As magical as the Christmas Period is, it isn’t half expensive at times. You may not want to think about it yet, but Christmas is right around the corner, so you may want to start thinking of ways to save yourself some cash during the festive period. The most expensive parts of Christmas are the extra energy we use to heat the house, the extra food we buy for Christmas dinner, and, of course, the gifts. Hopefully, the tips below will help you to avoid spending too much money during the winter months.
Shop Around – The most obvious way to save money will always be to shop around (which is why this tip is going to be featured a lot). You might want to consider doing some research on different energy companies to help you to find ones that are the best value for money. There are lots of comparison website online that should be able to help you out. While gas is the most obvious place to save some money, due to the extra heating, you must remember that you will also start to put up Christmas lights soon, and the earlier nights will mean that you have your normal lights on more, so you need to try to save on electricity too.
Add Insulation – It’s a well-known fact that heat rises, meaning that most of the heat being lost from your home will be being lost from the roof. To lower the amount of heat loss, you may want to consider having some roof or loft insulation installed. This will mean that you have to use less gas, as less heat will be being lost from your home, which is certain to save you a lot of money. Similarly, you might also want to consider double glazing windows, to avoid heat loss through your windows.
Only Use What You Need – Are you one of the many people that turn the heating on for the whole house, rather than simply the room that you’re sat in? If you are, you may want to stop doing this, as it’s a waste of energy and money. Similarly, avoid leaving on lights that aren’t in the same room as you, and unplug appliances that you’re not using, such as televisions and games consoles, as they continue to use power, even in standby mode.
Use Cheaper Alternatives – Turkey may be your go-to bird for Christmas, but it’s not the cheapest available. Instead, consider buying a chicken or duck, or simply buy a turkey breast, instead of the entire bird. You might also want to consider making a smoked salmon pate, and serve it with breadsticks, either earlier on in the day, or later at night, when you’re watching the Christmas TV, instead of the smoked salmon that you usually serve with dinner.
Shop Around – It’s back again! Search through the websites of several different supermarkets to try to find the best deals on Christmas food essentials, such as the bird, the vegetables, and even a bottle of wine or two. You’d be surprised how big the price difference can be from one store to the next, so it pays to put in a little extra effort.
Buy A Bigger Bird – This might seem counterproductive, as a bigger bird is sure to cost more than a smaller one. While this is true, you should think of the bigger picture. People tend to cook a lot of vegetables for Christmas dinner, most of which is wasted, as it’s hard to reuse vegetables. Your bird, on the other hand, can continue to be reused a few days after Christmas day. You could have it on a sandwich, in a curry, with salad, and as part of a variety of other meals, which saves you money on other food.
Stick To A Budget – It can be incredibly easy to overspend on gifts at Christmas, so it’s important to come up with a budget and stick to it. If you have more people to buy for, you will have to spend a little less on each gift. If you have fewer people, you can splash out a bit more. You might want to save up throughout the year so that you know that you have enough money to cover all of your gifts. This will make budgeting a lot easier, as you can see exactly what you have to spend.
Encourage Secret Santas – If you have a group of friends to buy for or a lot of siblings, bring up the idea of Secret Santa. This means that you will only have to buy one gift, so not only will you be able to save a lot of money on all of the other gifts, but you will also have the money to be able to buy that individual a more elaborate gift. This will also reduce the stress of having to come up with ideas for gifts for a lot of people.
Shop Around – This is the last time, I promise! Like with you Christmas food, you’d be surprised how many stores sell the exact same thing for completely different prices during the Christmas period. That bath set that you were thinking of getting your Aunt is probably a lot cheaper elsewhere and is sure to be even cheaper online. Start thinking of Christmas gifts earlier on in the year, as stores sometimes raise the prices during the Christmas period.
Christmas is expensive, there is no doubt about that, but you need to remember that it’s not money that matter during Christmas. If you don’t have the money to go out and buy elaborate gifts, then don’t. You could always do a Rachel and Monica and bake cookies instead, which is much more meaningful and much cheaper. Your loved ones will be much happier to spend time with you, than having you spend your money on them, so enjoy your family time, and follow these simple tips if you need help saving a little cash here and there.