25 Ways moms can save money this Christmas

Christmas, and the days leading up to it, can be an expensive affair. If you are on a tight budget this festive season there are plenty of ways in which you can save money. Here Mombabbles offers a number tips to take on board where you can save your hard earned cash, while still having a good time:

  1. Buy your Christmas presents early, especially if there’s a sale on. I know it’s November now but see if November’s salary can help pay towards Christmas too. It will mean that you won’t make guilty purchases with your bonus or the salary that you get awarded prior to Christmas. If it’s too late, adopt this tip for Christmas 2017 and the years that follow.
  2. Get discounts by subscribing to newsletters. Often when you sign up to newsletters you get a voucher/discount.
  3. Shop online for your groceries and presents. It will reduce impulse buying, you don’t have to stand in queues and you don’t need to pay for the petrol to get you to the store. It’s just less stressful. But watch out for any delivery charges – some stores ask for a minimum spend before deliveries are free.
  4. Grow your own fruit, veg and herbs. You may not be able to grow fruit or veg in time for that Christmas meal but you can definitely kick start your herb collection and spice your food from your garden.
  5. Cash in your rewards points. If you belong to a reward scheme like Pick n Pay’s Smart Shopper, FNB’s eBucks, Standard Bank’s UCount, Absa’s Rewards, Nedbank Greenbacks, Clicks Clubcard, etc., you could save money by using your accumulated points to buy your Christmas presents or groceries.
  6. Reuse old gift tags or gift bags. If you kept old gift tags or bags that aren’t damaged why not reuse them? You’ll save money and you’ll be kind to the environment as there’ll be less rubbish on landfills, thanks to you.
  7. Downshift to the supermarket’s no name brand. Have you always bought ‘top of the range everything’? Well, if you want to save money you should downshift to your store’s no name brand. You will generally save money and you may not even notice the difference in quality.
  8. Don’t forget to compare prices. Don’t purchase something the first time you see it. Shop around! And if you don’t want to move from store to store shop around online for the best deal.
  9. Cap the spend on Christmas gifts. Make an agreement with friends and family you typically buy presents for to spend up to a certain amount that is affordable for all. Or do away with exchanging gifts between adults all together and focus just on the kids. You’ll probably find that your friends and family will even be relieved by the suggestion! Alternatively, suggest doing ‘Secret Santa’, where you all draw a name out of a hat and get a gift for one person.
  10. Make a Christmas shopping list and stick to it. It’s a boring thing to do but necessary if you want to save money. Going Christmas shopping can so easily lead to impulse purchases. Remember, shops spend plenty of money to entice you, in turn, to spend a lot of money.
  11. Encourage visitors to share the cost. Entertaining friends and family and offering all the food and trimmings can end up being an expensive affair. Ask them to bring along a dish or two and their own drinks, especially if they insist on drinking hard tack. Or opt to do a bring and braai instead of offering to do a sit down family roast lunch or dinner.
  12. Shun credit. This may be hard to do but refrain from whipping out your store or credit card to buy gifts or food. Interest charges can all rack up and you’ll be faced with having to cope with mountains of debt in the New Year.
  13. Consider buying gifts from group buying websites. Groupon may have gone but there are still other deal sites to consider such as Daddy’s Deals, Wikideals, DealZone, DealAfrica, etc. Of course you do run the risk of such sites going down, like Groupon did, too so you have to weigh up the risk. If you are unsure or concerned, ask the company offering the deal or servicee whether they will uphold the deal even if the group buying website goes under.
  14. Don’t buy the most expensive gifts for your children. Children generally don’t link the amount of money you spend on a gift with the love and affection you have for them and sometimes they can be more enamored with the box or wrapping. So think carefully about what you buy for them. After all, there’s school fees and stationery that you still have to pay for!
  15. Make your own wrapping paper and decorations. Get your children involved too to add some fun.
  16. Sell unwanted goods. Got old toys, clothes, books and other items that you no longer use? Sell them on Gumtree or on parent Facebook groups to get some extra cash that you can use towards food and presents.
  17. Don’t buy a Christmas tree. Consider the alternatives such as making your own from driftwood that you found on the beach. Suzelle DIY has some tips on how to make your own Christmas tree.
  18. Make your own Christmas crackers. Christmas crackers are expensive so save money by making your own. Again, Suzelle DIY has some ideas you can make use of. Get the kids involved.
  19. Don’t be afraid to reuse leftovers from Christmas Day. Cooks and chefs such as Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver have plenty of recipes where you can turn left overs into tasty dishes for Boxing Day.
  20. If you go out to eat and you know that you’ll be ordering wine take your own bottle of wine with you. Even if you have to pay for corkage, it usually works out cheaper. Or order the house wine instead.
  21. Consider restaurants where kids eat free. They may not eat for free on Christmas day itself but if you are planning to dine out before Christmas consider going to restaurants where your children won’t be charged for their meals. The Spur, for example, let’s kids (under age 12) eat for free on Wednesdays, while Panarotti’s offers meals free of charge for kids (also under age 12) on Sundays.
  22. Create a Christmas fund. If you often splurge at Christmas time why not reduce the burden by spreading the cost over a couple of months? Start in January and start saving for Christmas by putting a little money aside each month. Also, if you save into a Tax Free Savings Account you won’t pay tax on the interest you gain.
  23. Don’t send Christmas cards – rather send e-cards. There are some sites that even offer them for free.
  24. If you have a particular skill or have a knack for making crafts why not make your own Christmas presents instead of buying them.
  25. If you are struggling to make ends meet, consult an accredited financial advisor to give you advice on how you can save money.

Follow these 25 steps and you’re bound to save some money. If you’ve seen this post during or just before Christmas it’s not too late as you can use these tips to save for 2017 and beyond.

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