How to Celebrate Christmas on a budget
Saad Kapoor | On 24, Dec 2020
Christmas, the most magical time of the year, and the most expensive… For many of us, making Christmas the perfect, memorable experience for our loved ones can be a stressful day, especially if we don’t have an unlimited budget at our disposal. However, as many Christmas movies are fond of telling us, Christmas isn’t about the material things. It is about spending time with our loved ones. So, see below for some tips and tricks on how to celebrate your Christmas – without breaking the bank!
Hold a Potluck Christmas Dinner
Often as gracious hosts, we find ourselves automatically saying, “Just bring yourselves,” to friends and family when asked if they can bring anything along to Christmas parties. However, why not host Christmas as a potluck dinner and take guests up on their offer! Ask each guest to bring along something for the meal; that way, not only do you save money, but people can also showcase their signature dish! Not only can you enjoy varied meals, which will no doubt be delicious, everyone will also feel proud to showcase their delicious recipes. Perhaps you could even make it into a friendly competition with a prize for the most delicious morsel! For those who perhaps don’t have the time, or culinary skills, to bring along something. Why not offer to let them buy a dessert or a bottle (or two) of wine for the table so they can be included.
Creating homemade items is a great way to not only save money but also get into the festive spirit and add a personalised touch to your day. You can get super inventive with this and create practically anything, such as centrepieces, napkin holders, Christmas tree decorations, or Christmas crackers. Creating homemade decorations will most definitely be a conversation point. Plus, for those of you with children, it is an excellent activity for you to enjoy with them – or to keep them distracted while you wrap their presents!
You can even go one step further and create homemade gifts for people. A homemade gift can be far more thoughtful and meaningful than the one you buy. Some ideas for gifts you could make are: photo collages or drawings for those artsy types, mix-tapes for the musically minded, sock-monkeys for animal lovers, yummy cakes for budding bakers, or, why not create a recipe book for friends who love cooking?
Buy gifts in advance on sale
For those of you who are not artistically minded enough, or who don’t have time to create your own gifts. Why not think about buying your Christmas gifts well in advance to take advantage of the many sales throughout the year. For those of you who have space to hide them, and can buy in advance, the sales immediately after Christmas can offer massive savings. Therefore, why not take advantage of the Christmassy products at a fraction of the cost that will still be fine by next year? Items such as body wash sets, Christmas jumpers and socks, or board games are items that are always ideal for a Christmas gift, and they are usually more than 50% cheaper come January.
Host a Christmas picnic BBQ
One excellent bonus of living in Australia is the glorious weather. We don’t have sleigh-bells ringing or snow at Christmas time. So, why not take full advantage of the sunshine and head outdoors for your Christmas celebrations. Many parks have free or coin-operated barbecues that you can use. So, pack up a cooler with drinks and food and head down to your local park to enjoy the great outdoors with your nearest and dearest. After all, there’s nothing more Aussie than a BBQ!
In today’s polluted world, now more than ever, we need to protect the environment. In the spirit of Christmas giving, why not give back by reusing and recycling rather than buying brand new. Not only will this save you money, but you’ll also be doing something good for the enviornment. Some ways you can recycle are to use items repeatedly every Christmas, such as the same decorations, lights and tree, for example. You can also give new life to old things. Why not turn old Christmas cards into decorations, or Christmas postcards to give out to friends and family. You can also save and reuse any Christmas gift bags given to you. Finally, why not regain some money following your Christmas parties by keeping your empty bottles and returning them under The ACT Container Deposit Scheme, which gives you cash in return for clean, empty bottles.
Take advantage of last-minute deals
For those of you who enjoy going away for Christmas, why pay full price on hotels when you can take advantage of last-minute deals? Many companies offer cheap deals for those of you who are booking last-minute trips, so it is always worth holding off on booking to take advantage of these. Hotels often have empty rooms and will offer a substantial last-minute discount to have the rooms filled rather than leave them empty.
Use your points
Many of you may already be building up credit card points or are using your Flybuy points throughout the year. However, rather than spending them why not save them up for Christmas and buy gifts or groceries using them? Christmas will practically be paying for itself, and the best part is you don’t need to spend any more money than you usually do!
Do a Secret Santa with friends and family
If you have a big extended family or group of friends that you often exchange gifts with, then this idea could be a great one for saving you money. Rather than each of you having to buy every single person a gift, why not operate a secret Santa method for giving gifts? Secret Santa is where you put everyone’s name into a hat, and then each person picks out one person they have to buy a gift for. You all set a price for the gifts and then hand them out on a selected date. Often we find ourselves being given more gifts than we could ever want or need and that these go to waste. Not only does this save money, but it also saves the pressure of having to buy so many presents!