Ever since I started my blog I’ve loved the idea of guest posting so am really pleased to have collaborated with Kat from In My Piggy Bank Blog for a festive themed blog post swap. Below you’ll find some brilliant tips from her on saving money around Christmas time. Clearly great minds think alike as I do quite a few of these myself! In My Piggy Bank Blog can be followed here:
GUEST POST FROM IN MY PIGGY BANK BLOG
I’d like to say a big thank you to Forever Saving For A Rainy Day for inviting me to collaborate on this exciting guest post and to all of her readers for having me here! The festive season is rapidly approaching and many of us will be tightening the purse strings this year. However, it is still very possible to treat the ones we love on a budget. We have both compiled our top tips on thrifty gifting and I hope we can inspire you to have a fabulously frugal Christmas.
Buy- As – You- Go
When I started buying throughout the whole year for Christmas it was a complete game changer for me. The most obvious benefit being that the cost was spread out across many paydays. Aside from Christmas shopping, a ‘normal’ December springs so much extra expense on us –drinks out with friends, a new dress for the office party (not at all essential but come on, so many of us do it). That’s a lot of financial pressure for a short space of time. So why don’t I just use a Sinking Fund instead?
Sinking funds certainly ease the financial burden and may be exactly what you need to put in place. For me though, buying throughout the year also eases present buying stress. We all have at least one person that we struggle to think of ideas for. If I see a gift that a tricky person may like I will always pick it up if I don’t expect a further discount soon. I have left people to the last minute in previous years and ended up spending far too much money on something I wasn’t certain they would like, just because I ran out of time.
Another issue that so many of us face is the unexpected Christmas gift. How many times have you ran out to the shops and bought something overpriced and unexciting just so you can reciprocate? By taking advantage of sales throughout the year and picking up small bits whenever I see them, I have a small stock of more generic gifts. When I am surprised with a gift I can raid my stash for something suitable with no panic and know I haven’t broken the bank. Having said that, be realistic with what you pick. Are there at least a couple of people in your friendship circle that this would be suitable for? You want the gifts you put away ‘just in case’ to be as versatile as possible.
Now that we’re all facing lockdown in the run up to Christmas, depending on your work situation, you may have a fair bit of extra time on your hands. Using this time to not only pick up a hobby but to get your Christmas gifts sorted at the same time is a fab idea. Pinterest is your best friend for inspiration but I’ve included some below to get you started:
Sweet Treats – gingerbread, hot chocolate stirrers, cupcakes, cookies.
Needlework – Knitting, crochet, embroidery, or cross stitch.
DIY Spa – Candles, soaps, bath bombs, pillow spray.
Crafty – clay trinket dishes, macrame keyrings, Christmas fabric bunting, personalised ornaments.
Reuse and Repurpose
This tip isn’t only great for your wallet but for the environment too – yay! Throughout the year keep hold of any boxes, bubble wrap, tissue paper, shredded paper and jiffy bags from your online orders. These will be very helpful when it comes to the gifts that you have to send in the post – also handy for anyone that sells online to keep p&p costs down.
When it comes to wrapping the gift, it’s so easy to hold onto any ribbons from the presents you receive. Christmas cards can also be repurposed into gift tags by simply cutting the design off and writing the message on the blank side. A colleague of mine uses larger Christmas cards to create small boxes for jewellery which look absolutely lovely. Magazine pages, fabric scraps or brown paper can also make for funky gift wrap! Loo roll tubes and patterned napkins (which go incredibly cheap in the Christmas clearance) can be transformed into decoupage pillow boxes. I recommend watching this tutorial from Dainty Diaries on YouTube which made me fall in love with the idea.
Cashback & Discounts
Even if you don’t buy early, try to keep a list of gift ideas as they come to you. During the big discount periods (Amazon Prime day, Black Friday etc) search directly for these to see whether they have been reduced. Don’t forget though that many retailers will have sale and discount periods throughout the whole year. Using an extension like Shoptagr will alert you to any drops in price with no effort required. When you finally go ahead with that purchase make sure you go through a cashback website like Quidco or Topcashback so that you can earn something back from your Christmas spending.
I very rarely buy Christmas items such as novelty stocking fillers, cards, wrapping paper, gift bags and ornaments full price. I like to work a year in advance and take full advantage of Christmas clearances. Circumstances this year might make it more tricky to shop sales safely, but even if you only have a look at the supermarkets during your January food shop you might pick up some excellent bargains. This tip allows me to buy nicer things than I could usually afford and you get the excitement of rediscovering them all when you bring them down from the loft next festive season!
That’s a wrap on my tips but you’ll find plenty more from Forever Saving For A Rainy Day in her blog post. Thank you again for having me – it’s wonderful to connect with more members of this lovely community. Wishing you all a happy and healthy Christmas time!
Thanks again to In My Piggy Bank Blog for her tips and our blog post swap – be sure to follow her!
My post can be found on her blog here.