When it comes to Christmas, I’m Buddy from Elf and my other half is The Grinch. I like to go all out on decorating, food and presents. However, since trying to make less waste and live a more frugal life, I’ve had to find a way to contain my inner Buddy whilst not turning into old Grinchy. I have two hacks to share with you this holiday season that might help lessen the blow to the wallet over Christmas time.
This is something I’ve done pretty much for the past few years without thinking too much about it. I would always save my points for Christmas. I’ve never been really bad with money, but by Christmas, like most people, I would never have enough to last that horrible time period between the early December payday and the January payday. Come on, I know you can relate! So I got into the habit of saving up all my points. I don’t have point cards for a lot of shops as I feel it just encourages me to spend unnecessarily, however, I do have three main places that I go to fairly regularly. Boots, Sainsbury’s and Tesco.
I get prescriptions and any over the counter medicines from Boots, as well as toiletries. I don’t go often, but the points do rack up, especially when you have to by Calpol and vapour plugins as regularly as we do. I tend to use the Boots points for presents. You can’t really go wrong with toiletry hamper baskets, and they do some nice children’s clothes too. They also have tailor made offers via the app which it’s worth making use of if buying gifts. I got an additional hundred points simply for buying a baby toy which I was planning to gift to my little nephew anyway!
Sainsbury’s is my go-to if ALL ELSE FAILS. I have lived local to a Sainsbury’s at both of my previous homes and it was always convenient to pop in there if I needed something that I forgot in my weekly shop to Aldi, or if I just wanted something specific that Aldi didn’t have. Although, I use Sainsbury’s significantly less throughout the year I can still rack up about £25-£30 worth of points by the end of the year. This always goes towards Christmas food. They also have an app which has tailor made offers that might come in handy.
Tesco is the only one I don’t use for Christmas, all my tesco points are automatically turned into Avios, but perhaps that’s a blog post for another day.
While researching ways to be more frugal around Christmas time, I happened across a rare nugget of wisdom. It was a little rhyme.
“One thing they want, one thing they need, something to wear and something to read.”-Unknown
It was absolutely what I had been looking for. It’s so easy (especially when you have, or know, kids) to get caught up in buying a load of presents that end up hardly getting used on the other side of the New Year. A prime example was when I was clearing my son’s room and found at least three presents from last Christmas still in their boxes! On top of ‘big’ presents we get stocking fillers and that’s even before they get presents from other family members too. This ‘Four Present Rule’ is fabulous, it means we can put more thought into the presents we get for the kids as well as getting them things they’ll really make use of and (hopefully) appreciate. And remember, this rule doesn’t have to only apply to your children, your partner, parents etc. It’ll work for everyone.
Forgo the adult gifts! This is something my sister-in-law proposed this year and we’ll definitely be doing this in following years as well. We’re buying gifts for each others children only. For us, Christmas is mostly about the kids anyway. We’re quite happy to just eat good food, drink and enjoy great company.
Hopefully these tips help, if not this Christmas, then perhaps the next. Eat, drink and be merry everyone.