Christmas is a joyous time of year. Everyone’s in top form; pubs are permanently busy and full of merry cheers, shops are full of jolly shoppers and festive designs, cafés are not without Christmas cake and there is an unlimited supply of gingerbread men. This jolly season doesn’t fail to provide homemade apple crumple pies, hot-chocolates with a twist and all sorts of hand-crafted gifts. With the merry season being such a hit, it is only inevitable that your credit card with will feel the brunt.
The trick with Christmas is to prepare, prepare, prepare!
Some highly organised individuals may have started their season savings. Not too worry for those haven’t, there is still time! Start saving now, stay in with a bottle of wine instead of visiting the pub and definitely cook and eat at home, there will be enough fine dining and delicious market food during December.
Now that there are a few more pennies in the bank, shopping shouldn’t be so hard. Stay clear of all High Street shops, as the cost of Christmas gifts can frightening. Instead, visit the many Christmas markets available where precious presents can be found for under £5. Venture to the Southbank Centre or Winter Wonderland for an epic Christmas market experience. If crowds aren’t to your taste, head into the countryside. Bath hosts a picturesque festive market and the Worcester Christmas Fair is not to be missed.
Do bear in mind that it is perfectly acceptable to shop in the ‘January sales’ for friends and family that plan on being away.
Prepare and Pack Big Lunches
Christmas is known to be a time to meet up with loved ones and enjoy a few merry drinks. The trouble is these gatherings usually take place straight after work, which leads to drinking on an empty stomach! So prepare for these occasions and eat substantial lunches at work; pre-cook masses of pasta or bring in last night’s dinner. One can avoid buying pub snacks and be prepared for carb-rich food the next day.
Make your Own Cards
Stay far away from the card company establishment. Why not get creative? There is a number of online Christmas card making tutorials that demonstrate how it is done. So visit a local stationary store and get the Christmas card essentials; coloured paper, festive stencils, stickers and glitter… lots of glitter.
Homemade Christmas cards not only save money, but show a considerable effort was made. Ensure that the kitchen holds a number of Christmas treats and bottles of mulled wine.
Economical Wrapping Paper
This isn’t to everyone’s taste, but still strongly advised. Once the previous year’s wrapping paper is finished just use the old newspapers and magazines in the cupboard. Metro guilty pleasures offer plenty of top celebratory pictures, football hunks and my personal favourite, cartoon dialogues. All that’s needed now is a shiny ribbon, some sparkles and a mini-candy cane to give the festive touch.
It’s the small things that will help keep the bills down at Christmas. Take a second to organise Christmas: prioritise, budget and make sure you reserve a little fun-time fund.