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If you’d rather not spend too much money on Christmas presents, it can be challenging when you have a long list of people to buy for. And while we’re not suggesting you should not buy gifts at all (though this could be a good tactic if everyone’s in agreement), there are ways you can save money.
If you’re more creatively inclined, you may wish to make presents for people. These are often the best gifts, as they’re highly personalised. But for anyone who is useless with a paintbrush or any other artistic tool, how can you cut back your spending on Christmas gifts? We’ve looked at ten simple ideas below:
Why not bake big batches of sweet treats to divvy up between friends and family? These could be festive recipes, like gingerbread or spiced fruit cake, or simply a delicious dessert. And if you package them well, they can make a really beautiful gift – try putting your baked goods in a cellophane bag and tying it up with a ribbon.
Along the same lines as giving baked goods as presents, you could pass along your recipes. If you’re known for your cooking or baking skills, friends and family are bound to appreciate a homemade recipe book, especially if you include lots of photos of you making these dishes, along with pictures of the finished article.
While we’re a generation that tends to take lots of photos, how many do we actually revisit? Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded of things we did or places we visited with loved ones. So why not buy an inexpensive frame, and get a few photos printed of memories you shared with the receiver of the gift? This can be a personal, thoughtful present, especially if you ensure the frame matches the individual’s home decor!
Not only can you gift memories, you can make them too! Giving an experience can be a great way to spend little to no money on a present, while still giving something truly meaningful. For example, you could give someone a movie night experience – you just need to buy some popcorn and other snacks. Or perhaps you could buy a load of facemasks, and promise your friends an evening of pampering. In terms of free presents, if you know any new parents, you could offer to babysit for a few nights. Alternatively, you could set up game nights with friends and family.
Some people are more creative than others, and perhaps you’re able to craft masterpieces for all your friends and family at Christmas. If not though, there are loads of easy things you can make as gifts, such as soaps, candles or jewellery. And if you make similar things for lots of people, you can buy supplies in bulk, making them cheaper.
Would you mind receiving a secondhand gift, especially if it looked brand new? Most people wouldn’t have a problem with this, so perhaps it’s sensible to look for bargains in your local charity shops or car boot sales. Places like Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace are great places to look too.
If you have creative friends, but aren’t that creative yourself, you could try making them a kit, which includes all the items they’ll need to make something. This could be anything from a cake mix with the recipe, to pieces of material to make a bag. When packaged in a beautiful way, these sorts of presents can be lovely to receive, and often very personalised.
Even if you’re not that creative, you may be able to take something you’ve bought cheaply (or got for free) and breathe some new life into it. Furniture is a common thing to upcycle, but there are loads of ideas out there that are easy to implement. For instance, you could cut out the centre of old vinyl records, with the label visible, and give them away as coasters. Perfect for any music lovers in your life!
You may be surprised by the amount of great presents you can buy at your local supermarket! Most big stores will have a gift section around this time of year, along with all the other usual miscellaneous items you can buy for others. Aldi and Lidl are famous for their middle aisles too – the products you find there are always reasonably priced, and can make brilliant presents.
Items that are festively packaged, because they’re intended to be given as gifts, are likely to go straight on sale on Boxing Day. So if your friends and family are happy to wait an extra day, you can get them the same presents you intended to, at a fraction of the cost. Decide what you plan to buy, and then write this as an IOU in their card. Or just get everyone to agree to exchange gifts a few days after Christmas!