Is there any other month that delights in dancing a merry dance on our purses as much as December? From food to presents, socialising to new outfits, even with the best of budgeting intentions we wind up broke.
Check out our smart tip list to help you save your pennies over the festive season:
1. Shop late for Christmas dinner
While some of you want to have the shopping done well in advance, for those who are willing to wait there are great reductions on food to be found in supermarkets in the couple of days before Christmas.
2. Make the most of free events
Scour the local newspaper and the web for the free festive events that happen all over the country. Get creative: go to a free carol service, potter around a Christmas market or take the kids for an evening ‘spot the Christmas lights’ drive.
3. Go online
High street shops have brilliant bargains online all through Christmas. Sign up to the sites to receive alerts as soon as there’s a sale or a percentage reduction.
5. Compare prices
It might seem obvious but many of us forget that we can often find the same item elsewhere for way cheaper. Go on the hunt – you’ll be surprised by the disparity in prices across the shops.
6. Get your decorations from nature
Nature can provide some of the prettiest and most stylish decorations. Collect pine cones, spray with fake snow and place in a bowl, stud oranges with cloves for a pretty and deliciously scented decoration or stick some bare branches in a pot and hang tree ornaments from them. Very Scandinavian-cool darling!
7. Scour the charity shops
Buy the kids gently-used toys. We posted a piece recently asking if you would do it, and while some said it wasn’t for them, an overwhelming number of you said it was a great way to stretch the euros at Christmas and buy the kids toys you wouldn’t be able to afford at full price.