9 Top Tips for a Budget-Friendly Christmas!

tips for a budget friendly christmas and how to save money on gifts and presents

9 Top Tips for a Budget-Friendly Christmas!

I can’t believe it’s nearly flipping Christmas. I say it all the time but where has the time gone?! This year has been so full of ups and downs. More downs than I care to think about to be honest. You can read more in my Happy Birthday post here.

Anyways, because I’m always full of fun…I thought I’d share with you a few tips on having a frugal festive time. Saving those pennies and generally budgeting for the big day. If budgeting isn’t your thing then no worries. Stick around and go take a read of our 24 Zero Effort Elf on the Shelf ideas! Or perhaps free things to do this autumn and winter!

So back to the point of this post…budget tips for Christmas. Let’s go…

Start Early

It’s a given but start planning for Christmas early! And by early I mean a year before. Once Christmas is over, I typically pop into the main supermarkets and stock up on all the reduced gift wrap, cards and half-price presents.

how to survive christmas present wrapping


Decide who you really must buy for and who you really don’t need to. And then talk to these people ahead of time to either agree not to buy gifts, or set a budget.

Me and the hubby pretty much never do “Christmas” in the traditional sense. We’ve never spent much on each other and yet we always have a wonderful time. We do get each other gifts but they are typically things that we’d buy through the year anyway…consumables.

Consumable Gifts

I don’t know about you but I do not need any more tat in my life. I have two garages full of the stuff. When it comes to gifts, my favourites are either days out or the gift of time. Or consumables.


So consumable gifts. Gifts that you will use, whatever the weather. So think candles, food hampers, drinks, chocolate, shower gels. Anything that gets used up is a winner in my eyes. To give you an example, this is what I typically fill my husbands stocking with:

Caramalised onion chutney, hair wax, shower gel, Haribo, Whiskey miniatures – and anything else he happens to enjoy. He typically gets me things like mini prosecco bottles, chocolate, the obligatory can of Red Bull (although maybe not this year with pregnancy!), smellies, candles. So anything that I’d buy myself at some point.

Gift ideas for dads - homemade and DIY Christmas gift and presents

Then for main presents we usually have a few treats. A nice bottle of flavoured gin or a large bottle of whiskey. Perhaps some Molton Brown or Neal’s Yard skin care bits. And that’s about it really. All these things will get used up over the year and the stocking fillers are things I’d buy anyway.

Agree not to Buy

If you’re really on a budget then agree ahead of time not to buy. Or buy just for the kids and not adults. This is what we do with our sisters. The kids get a treat but the adults can do without. It not only saves money but also the hassle of having to think of more stuff to buy!

Secret Santa

Something to try if you have loads of people to buy for.

stocking filler ideas for kids

Set a Limit

If you must buy, set a limit. Be upfront and honest with people. They will probably be thinking the same and will want to set a limit too. There’s nothing worse than spending a fiver and then discovering a friend/family member spent fifty quid!

DIY Gifts

If you have time, think about DIY gifts. Jams, chutneys and pickles all go down well and can be made ahead of time. I’d be happy with pickled onions!

I also really like gift jars and hampers. There are so many ideas on Pinterest so get searching and planning now. Our DIY gift ideas here will get you started too.

christmas sparkle and highlights

Gifts of Time

I don’t know about you but all I ever want is the gift of time! Time to blog, to read, to rest. So if anyone wants to give me a gift this year, a few hours babysitting in the New Year is just fine thanks!

Create Memories

I really love “doing” gifts. So instead of more tat and crap, I absolutely love gifts that involve going out – a meal, a movie, a day out etc. If you have to buy a gift, think about a doing gift rather than more material tat that’s often forgotten before New Year!

get outside this christmas girl ice skating

What are your tips for saving pennies this Christmas? Do you go all out and splash the cash or are you more mindful of what you spend? Follow us on social for more tips, as well as mum-life, pregnancy woes and general life chat! Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter!

tips for a budget friendly christmas and how to save money on gifts and presents

Linked with KCACOLS


  1. These are great!! I really like the gift of time. As I get older, I realize that is really all I want from my family and friends. I love the idea of DIY gifts, especially for my kids to give their friends and teachers. Thanks for sharing! #KCACOLS

  2. The gift of time would be the best gift I could have especially now I homeschool my son. Although I love him more than ever 24 hours a day is a bit much sometimes!! #KCACOLS

  3. So many great tips and ideas here. My husband and I do similar stockings for each other, with useful things like shower gel and deicer for the car, very exciting! Although we do let a bit of tat in, he’s given me some brilliantly random mugs over the years but then again I do actually use them! x #KCACOLS

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