Christmas tree bauble

How to be frugal this festive season

Don’t start 2022 with a financial hangover – here’s the Quids in! 12 saves of Christmas

On average, Christmas costs us a reported £538 per year, taking presents, food, drink and get-togethers into account. What’s more, this means we’re overspending by £152 beyond what we can really afford.

Have a look at the Quids in! 12 Saves of Christmas and help make the holidays about more than just money:

  1. The Borrowers
    Each of us borrows an average of £300 at Christmas. With a bit of planning – and the will to say ‘No’ sometimes – we can try to avoid putting it all on a credit card or short-term loan.
  2. Super Savers
    A bit late for this year, but how about next year we try saving a little each week? Spreading the cost is a great way of taking the stress out of the festive season.
  3. Points Mean Prizes
    Christmas is the perfect time to cash in on any loyalty schemes, like points on a supermarket card or discounts through a credit or debit card.
  4. Crowd-Beaters
    In the weeks leading up to Christmas, shops bump up their prices, knowing full well they have us over a barrel. But we don’t have to bite – if it seems like a rip-off we can have the last laugh by walking away.
  5. The Budgeters
    It’s very easy for Christmas spending to quickly spin out of control. If we set ourselves a budget, we’re more likely to stay within our means. Work out the basic costs of food, gifts and anything else, then add 10 per cent as a buffer.
  6. Secret Santas
    Buying a gift for every family member can break the bank. It can be overkill, too. Why not agree on doing a Secret Santa? Everybody gets one gift for one person, with a cap (of say £10) on how much each spends. It’s fun, fair and frugal!
  7. Nifty Gift-Getters
    Giving gifts we’ve made ourselves is a lovely touch. It can save us a small fortune, too. Whether we make our own cards or give out jars of homemade jam, a little time spent making gifts can save us a bundle. Kids love craft too, so get them involved for a double win.
  8. Cashing In
    One way of pulling in a bit more cash for Christmas is to sell old, unwanted presents. If it’s spent a year in the cupboard, why not put it on eBay? Or re-gift it to someone who’d enjoy it more.
  9. DIY Decorators
    Homemade decorations add a unique, homely touch to Christmas. With a few basic materials and a couple of hours, we can knock up an advent calendar or decorations for the tree. Check out this guide for DIY decorations for inspiration.
  10. Feast for days
    Almost all of us get too much food in during the festive period. Check out these 64 Christmas leftover recipes, or we can invent our own! If we’ve room in the freezer, we can make room for dinners that could come in very handy later on.
  11. Beat the system
    The unsold boxes of crackers and Christmas puds on the supermarket shelves make for a sad sight a couple of days after the big day. Buying crackers on 28 December might seem, ahem, crackers but the prices go down to next to nothing and we’re one step ahead for next Christmas.
  12. Digital Does It
    The price of postage makes sending cards costly. It’s lovely to stay in touch, if only once a year, but emails or Facebook messages can achieve this too. Over lockdown, many of us got up to speed with video calling, and we could even a record a little message on a smartphone or laptop.
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