Christmas time can get expensive pretty fast, and we often end up regretting our spending when it comes to January. The good news is you don’t have to break the bank to have a fun-filled holiday season. There are so many easy ways to save money, so let’s get started.

1 . Create a budget first

It’s easy to overspend at Christmas, before you even think about shopping, the first thing you should do is create yourself a budget. You should budget for your normal monthly expenses, and then work out how much you can realistically spend. To help you out with the process, you might like to check out financial apps such as ‘Pocket Guard’ or ‘You Need A Budget.’ These tools aren’t just handy at Christmas time, but all year round.

2. Christmas nights in

Depending on where you live, you may be experiencing COVID-19 restrictions which mean that bars and restaurants are still closed. While it can be frustrating to be cooped up in the house, it can save you a whole lot of money. Even if you can go out, planning a few extra Christmas nights can be great for your bank balance. It can be nice to give the night a theme, whether it’s cocktail making, games night, or festive karaoke. There are plenty of ways you can make a Christmas night special, without spending over the odds.

3. Look out for discount codes

Everyone loves a discount, and there are plenty to be found online if you know the right places to look. One of the best places to get discounts is Net Voucher Codes, here you’ll find various codes, helping you to save money on everything from technology and electronics to fashion, beauty, homeware, and more. You’ll find lots of leading brands and special offers to put a smile on your face this season. Before you part with your cash, make sure you’ve had a proper look for deals, special offers, and discounted prices online.

4. Get creative with presents

Fancy getting a little creative this holiday season? Homemade presents can help you to save money, plus they can be pretty fun to make. Food gifts usually go down well, so why not challenge yourself to make some delicious foodie gifts for your family and friends. Whether it’s chutneys or jams, marinades, cakes, or cookies, there are plenty of festive recipes out there to inspire. To get you started take a look at some of the Christmas gift recipes in Olive Magazine. Here you’ll find lots of ideas, from gingerbread to homemade miso caramels and homemade blackberry whiskey.

5. Go second-hand

To save some money on holiday gifts, consider buying a few things second-hand. Pre-loved items certainly don’t mean poor quality, there are so many good-as-new items available, waiting for a new home. To find a wide range of second-hand deals, try using a few of these apps:

  • Vestiaire Collective: VC is the leading marketplace to purchase and sell pre-loved luxury fashion items. Here you can find some high-quality clothing, from top brands and designers, at up to 70% less than the retail prices. All items are curated by the Vestiaire style team, so you’re bound to find some great fashion pieces here.
  • Young Planet: If you’ve got children to buy for this holiday season, check out the Young Planet app. The app was created to give unwanted children’s items a new home, whether toys, books, furniture, and so on. Reduce landfill and clutter, and save money at the same time. For Christmas gifts for kids, it’s well worth checking out this app.

For other popular second-hand apps check out 5Miles, Decluttr, and Wallapop. Perhaps you’ve even got a few items you would like to sell yourself? Rather than hanging onto your clutter, it makes far much more sense to sell your unwanted things and add a little extra to your Christmas budget.

6. Pre-book your travel

If you’re planning to travel this holiday season, it’s best to try and book your tickets in advance. You’ll find that prices rise as the travel date draws closer, whether you’re traveling by train, bus, or plane. Before you book, ensure that you check COVID-19 travel restrictions in your area, and adhere to the safety guidelines for PPE and social distancing.

7. Go green to save

To protect the planet, we collectively have a responsibility to reduce our carbon footprint where we can. When you make an effort to create a more sustainable Christmas, you’ll be able to save money in the process. For a few starting points, try these ideas:

  • Send E-cards: Many of us enjoy sending Christmas cards, but the fact is that this tradition wastes paper and harms the environment. You can express the same sentiment at Christmas by sending an ecard, and many websites will let you do this for free.
  • DIY Decorations: Get crafty and use materials from your recycling box to make some DIY Christmas decorations. To help you with some nifty ideas, try checking out the DIY Christmas Decorations app.

8. Switch your supermarket

We all want the best quality foods and drinks at Christmas, however, you don’t always need to choose the most expensive supermarkets. Don’t be afraid to shop in budget supermarkets, when you’re doing your Christmas shopping. You can save lots of money this way, and still get some delicious foods. Before you shop, it can be helpful to check out supermarket food reviews online. Doing so can help you to gauge a better idea of which items to choose, (and which to avoid)!

9. Good old Secret Santa

Secret Santa is an old favorite and a great way to save money. Simply gather your friends and or family and set an inexpensive budget. To help you out there are a few secret Santa generators online. All you have to do is input names and email addresses, and the generator will let everyone know who their giftee is. Remember, you don’t need to spend over the odds to give a great gift.

10. Cheap Christmas activities for kids

Need to entertain the kids this festive season? Looking for some inexpensive and fun activities? There are plenty of great options, whether it’s setting up a scavenger hunt, Christmas trivia games, baking Christmas cookies, or Christmas Charades. For lots, more great ideas check out 37 Best Christmas Games For Kids.

11. Consider delivery fees

Delivery fees can get pretty expensive, when you are ordering your presents, try to do so in bulk so that you are only paying one (or two) flat fees. Another thing that you can do is sign up for the yearly delivery packages that many companies offer. You pay a one-off fee, and then experience free delivery for a year. If you’re using Amazon, it’s well worth signing up for Amazon Prime (even if you cancel it when the Christmas period is over).

12. Meal planning

When it comes to the Christmas season, it’s wise to plan out every meal. Doing so can help you to save money, reduce waste, and put more thought into your cooking. If you do end up with food waste, ensure that you freeze it, or add it to a compost pile if possible. Alternatively, donate to a local soup kitchen or a food bank.

As you can see, there are so many ways to save money this holiday season. With a little pre-planning and mindful shopping, you’ll take the stress out of the Christmas period.