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Money saving ideas for Christmas

Christmas can be an expensive time of year and we often end up spending more than we need to.  Over spending can cause stress and debt. Many presents end up in landfill creating more waste. It’s easy to get swept away by the glitter, twinkly lights, wine and food. This year, why not try saving money, helping the environment or a good cause? Family and friends will appreciate a small thoughtful gift or why not plan some new traditions or festive fun instead?

Whatever your income, plan what you want to buy and make a budget.

Avoid waste

When choosing a present think about what the person you’re buying for needs or likes. The most useful presents are something to wear, read or eat.

You don’t have to buy presents

You can:

  • make or recycle something
  • do something together
  • offer your time to help someone

15 cheap or free gift ideas

  1. Home made gifts: save old jam jars to fill with sweets, bath salts, coffee, hot chocolate. Decorate the jars to give them an extra special touch. Make your own flavoured oils or bake a gift. Just google the words and lots of free recipes will  appear.  Pinterest has great ideas and tutorials.
  2. Recycle: do they need a new bike or could you choose a recycled one for them? Recyke y’bike offers good quality bikes at bargain prices.
  3. Visit charity shops to see what gems you can find: you may find some unique and thoughtful presents. Perfect place to pick up a special secret santa gift too.
  4. Dedicate a tree or sponsor a dog or animal and the person you gift will receive a gift certificate, photos and updates.
  5. Pledge to do a kindness or service for someone with using a voucher.
  6. Re-gift: presents that you have been given to charity or someone who would like it.
  7. Crafts: can you sew, knit, paint, write? A handmade gift is extra special.
  8. Christmas cards don’t have to be shop bought: Get crafting, reuse bits that would have otherwise ended up in the recycle bin or send digital cards. Saving time, money and paper.
  9. Make memories: spend time together. Plan a day or night out instead of exchanging presents or give the gift of passes for places that can be used at a later date.  Suggestions are: as National Trust, a spa, a dinner voucher, theatre tickets or sports membership.
  10. Spend locally: go to a local crafts fair and support the community centre, church or school.  Find local events and activities.
  11. Donate a meal for someone who is homeless to have a meal and receive gifts at Newcastle Central Station.
  12. Share a meal together where everyone brings a dish: This means the cooking and buying of all the food isn’t left up to one person.
  13. Wait till the January sales begin: controversial, but so many items are reduced in January. Could you agree with family and friends to exchange gifts in January instead?
  14. Affordable credit. When you do decide to spend some money make sure you find the cheapest interest rate.
  15. Moneywise offer a number of services for people in Newcastle. Now that Christmas is upon us, you may want to open the Xmas Saver account. Complete a new member application form online and type in XMAS SAVER as the promotional code and send. This will ensure that your Xmas Saver Account is opened.
  16. Save for next year.

Useful websites

Recycle Now’s Plan for a less wasteful Christmas.

Kirstie’s handmade Christmas 10 years of inspirational ideas on Channel 4.

BBC Good Food has lots of recipes for meals, home made sweets, gifts and ways to use your leftovers.

Last updated: July 1, 2020

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