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Christmas on a budget

(69 Posts)
etheltbags1 Sun 25-Nov-18 14:31:35

Has anyone got any ideas about how to really scrimp this year. I just cant manage to buy decent presents. Ive tried watching every tv programme about scrimping and gone on every website to get ideas. Im knitting for dhd but cant knit very fast so cant knit more. Does anyone know where the bargains are. I cant shop online as i use my credit card and im to scared to get into debt. There must be someone like me looking for a bargain. I need to sell my piano but no one wants one. Also i need ideas how to just live on a tiny budget until xmas. Any gift ideas welcome preferably under 10 quid.

labazs1964 Sun 25-Nov-18 14:34:57

i knit slow too but can you bake or make chutneys or other preserves even sweets? in a nice jar with a pretty material covering on the lid it always looks nice. or make a small hamper with budget buy foods then repack them. please dont dismiss charity shops i run one and we have lots of new items donated just the other day i had a load of notelet sets and toiletry sets donated i priced them at £1 to £4

etheltbags1 Sun 25-Nov-18 14:38:57

Forgot to mention im a charity shop fanatic. Ive got games and toys for the little one. My posh thinking friend likes to ignore me when im on a charity shop binge. Lol

trisher Sun 25-Nov-18 14:53:33

I hate Kirsty Allsop but was watching the other day and saw her make snow globes which I thought the GCs would love. Empty screw top jar, stick figure etc on inside of lid to make scene, fill jar with water, add a little glycerine and some glitter. Fix top on (she glued it).Stand on lid and shake. She said inedible cake decorations for scene but I'm sure you could use all sorts of things. GS would like one with a train in it!

Patsy70 Sun 25-Nov-18 14:57:54

If only we all scrimped on Christmas, then it wouldn't be the totally commercial obscenity it has become. I don't mean to sound like a Scrooge, as I love to buy gifts for my family, but struggle to know what to get some of them, as 2 of the gc just request money to go shopping (16 & 12). I agree with labazs (I also work in a charity shop) and we have some beautiful items donated, some of which are new, unwanted gifts. Also, in my view, something that has been made is of greater value, as more effort has been put into it. You could make up small hampers to include small pots of jam, marmalade, chutney, sweets, chocs or biscuits. If you're handy with a needle, what about a making a cushion? The pads are cheap enough to buy, and the material can be bought quite reasonably at a local market. Failing that: books, gift vouchers, jigsaw puzzles, games, flowers, plants? So sad that nobody wishes to buy your piano. We had the same problem when selling my late father's, which held so many happy memories for us. In the end, we donated it to a local residential home. Let us know what you decide to do, and don't forget the charity shops!

Beau Sun 25-Nov-18 15:22:48

But really why should you scrimp to buy gifts for people who probably / possibly have more than you? This is really what annoys me about Christmas. I now only buy presents for DGS and my best friends DGC who are all in hard up families so appreciate a little extra gift. I know it sounds mean but every year I get annoyed because the same friend (on pension credits) buys me things I don't need and she can't afford. A card is fine for adults who have everything they could want, which is almost everyone I know as I live in a 'wealthy' area - although not wealthy myself, I don't want or need anything. I might buy a bale of hay for the horse rescue centre this year plus my usual donation to Cats Protection.

gmelon Sun 25-Nov-18 16:18:26

The answer is in the charity shops. They keep aside Christmas bits throughout the year to sell in the run up to Christmas.
It's possible to buy for under a tenner and get brand new gifts.

KatyK Sun 25-Nov-18 16:31:13

The pound shops have some surprisingly good stuff, packs of pencils, colouring books, notebooks, story books etc for children. One of the pound shops has a range of bakeware by Jane Asher. I have bought cookie cutters, various baking things, even a Jane Asher cake recipe book which is great. All at £1. Great for little bakers. They also sell cosmetics, scarves, gloves etc.

Sealover Sun 25-Nov-18 16:34:45

I have made some lanterns from wide topped jam jars with large tea lights inside (a bag of 10 £2 from Asda). Some pretty festive ribbons round the top, they look nice on a window sill.

Grammaretto Sun 25-Nov-18 16:42:15

I agree. Even if I could afford it, the shops are so full of things one step away from landfill!
I buy toys and books from charity shops .
What a good idea about making a cushion cover and the snow globe.
I usually pick one nice shop and they are few and far between where I buy each family a family present. Either a board game or something useful. I bought them all a Boot Jack from a garden centre which caused some amusenent. Packets of seeds often go down well.
Isn't that all that matters? Opening a small package that someone has wrapped while thinking of you?

Grammaretto Sun 25-Nov-18 16:45:50

To all you people who work in charity shops. Do you offer gift tokens to spend there? I'm sure some of the youngsters with a social conscience would be thrilled to receive one.

M0nica Sun 25-Nov-18 16:46:42

As I have said before, among my DC's happiest Christmas memories, was the year we were expecting redundancy daily and all their presents came from Charity shops.

