Christmas gifts without breaking the bankBy Victoria Wighton
It’s that time of year again and you are already budgeting for the endless Christmas parties and events that you have planned.
But how do you enjoy all of this festivity and still have money left over to purchase decent gifts for your loved ones? With these top tips you don’t have to spend big bucks in order to give your family a gift they will remember!
Go with a theme
Want to get your loved ones something special and unique? Give them a gift which is tailored to their interests. For example, if you have a bookworm in the family, make your own book gift set and include books, wine or beer and some special chocolates. This is much cheaper than buying them in a set and you can hunt down the best buys for each item.
Known for your creativity? Then use this skill to your advantage to create your own special gifts. Make teacup candles or cushion covers for your relatives. You can use any old fabric lying around the house for the covers and pick up teacup sets in charity stores for bargain prices. Not only are you saving yourself a small fortune, your family are guaranteed to appreciate your handiwork.
Use your strengths
If you have a particular talent, use this opportunity to create something unique. One example is to write a play or a song dedicated to your loved ones. If you want go the extra mile, you can edit this and upload it onto YouTube so not that it isn’t only your family who can experience your gift.
Make your own Christmas chocolates
A large part of Christmas is the food, so why not make it twice as exciting by making your own chocolate gift boxes? Don’t fork out money for a chocolate mould; just use a cheap and simple ice cube tray. Simply pour melted chocolate into the slots and add some edible glitter or mix using different layers of chocolate to make them more exciting! Finish them off by cutting a square of baking parchment, wrapping the chocolates inside and presenting them in a gift box. Perfect!
Brew your own tipple
Alcohol is expensive at the best of times and if you’re on a tight budget this may seem out of your reach. Instead, make your own special Christmas favorites such as Irish cream. There are plenty of recipes online for this Christmas treat like the one featured on Channel 4’s Superscrimpers, which is not only cheap but also so easy to follow that it is perfect if you want to make a number of these as presents.
Look for group deals and special offers
If the thought of Christmas shopping leaves you filled with utter fear then look out for multibuys and special deals in certain retail chains. For example, both Boots and Superdrug offer a buy two get the third free on a variety of gift sets for mums, dads, children and friends, meaning you can save money and get all of your Christmas shopping done in one go. Savvy.
Create your own gift sets
If you want to put more thought into your presents this year whilst holding onto the pennies then look into making your own gift sets. If you buy the products you find in gift sets, individually, then you have the freedom to customise your sets specifically for that person. Take inspiration from other gift sets on the high street to get you started; not only does this work out cheaper but is far more exciting too!
Give to charity
Christmas is the time for giving and what better opportunity to give to charity than whilst you buy your Christmas gifts? Charity shops are perfect for finding unique and special gifts for bargain prices and are even perfect for getting your hands on second hand books and DVDS in brilliant condition all for a fraction of the price.
Use any leftover jars in the house and decorate and fill these up with sweets, homemade chocolates or even make your own cookies or cake mix jars. You can pick up bags of branded sweets from bargain chains such as Poundland and the 99p Store and decorate the jars with scraps of material and other arts and crafts products.
DVDs on the cheap
Everyone loves a good movie over the Christmas season and it may seem the safest and most popular idea to go for. To make your money stretch even further use a price comparison website such as find-dvd.co.uk which compares the price of any DVD sold online and helps you to find the cheapest available.
- If you and your friends are looking to buy or make the same sort of presents then consider buying some things in bulk. Doing this generally works out cheaper, for example if you were looking to make chocolates as presents then buying larger bars of chocolate rather than smaller ones and splitting the cost saves you all money overall.
- Don’t turn your noses up at charity stores. They are the best places to find unique and good quality items without have to pay steep prices. Plus, you help others by donating to charity.
- 99p and pound shops generally stocked with branded products such as Nivea, Rimmel and Cadburys but without the usual retail price. These are especially good if you are looking at making your own gift sets.
- Don’t just stop at presents; why not use brown paper rather then wrapping paper. Not only does it work out much cheaper, you can use ribbon, bows and fabric to give it that Christmas feel.
- Hunt around for the best deals. Many chains such as supermarkets try to outdo each other by offering the best deal on their products so don’t just settle on the first place you look. You could save yourself a small fortune!