Well the count down has begun in the crafty household.
Yes yes I know I said the "C" word ... but no matter how much I resent it being discussed before Halloween, it's steadily creeping up on us.
This year though I intend to be prepared and I'm trying to do it as frugal as possible. I'm not in a position to give my kid everything his heart desires but that's OK. I give him what I can and I know that my son is grateful for everything he has. I've given up trying to keep up with the Jones' ... I'm just happy to keep up with myself :)
My lists have been written and my plans drawn up. I'll be honest, it's proving a lot easier now that Agent M knows about Santa. I thought it would be kinda sad this year but so far it's been a lot less stressful.
His Santa present was always the big present where I had to go big or go home (my own insecurity of trying to give him everything there) but this year he has asked for 1 big present and is only expecting that one. Anything above that is icing!
So what does he want? Well it's been at the top of his wish list for a while and this year he's asking for it again so perhaps I can see what I can do ... The Lego technic crane.
I am of course getting him some other bits and pieces so he has a great Christmas but in order to afford it, I need to be clever. I need to be frugal!
So here's the plan.
- look for offers - 3 for 2 is a good one if you have a few people to buy for. Argos are doing 3 for 2 on toys right now so I took advantage this week and got both agents a Lego advent calender and Agent M a Minecraft set (his advent calender was free in the deal). I also bought 3 Lego mixels for his stocking too which was £6 instead of £9.
Many places do buy 1 get 1 half price and on occasion you'll find some toys reduced down to "Better than half price". Most stores stick to the 3 for 2 in the run up to Christmas so look about for the best offers. Any places i find I'll update on the Facebook Page so give it a like to keep up to date :)
- De-clutter and sell off old toys - Agent M has a stash of toys under his bed that he hasn't played with in months. We've had a wee talk about it over breakfast and he's agreed that he doesn't really want them any more so we decided we'll put them up for sale and the money made will go toward his Christmas this year. Yeah it's kinda cheap of me to sell his stuff to buy him prezzies but at the end of the day we live off a tight student budget so every little helps. (Plus the money is going on stuff he would want rather than sitting under his bed).
- Online only deals - Amazon is an amazing site for deals. Most of the items they have will go up and down in price meaning you can get a real bargain if your timing is right. How I do it is I add the items to my basket and I'll check it once or twice a day to see if there have been any update messages. If the price changes they will tell you and if it goes low BUY IT!
There is a Lego kit I have I my basket that I'm waiting to go down again. (I have it in my save for later and i still get updates on the prices). It was £15 cheaper than in shops but I didn't have my bursary at the time so I couldn't get it. I'm waiting to see if it goes down again *fingers crossed*
- Plan a budget and STICK TO IT! - I am the world's worst for this cause I get a kick outta making things like birthdays and Christmas as special as possible. I love to treat my boys but this year I can't do that. I need to keep in my head that giving agent M to a roof over his head and food in his belly is a whole lot more important than that game or toy he won't really miss. Agent D has offered to help out with Christmas for Agent M this year so I don't need to go OTT. He'll get a lovely Christmas and I don't need to bankrupt myself!
- Where you can, Go without - Yes its really nice to send a wee Christmas card to the lady that once watered your plants while you were on holiday, or give a card to each kid in your child's class but lets be honest, its only gonna go in the bin come Jan 1st. The average card can range from 59p to £3.00 ... Getting one for your niece, brother, parents, teacher, dog walker etc, your quite easily gonna come away with a tenners worth of glittery cardboard. Then there is the stamps. Most people these days are on Facebook so instead why not send a virtual card? Cost effective and better for the environment :)
If your heart set on sending cards, discount stores like home bargains do boxes for less. It might not be personalised by saying "Grandma" or "Nephew" but it'll save you a bundle. Poundland usually have a box of 30 cards for your classmates plus an extra for the teacher ... Cant go wrong with that :)
So this year I'm hoping to get festive on a frugal budget ... Here's hoping it works out ... I'll be sure to keep you posted :)
Do you have any money saving tips for Christmas? Feel free to share below xxx