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How to Survive Christmas on a Tight Budget

celebrate Christmas on a budget

Christmas spending can be outrageous for a lot of people, especially families with children.  Whether you want to save money or simply have to tighten your belt, there are ways to have fun during the holiday season without breaking the bank.

Here are some suggestions on how to cut costs while still enjoying the festive season with friends and family.

Make gifts

Buying gifts for all your loved ones isn’t only expensive, it can be a real hassle to figure out what everyone wants and go to the shops in the busiest time of the year.

You can use your talents to make gifts in bulk and give meaningful, well thought out, handmade presents.  If you’ve got cooking skills, you could bake sweet treats, make jams or compotes out of fruit from local markets, or make pickles.  Those with the gift of sewing or knitting can make scarves, beanies, or embroider items.  If you’re handy you could also make handcrafted items, candles, and more.

Thrift Christmas outfits

A great way to save money for Christmas is by thrifting all your clothes.  There are plenty of hardly used, high-quality second-hand clothes in thrift shops or on Facebook marketplace, ebay, and gumtree.

There are also places that rent out party clothes such as Glam corner. or Dress for a night so you don’t have to buy an outfit at all.

Buy Christmas stationery and decorations in the off-season

Christmas stationery and decorations go on sale from Boxing day onwards.  Stock up on stationery and decorations when they go on sale and pay a lot less than you would if you bought it closer to the season.

Reuse and upcycle Christmas decorations

Christmas decorations can often get a bit tattered and torn with time, but don’t jump into buying brand new ones!  Give your decorations a gentle clean and see if you can mend any bits and pieces with superglue or a needle and thread.

Use ribbons or string to replace missing ornament hooks or, use paper clips like they do in department stores.  Discoloured plastic decorations do well with a touch up of spray paint.  When you do buy decorations, buy low-budget but hardy, natural decorations such as pine cones, or natural wood wreathes that tend not to break easily.

Pre-order your Christmas food

A few weeks before the Christmas feast buy meat and other freezer friendly food on “specials” discounts and freeze them.  Buying other sweet treats or buying baking mixes when they are on specials way ahead of the Christmas rush won’t only save you money but save you all the hassle of going to the shops when everyone is there.

Set budgets or group collections for gift giving

Having a long list of people to buy presents for at Christmas can really strain the holiday budget.  At work and with groups of friends you could do Secret Santa with a set budget instead of giving gifts to everyone in the group.

Instead of buying gifts for teachers and educators, do group collections where people give what they can afford.  By pooling resources with other families, not only will everyone save money but it’s likely you’ll be able to get those special people a really lovely present instead of everyone just giving small gifts here and there.

“Give and receive” experiences instead of paying for them!

Christmas can be such a time for beautiful memories: Christmas carolling, Christmas dinner, New Year’s fireworks, opening presents and more.  Do a bit of research and you’ll be able to find free events to take the family to.  There are some free carols at churches and parks.

Take the kids to the mall Santa for budget friendly photos.  If the kids are old enough, camp out at a good venue to watch the fireworks and bring your own picnic food and drinks.  There will be plenty of opportunities to celebrate the holiday season without spending much at all!