Be generous (without breaking the bank) Faith archer on seasonal spending
Celebrating Christmas doesn’t have to bust the budget. Faith Archer’s ideas will help you make it through December…
1 plan ahead think about how many people you need to feed. then write a shopping list with enough for everyone invited, rather than trying to feed an entire army. Remember most shops only shut for a single day, so you don’t need more stock than a supermarket! 2 save on stockings Include fancier versions of things kids need anyway, like character toothbrushes and cartoon socks.
3 Focus on time together Children (even quite big ones) often appreciate your attention rather than a boat-load of expensive activities. think decorating the tree together, baking Christmas biscuits or playing board games.
4 make your own wreath Check out tutorials on youtube, then get handy with a coat hanger, conifer branches, holly, ribbon and a few baubles. 5 get more For less Check out shops such as Flying tiger and Poundland for stylish decorations at low prices. meanwhile, paperchains are cheerful and inexpensive to make. 6 stock up For aFter christmas most supermarkets offer super-cheap vegetables to tempt shoppers. last year you could get carrots, parsnips and sprouts as low as 19p a bag. so buy extra for side dishes, stews and soups after Christmas. 7 snap up Festive oFFers For example, Hotel Chocolat (hotel chocolat.com) usually offers a discount on a box from its “tasting Club” range in the run-up to Christmas.
8 look out For introductory oFFers Wine clubs offer new customers big savings. laithwaites (laithwaites.co.uk) has 12 bottles for only £49.99; the sunday times Wine Club (sundaytimeswineclub .co.uk) gives £60 off your first order.
9 save supermarket loyalty points In mid-November, sainsbury’s has a “Double up” week. so when you buy taste the Difference wine, toys, entertainment, clothes and homeware, the Nectar points you earn are worth twice as much. later, spend the points on Christmas food. 10 cash in on cashback earn cashback on your online shopping by clicking through from websites like topCashback (topcashback.co.uk) and Quidco (quidco.com) first. on average, topCashback members rack up £325 over a year. take cashback as vouchers and boost your earnings by up to 25%.
11 giFt an experience try tickets for the ballet, theatre, or cinema, or save on afternoon tea through a website like buyagift (buyagift.co.uk) which specialises in experiences. or give membership of english Heritage, the National trust or the National art Pass.
12 buy bargain book sets the book People (thebookpeople.co.uk) sell sets of books at discounts of up to 85%, which can be divided between different children. look out for great savings on sets of story CDs too. 13 make seasonal extras into meals so on Christmas eve, eat glazed gammon followed by mince pies, rather than offering them on Christmas Day when everyone is stuffed. 14 swap to discount supermarkets If you’re relaxed about brands try alternatives at aldi and lidl. both aldi’s
£10 oliver Cromwell london Dry Gin, and lidl’s £15.99 Hortus artisan london Dry Gin, have been named among the best in the world. w&h