… without being a scrooge. If you don’t have the cash to splash this Christmas or simply refuse to spend a fortune on just one day, our 10 tips for frugal festivities are fun.
1. Rather than send Christmas cards, pop a favourite quote on a postcard and send to your friends and family (don’t forget to register for a MyPost Concession Account to save on stamps)
2. Don’t spend a fortune on decorations. Pop some popcorn and thread the popped kernels to make garlands – a great old-fashioned Christmas decoration idea. Or, if you have grandchildren, get them to make paper garlands, and paper snowflakes to stick on your windows.
3. Similarly, there’s no need to spend a fortune on expensive wrapping paper that will – more than likely – end up in the bin. Brown paper and string is a lovely, nostalgic way to present your gifts.
4. Rather than buy everyone a gift, play Secret Santa. Each person buys a gift and places it on the table. A number for each guest is placed in a bowl and everyone picks a number. The person with number one chooses a gift and opens it. The person with number two can choose to take that gift or choose a new one. If they choose to take the original gift, the first person gets to choose another. The next person can then choose from any of gifts opened or to choose a new gift, and so on.
6. While Christmas dinner is all about spending time with family and friends, it doesn’t need to be about an abundance of expensive food. Turkeys are especially expensive at this time of year, so consider a roast chicken (or two if you’re having a big gathering). Also, get everyone to bring a plate of food.
7. Do you have a slow cooker? If so, why not serve a less expensive cut of meat that will be lovely and tender when cooked slowly?
8. If you really want to have a traditional Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, ask those attending if they’re happy to each chip in a few dollars so you’re not bearing the brunt of the cost.
9. Frozen vegetables taste just as good as fresh, but are often cheaper. Also, if you don’t need to use them all, you can keep in the freezer. And home brands look just the same when cooked and on the plate.
10. Finally, there’s no need to give up the festive fizz if you’re on a budget. Buy a cheap bottle of cava or sparkling wine and serve with some fruit pulp, or diluted with orange juice. Frozen berries also make a nice addition and give the fizz a fruity tingle.
Have you tried any of these ideas? Or perhaps you have a clever idea of your own that you’re happy to share?