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How To Save Money If You're Broke Over Christmas

By Sarah

December 20, 2016 at 11:50am

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Christmas can be a stressful time of year for all of us, as we try to balance our budget while also wanting to give only the best to our loved ones. 

Presents, nights out, fancy finger food and emergency bottles of wine can all quickly add up, leaving most of us absolutely skint come January.

The most important thing to remember is that ultimately Christmas is all about spending time with friends and family, and not all about gifts (seriously, your nearest and dearest are even more important than that new laptop you've been eyeing up).

So we've been doing some brainstorming and have come up with some pretty clever tips and tricks to save you some moolah this year and still be able to enjoy the whole Chrimbo vibe.

You can thank us in January when you've managed to avoid your overdraft.

Do Kris Kindle with friends and family

Kris Kindle is a brilliant way to save money on presents, and it means you can budget easily in advance once a spend limit is set. 

This is a great idea for your friend group, as it saves that awkward buying of unnecessary gifts for the whole gang just in case they have bought you something. Family members will also appreciate one bigger, more thoughtful gift rather than lots of little things that, let's face it, will probably go unused. 

Tiger and Penneys are top spots for cheap and fun Kris Kindle gifts.

Switch up your supermarkets 

It may be the season for fancy and indulgent snacks, but that doesn't have to equal spending a fortune on your food shopping. Aldi and Lidl have some amazing Christmas treats on offer this month that will rival any luxe M&S canapes.

It might be tempting to go down the butchers route for your ham and turkey for the big day, but unless you have a known good-value local, we recommend hitting up those good oul German discount supermarkets for bulk meat and vegetable buys. 

Trust us, no one will be able to taste the difference – and you'll save a bomb.

... but don't buy too much

It's easy to overestimate how much your guests will eat and drink over Christmas (although maybe the drink part is more like underestimate)

Just because the shops are closed on Christmas day doesn't mean you have to prepare for an impending apocalypse and stock up on a year's supply of milk and bread. This great site, lovefoodhatewaste.com, has an easy portion calculator so you can plan just how much brie you'll need for that cheese board, depending on how many people you have over.

No one should have to throw away much food on Christmas, it's such a waste of money.

Have a night in for a change

All those dinners and nights out on the tiles seriously damage the bank balance, but are they really worth it?

Why don't you organise a Christmas night in with the gang for your annual get together, so everyone will save some coinage. Ask everyone to bring one dish of food, make it a BYOB affair and have lots of cosy fairy lights and good tunes on hand.

Suggest playing some board games if you think your friendship can survive it.

Get creative

Homemade gifts are pretty much always the ones that people appreciate the most. Even if you're not amazingly crafty, it's so easy to do up a few home-baked cookie parcels or DIY bath bombs – simply stick a printed out and personalised label on the package and you're sorted. 

You could make your own cards (always v. cute from the kids), or even write out a coupon book.

You save a tonne of money, and everyone thinks you're really sweet. This is basically a win-win.

Choose cash over card

Bringing a credit/debit card with you for your Christmas shopping trip miiiight seem like a smart idea at the time, but realistically you will only be tempted to spend more than you actually have.

Write up your pressie list and the amount you want to spend on each person, and only bring that set amount of cash with you. It's SO easy to get caught up in the mass-buying buzz in town and splash out on random snazzy things that nobody needs.

If you really, really need to, you can always come back another time to buy anything you've missed out on.

Do some sneaky re-gifting

If you're reaaaally struggling to make ends meet this year, or just have lots of presents to buy, a good option is to do a little 're-gift' of presents you've received in previous years. 

Once nothing looks too worn, it's definitely acceptable to pass on old gifts to new people. Waste not, want not and all that.

Just be careful that the original gift-giver doesn't realise what you've done...

READ NEXT: This Buckfast Christmas Tree Is THE Most Irish Thing Ever

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