good sprayed with gold or silver paint.
Choose an artificial tree that can be re-used yearly.
If you opt for a natural tree, when it comes to moving it outside to the garden after Christmas, put a duvet cover over the tree to stop the drop of pine needles through the house. Remember to turn the duvet cover inside out and give it a good shaking when the job is done.
Dust off decorations that are made from dried holly and artificial Christmas roses etc. See Tip.12
Grow your central table piece. A cyclamen plant or other house plant will look good when the container is decorated to reflect the season, and will continue well into the New Year as a decoration for your home. Saving money for Christmas!
If you have to buy a plant, a small poinsettia plant should not ruin the budget. Remember to keep them moist but not over watered or the leaves will turn yellow and fall off. If you put the plant in a white plant pot holder (try the Charity shops who are usually very good for this type of item) it will show of the red bracts to advantage.
Something like this - plant complete with holder - would make a good Christmas present.
Try to avoid pre-prepared shop bought items. These might save you effort but will certainly be more expensive.
Assemble your own nibbles for instance, pigs in blankets - cocktail sausages wrapped in streaky bacon, cubes of cheese or pineapple speared with cocktail sticks.
Small crackers (Ritz are good) with some tasty toppings are easy. Make use of an assorted supply of ham off the bone, thinly sliced tomatoes, spring onions, cheese, a good chutney, and finely grated carrot for a splash of colour. Use these ingredients to create different 'toppings' for the crackers. With a bit of imagination you can soon produce several plates of colourful and tempting bites. Get organised, set up a mini production line and the job will soon be done. Perhaps the older children could lend a hand? Tell them they are saving money for Christmas.
If you are having a pre-Christmas party for friends, a warming casserole (cooked in the Slow Cooker) is easy. No need for a starter here but a dessert and/or cheese and biscuits and coffee would probably be appreciated. Don't allow yourself to become 'stressed out' - you are meant to enjoy yourself along with your guests.
Before you go out to shop for any food, raid your pantry, see what is already in stock. Don’t re-order and create unnecessary expense and trouble for yourself at this expensive time of the year. You may even be able to use up some items. It just takes a minute to look and make a list. Two bottles of Worcester Sauce standing in my larder are evidence of the wisdom of this!
None of this is Scrooge-like or intended as such, just a question of facing up to the reality of the credit crunch. Not only will it save you cash, but also time and false 'friendships'.
Christmas is meant to be about peace and joy - not worrying that you might not have enough cash for the bills that will fall due in January and February. Just try saving money for Christmas.
SOME OF OUR OTHER PAGES
Savings For Christmas Go Supermarket Shopping - Really Save Money Money Saving Ideas for Christmas Street Markets - A Tradition Helping You Shop Smarter Coupons. Use them to Save Money Search This Site