How to Save Money at Christmas

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By Bill Stone

Do you know how to save money at Christmas and still have fun? Sounds impossible but it can be done.

Everyone assumes that in order to enjoy the festive season one has to throw money at it when in fact the opposite can be true. Research has shown that most people’s fondest and most lasting memories of the festive season

revolve around the smells and sounds of Christmas and not the expensive gifts that they had received.

Do not get carried away and be miserly but just use some common sense and you will be surprised at how much you can save and still have a good time.

Here are some useful money saving tips on how to enjoy Christmas without spending a fortune:

Presents:

Why buy an expensive present for a child when all they will play with is the cardboard box that it came in? An alternative could be to buy a board game that the entire family can enjoy rather than lots of individual gifts which will quickly be ignored.

The other advantage of a board game is that it can be played throughout the child’s early years thereby saving the need to buy even more toys in future. It is better to choose a tried and tested board game rather than the latest trendy one as they are more likely to retain their appeal.

If you cannot afford to buy board games, look to play party games. Go to your local library and take out a book on party games, write down some of your favourite games and play those. A simple mime game can keep the children entertained for hours.

Crackers:

Why buy a box of expensive crackers when you can have just as much fun with a box costing a lot less? The contents are basically the same so why spend more?

Christmas tree:

Why buy a fresh tree which will cost more and have the inherent problem of how to clear up the fallen needles when you can buy a plastic tree for much less? Apart from not having to worry about the clearing up of needles the plastic tree has the added benefit of being re-useable making it a very economical proposition.

Decorations:

Why buy expensive baubles to decorate the Christmas tree when home made decorations can be just as effective without incurring the cost. Involve the children. It is their Christmas, after all! Get them to paint, colour, cut, design and make their own decorations for the tree.

They can also be shown how to make a variety of decorations for the house including decorative seasonal paper banners, place setting tags, paper candles and paper lanterns. By involving the children you will give them a sense of achievement and a certain amount of pride in what they have accomplished. That has to be more meaningful than just buying some costly decoration and placing it on the tree?

Food:

Why buy an expensive turkey when a chicken can be just as tasty and less costly? It will also take less time to cook thereby saving on the electricity bill.

Shopping:

When you do your Christmas shopping try not to be influenced by all the clever marketing ploys used to get you to spend more money. Still look for the bargains and continue to shop wisely. Select items that are on special offer. Select items that offer “Buy one – Get one free”.

Planning:

With a bit of planning you will be surprised at how much you can save. Here is a useful shopping tip that will save you at least 50% on the cost of all Christmas decorations, Christmas cards, Christmas crackers and wrapping paper. Wait until just after Christmas when the supermarkets begin to hold their after Christmas sales.

You can then buy all the cards, crackers, candles, baubles, wrapping paper and other decorations at very low prices. They can then be used for the following year.

If you follow the above advice you will save money. The money you save can go towards paying for a summer holiday.

Bill Stone writes for Direct Online Loans who help homeowners find the best available loans via the [http://www.directonlineloans.co.uk/]www.directonlineloans.co.uk website.

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