25 Ways to spend less on Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner, and budgets might be stretching thin. Moneybags journalist, Ashleigh Brown, looks at 25 ways you can spend less this Christmas.


Christmas is a festive season filled with family and friends, and lots of presents. But, this tradition can also leave your pockets a little empty. Trying out some new traditions can help you save money and still have as much fun over the festive season. We look at 25 ways in which you can save money this Christmas.

  1. Don’t pay for Christmas from December’s income

Never spend all your December income on Christmas. Start saving now in order to help with all your Christmas presents and feasts.

2. Make an absolute budget

Make a budget for all the food, drinks, presents and everything else that you will need this Christmas and stick to it. It is difficult not to overspend when everyone is in the festive mood, but making a budget will help you to keep your finances in check.

3. Try a Thirftmas

Thrift stores, or second hand shops, are a great way to find presents at a fraction of the price. Grab some great deals by shopping at not only the thrift shops, but by trying out the local markets too.

4. Set up a Christmas cupboard

Don’t waste time and money, be a tactical Christmas shopper. Decide what you want, make a list, get a Christmas cupboard ready to put stuff in, then wait until what you’re buying’s at the cheapest price.

5. Say no to new decorations

A lot of us have a stack of Christmas decorations in a cupboard just waiting for the holidays. Don’t waste money on new decorations when the old ones can still do the trick.

6. Make a pact with your family for no presents

Try and bring the family love back this year without anyone trying to compete for the best presents. Make a pact and have a present free Christmas.

7. Christmas dinner

Volunteer to serve Christmas dinner together instead of creating a lavish meal yourself. Have everyone bring a dish so that no one person has to do all the work.

8. Tie your hands against extravagance

A dazzling dress, a gorgeous picture frame, the cutest throw pillow – you can’t avoid the allure of all the items on display this time of year. But if you want to avoid unwanted splurges, resolve not to touch them.

9. Unsubscribe from e-mail alerts

It’s fun to get e-mails from your favourite retailers about upcoming sales and promotions, but all these marketing e-mails will only lead you to spend more.

10. Be completely selfless

When they are great sales and promotions on everywhere, it is difficult not to buy something for yourself too. But save the extra money by only getting what you need and no more than that.

11. Secret Santa

Instead of buying 25 different presents, play secret Santa where you pick a name from a hat and buy only for that person. Agree on a budget beforehand so no one gets more or less than the next.

12. Be crafty

Instead of having everything store bought this year, try your hand at making the gifts. Sites like Pinterest.com have great DIY ideas for you to try.

13. Shop fresh produce

Just like the point above, for that dish that you are making this year, why not buy from the local vegetable market instead of contending with all the crowds at the shop.

14. Wrapping paper

If you run out of wrapping paper get the kids to make their own with some simple brown paper and a whole bunch of colour pens and paints. This way the kids can have fun and you save money by not buying extra roles of wrapping paper.

15. Postcards instead of Christmas cards

Try something new by making a family postcard with a little message on the back rather than sending out Christmas cards to everyone.

16. Go electronic

If you don’t have enough time to make postcards, then send an electronic Christmas card by simply e-mailing all your friends and family with a custom made e-card

17. Don’t overspend

Set a budget for this year’s Christmas presents and stick to it. That way everyone gets the same, and you have managed to not overspend.

18. Shop online

By getting all your presents online, you not only save money on transport costs by driving to the shops, but you can also find good deals and cheaper items.

19. Make your own gift tags

If you have old Christmas cards left over from previous years, then cut them up and use them as gift tags for the presents. You can also use off cuts from wrapping paper as gift tags.

20. Give family presents

Instead of buying individual presents for everyone, give just one present that the whole family can enjoy. Not only will this save you money, but it will bring the family closer together by enjoying their gift.

21. Ban unnecessary Christmas presents

Christmas shouldn’t only be about getting presents. After all, it is the thought that counts more than anything.

22. Use your rewards

Smart Shopper points or USave rewards are there for a reason – to help you save money when shopping. Use them this Christmas to help you save money on either presents or groceries.

23. Homemade Christmas tree

Instead of buying a nice fancy tree that is going to die, or even a new plastic one, get the kids together and make a homemade one, where everyone can join in on the fun of not only decorating, but also in crafting.

24. Try a staycation

Instead of going away this Christmas rather stay home and enjoy everything your hometown has to offer you. For great ideas on what to do during a staycation, click here.

25. It is only one day

Even though we all build up to Christmas all year long, it is only one day out of 365 days. Remember, that for the rest of December, and January (until pay day comes around again) you are going to have to pay bills, buy groceries, and start thinking about getting new school equipment for your children. So be smart this Christmas and make it all about the family and friends, rather than about the gifts received.