Christmas is a time which we all spend quality time with our family, cook some great food and give each other gifts. However, Christmas can also be an incredibly expensive time of year if we don’t do it smartly and prepare way in advance. Ideally, your preparations for that all important time of year should begin in September. You can begin to plan who’s hosting dinner this year, set a budget between you and your family, and get ahead of the game.

Deck The Halls

To save yourself some money on decorating your home, here are some great ways to add some festive spirit to your home without spending a ton of money.

  •         If you are hosting a Christmas party for your kids or family you can use a festive scarf as a table runner rather than buying one from the store. A bright tartan print can add a real sense of style to the room.
  •         If you are struggling for a centrepiece idea, you can make a ring out of holly or even some small ornaments to place in the centre of the table. A lovely scented candle is also a brilliant addition.
  •         Another great centrepiece would be a nice wooden bowl with fresh fruit. It adds a splash of colour to the room and also promotes healthy snacking.
  •         If you have a present which is an awkward shape, place it in a box and wrap that instead. And if you want some extra décor for under the tree, place empty boxes under there.
  •         Spray conkers and pine cones gold or silver for some cheap table or mantelpiece decorations.
  •         Dry some oranges or lemons and, stud them with cloves and place them on the Christmas tree for a decorative bauble and a way to add a lovely scent to the house.

The Food

One of the biggest parts of your Christmas celebrations is the food. From lots of side dishes and vegetables, fluffy roast potatoes and the main event, the meat. It can cause a lot of stress with many people when preparing Christmas dinner, but you can make the best Christmas dinner for your family without spending way too much and stressing out too much.

The first tip is to buy a cheaper turkey, beef or chicken joint than normal. The meat will still be good quality, you’ll just save yourself some money. Next up is preparation:  you need to try and prepare things ahead as much as you can to reduce stress levels on the big day. The first way to do this is to prep sauces and pop them in the fridge or freezer. You can make your Yorkshire pudding batter ahead of time and pop it in the fridge too. Pre boil your potatoes ready for roasting and leave them in the freezer or fridge until the day.

Finally, cut down on the side dishes you use. Think about how much food you have leftover on the day. Simply cutting out a few things from the dinner table will save you money in cooking and food, as well as throwing away waste.

Cheap Christmas Gift Ideas

Black Friday

In November, the world is treated to a week of black Friday deals. You’ll find that a lot of gadgets and electronic items are massively discounted for a short amount of time. If you are planning on buying something expensive for a loved one, wait until black Friday and you could find a deal. It works with kid’s toys and equipment too, as you can find great black friday stroller deals for 2017 all over the web and in stores. You may find that you can buy the same things for half the price.

Embellished Mug

Buy a plain mug or bowl, and you can create a personal gift for your friends or family. Simply grab a couple of sharpie pens and create a sketch, write a message or draw a pattern on a mug.

Sparkly Mini Planters

Glitter is the ultimate way to make pretty much anything festive. Plant pots are a cute gift to give anyone who has just moved into a house or who has green fingers. Cover the pots in decoupage and then cover them in glitter for a festive gift.

Washi Tape Notebooks

Washi tape is a magical invention which can make anything drab and dull feel full of life once more. If you have a plain notebook to hand, you can stick a few strips of washi tape on there and instantly make a bright, pretty gift for someone for Christmas.