The Christmas cheer period is still a solid couple of weeks away but it’s probably been shoved in your face by the supermarkets. If you’ve so far managed to avoid a mince pie, congratulations, you have the restraint of someone with a lot of restraint.
Sorry to bring it up so early, I mean, it’s not even Thanksgiving yet?! But we thought we’d get in a wee bit before the calamity starts to offer up some advice. You see, the celebration involves parties, dinners, an abundance of food and buying presents for your family and pals. Before you know it, it’ll be January and you’ll have empty pockets (and several extra chins).
We’ve come up with a few tips that we think can really help you keep on budget and stop you getting too crazily carried away. There’s nothing worse than feeling guilty after Christmas for spending too much money and here’s the great news- you don’t have too…
1. Make a list and check it twice.
I love lists. If I could I would make a list of all of the lists I need to make in my life. If you too are a list lover, you’ll know how simple and effective they can be. Jot down all of the presents, foods, trips and outings you will need to make over Christmas. Set a rough budget and try to stick to it. If you go over in some cases, cut back in others.
2. Make your own Christmas presents.
Craft or food gifts can be a great idea. You could make your own hamper by sourcing some lovely stuff from the local markets and christmas events. We have a series on food gifts if you need a little inspiration.
3. Offer up your cooking skills as a gift.
Instead of giving presents, invite people over for dinner or offer to cook for them. Then the celebrations can carry on later.
4. Trade skills with a friend.
You might love cooking, another friend may have a talent for making Christmas decorations. Trade an xmas pudding for some tree decorations. Offer to trade skills with friends to save time and avoid retail prices.
5. Bag great offers now.
Your helpful list will tell you exactly what you need over the festive period, so if you see any great offers bag them now and pop ‘em in the freezer.
6. Having a big group over? Cost it out per head.
Costing out per head can help you see what’s reasonable and what’s not.
Canapés can be costly if they’re shop bought. These Smart Casual Canapés are a quick and thrifty alternative.
If you’re having a dinner party, tray bakes are a good option, just like this Brussels, Bacon and Chestnut Potato Bake.
If it’s a cocktail party, lay out some sexy looking cakes, like this Mulled Wine Cake.
7. Agree on a present price for things like silly gifts and Secret Santa before hand.
If you get roped into a Secret Santa with your mates or colleagues, agree on a price before. Make it your mission to find the ultimate gift for that price. Normally the cheaper the gift, the more hilarious it turns out.
8. Get your tree early
Trees can be pricey. Don’t leave it until last minute so you’re left with the scraggly, oppressed one at the bottom. Get your money’s worth and buy it on the 1st December (or earlier!)
9. HAVE SOME RESTRAINT.
Just try. You only need one advent calendar. Not ten.
10. Remember that it’s the small things that make it Christmas.
We can get so caught up in the commercial aspect of Christmas that the really purpose can be lost. Remember that it’s perfect time to be together with your loved ones. With good food and good company- what can go wrong?! We can’t WAIT.
Keep your eyes peeled for some more fantastic Christmas content. We’ll officially hold back a bit until it really gets going.