As a child I used to make my own bath salts Here is the recipe

Put in a nice decorated jar, or even a plastic bag and tie with ribbon. Craft shops often remainder short lengths of ribbon, so that they can be quite inexpensive, yet are ideal for jars and bags.

EllanVannin Sun 25-Nov-18 16:51:45

I imagine that there'll be many who'll be budgeting this year.
Not only those who are on low incomes either.

oldbatty Sun 25-Nov-18 17:02:24

ethel, this is going to sound harsh but why bother? Honestly who put yourself through the stress.

Can you cook? Make nice things and put them in jars with ribbon round. Anybody who knows you will see a lovely gift from a lovely person.

fourormore Sun 25-Nov-18 17:20:37

Martin Lewis (Money Saving Expert) has this problem well and truly sussed!
He suggests a Christmas Pre NUP! Prior to the Christmas shopping period you agree with people - a pre-'NUP' - No Unneccessary Presents.
He makes a very valid point - It is so easy for someone with money to spare to buy 'just a little present' for 'Fred or Freda' and that is fine.
However, if 'Fred or Freda' are having to scrimp it is actually a curse rather than a present because they then have the stress of feeling obliged to buy a present in return.
I think the pre-NUP is a brilliant idea as it's not fair to put additional stress on to people who are already under strain.
Another suggestion could be that you tell folks that you are not buying presents this year but making a donation to a charity instead. They don't need to know the amount so you can give whatever you are comfortable with?
Or another suggestion if you are able to create a document on your laptop or 'crafty' enough to create a personal 'invitation' - give an invitation to tea and cakes at your house to be used anytime mutually convenient?
Only suggestions but they may help? flowers

M0nica Sun 25-Nov-18 17:35:45

Just do not buy presents for too many people in the first place. We keep to immediate family and no further.

DoraMarr Sun 25-Nov-18 17:42:27

I think you need to be honest and explain that you cannot buy presents like you used to, and just buy a small gift for those nearest to you- a potted plant ( they have some at Aldi in festive planters for £3.99) or a box of chocolates, for instance. There is no need to worry yourself or get into debt. If they love you, your family will understand. There is nothing shameful in saying “I can’t afford it.” I really feel for you! Do you play your piano? If so, you should not forgo that pleasure for one day in the year. Christmas should be about families enjoying some time together, not about expensive gifts.

seacliff Sun 25-Nov-18 17:47:50

Depends who you are buying for. How about a card with a promise of spending an afternoon together - could be a lovely walk, a crafting afternoon, games/cards etc. You could do it for several people together if you think they'd get on. I know one of my friends did her own murder/ mystery afternoon.

Followed by a home cooked meal at yours, something made earlier, in slow cooker or a buffet. Personally I'd really like that, especially if it's in dull old January. Something to look forward to.

lemongrove Sun 25-Nov-18 17:48:44

Pound shops, charity shops B&M and Home Bargains.
All have nice gifts at well under a tenner.In fact you could probably do it for a fiver.

etheltbags1 Sun 25-Nov-18 18:54:05

My mother always tells me not to bother but as most of her friends are dead she doesn't get much. Shes like s little kid opening her parcels then afterwards telling everyone who will listen what she has been given. I've told everyone who has asked me that I just want a book or books from the charity shop only. I'm on a diet so very little foodstuff

SueDonim Sun 25-Nov-18 19:46:13

I've decided to cut back this year, too. Although I've been saying that for some years, this year it's actually happening. I want to spend less, I want to be kinder to the environment and I want less stress in my life. I've also requested that people cut back/don't give gifts to me. I don't need anything much and I don't have room for it anyway.

So, Ethelbags, take a look at your list of people you buy for. Can you cut back on that? If you don't want to go into your financial situation, just say that stopping gifts would just make everyone's life easier and less stressful?

For those that you still want to buy for, there is plenty out there for well under £10. As others have said, the pound stores, Aldi, Home Bargains, The Works and Tiger all have lots of things under £5.p and as low as £1. Don't forget the likes of Primark, which sells home and beauty as well as clothing, too. They have things such as scented candles in glass holders for as little as a pound.

Don't let this spoil Christmas for you!

sodapop Sun 25-Nov-18 20:18:57

Vouchers are a good idea, afternoon tea at your house, babysitting, dog walking, baking a cake. Lots of things to help busy families and costs you very little.

MawBroon Sun 25-Nov-18 20:23:04

For those looking for a “budget” present, Aldi room fragrance diffuser wands and two wick scented candles are only £3.99 and a dead ringer both in scent and looks for Jo Malone at 10x the price

etheltbags1 Sun 25-Nov-18 20:36:04

Suedonim. What is tiger

SueDonim Sun 25-Nov-18 20:54:13

It's a store full of nicknacks, really! Some of it is plastic tat but they also sell good art & craft stuff, stationery, beauty things and kitchenware. Also a good range of herbs and spices.