Christmas can be an expensive time of year, but with many families experiencing some hard times through the credit crunch, here’s some ideas on Christmas decorations, Christmas food and Christmas gifts to provide Christmas on a budget this year, without dampening the festive spirit.
Decorating the House to Beat the Credit Crunch
Decorating the house can make a large hole in the Christmas budget, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
- A reusable tree and decorations cost nothing year after year, but can be quite expensive to purchase in the first place.
- The electricity bill can come as a nasty shock after Christmas, remember to switch the Christmas tree lights or better still, consider putting the lights in an automatic timer.
- Homemade decorations are the best way to beat the credit crunch when dressing the house. Perhaps try making some paper chains made from last years Christmas cards, or photographs from old magazines.
- Natural decorations such as holly, or pine cones sprayed in festive colours work well.
Plan the Food to Beat the Credit Crunch at Christmas
Christmas on a budget when it comes to Christmas food means it is necessary to plan the menu in advance, make a shopping list and stick to it. All the extras, that are tempting when out shopping, often don’t seem expensive individually can add up to a considerable sum.
Internet food shopping makes it easier for many to stick to buying what’s on the list only on therefore to provide Christmas on a budget. It’s easier not to be tempted by the special offers and promotions if they are not in sight.
Gift Ideas when doing Christmas on a Budget
The first and most important principle when delivering Christmas on a budget, is to set a budget for Christmas gifts; the next principle is to make sure that the budget isn’t exceeded, no matter what.
Make a list of who needs to be bought a present and put some gift ideas alongside each name before going out shopping. It’s too easy when wandering around the shops to get carried away by offers, or to forget what has already been bought and is laid away at home.
The next step is to shop around. Use a price comparison website to see where the best prices are to be found. If buying off the internet or mail order don’t forget to add in any postage costs in order to make sure that the price check is comparable. Also when buying off the internet always do a search to see if there are any money off coupons available.
Think about the best way to pay for the gifts, perhaps look for a credit card that offers good cash back, and don’t forget stack up points on store loyalty cards where available.
The run up to Christmas is a good time to check what forgotten store loyalty cards, with unused loyalty points, are lying around at home, those points may be just enough to cover the cost of a gift, or an extra Christmas treat.
Another alternative to help beat the credit crunch this Christmas to trade favours rather than purchasing shop bought gifts. Make a nice gift card and write an offer in of perhaps a night’s babysitting, car washes, or some gardening.