Is it just me or has Christmas come round especially fast this year? I think it’s the way the weeks have fallen this month, but it feels like we need at least another week before it’s really Christmas. But alas, we’ve only got a couple more working days before the shops shut and you’re left wondering what you can pull together out of items around the house if you’ve left your Christmas presents till last minute!
But what if you really have left your Christmas purchases till last minute and have very little budget to spend on them? Surely that next day delivery fee is going to kill your bank balance, right?
If this is your thought process then read on – we’ve got a few money saving tips to will help you, even if you’ve only got a couple of days left to get those gifts bought and wrapped or you need to get your Christmas dinner sorted:
Shop the high street
Avoid the costly delivery fees of buying gifts online, especially if you’re having to choose next day delivery as you’ve only got a day to get the gift to your house, and visit your local high street. You might find some real gems and unique items as well as saving some cash. And on top of that, you’re supporting your local economy and hopefully independent business – winning all round!
Buy only what is necessary
This tip comes in from Sara at Debt Camel who reminds us: “Remember you only need food for 2 days. Get a large chicken for a lot less than a turkey and make it Christmassy with stuffing, pigs in blankets, cranberry sauce. A couple of candles makes the table look special without expensive crackers.”
Wiser Wealthier has also run a brilliant series of tips on Instagram – here’s one of these:
I'm gonna be sharing 10 Christmas Money Saving tips during the 10 most stressful shopping days of the year. ⠀ —⠀ Here's Number 3 – You don't HAVE to buy premade, shiny packaged stuff (disclaimer – I'm lazy so I did!)⠀ —⠀ #WiserWealthier #Christmas #MoneySaving #SaveMoney #ChristmasShopping #Shopping #Xmas #Christmas2017 #Shopping #ChristmasGifts #Gifts #StockingFillers #PersonalFinance #FinancialEducation #FinancialLiteracy #Thrifty #Holidays #MerryChristmas #Shops #ChristmasShop
Regift unused presents
The dreaded regift! But if you’ve been stashing away unused presents for years on end, think about who you’ve got to buy for and what they like – you might realise that you’ve got the ideal gift for them that just didn’t suit your home decor or you never got the chance to use. This means you’re saving money on buying something similar and you’re not having to throw something else away.
Create your own
Likewise, if you’re even just a little bit crafty, you can use things you already have around your home. For example, I’m a sewist so I have a lot of fabric, needles and thread already in my home. Last year, I simply bought some rice and dried lavender then created lavender sachets for friends and family that could be stored with their clothes or heated up to use when the weather’s chilly. Thanks to the bits I already had at home, these cost me about £5 to make more than 20.
You could also make your own Christmas cards if you’ve kept old ones. Simply buy a multipack of craft card then cut out images or phrases you like from old ones and arrange them on the card. These cards will be both unique and cheap to make!
Brave the last minute sales
If you’re daring enough, head out on Christmas Eve to shop the last minute sales. Pete at Household Money Saving advises that there are real bargains to be found on the last day before Christmas. Stores will hugely discount the items that they’ve stocked for Christmas when it reaches hours before closing time on Christmas Eve – they worry that these will not be bought and they’ll have these hanging around for another year. Perishable items especially will have massive discounts as they’ll have to throw them away at the end of the day if they’re not sold. As a word of warning, this isn’t for the faint-hearted!
And one handy extra tip before you go from Thrifty Chap: don’t forget that it’s just one day! Is it really worth all the stress and hassle? Spending time with your friends and family is what matters.
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