My Top 10 Tips To Get You Started:
It’s that time of year again – when frenzied trips to the shopping centre to search for perfect presents take over your weekends. Your credit card starts to look a little worn out – as do we, now that we think about it!
And what do we have to show for it after the hype of Christmas is over? Mountains of wrapping paper, unwanted plastic and gifts, and a blown-out budget to start the New Year! Sigh, there has to be a better way, right?
This year I am determined to turn over a new leaf, and take some steps to cut costs, cut waste and cut the stress of Christmas.
And, in the spirit of Christmas, I thought I’d share them with you too. So this year, you can be rocking around the Christmas tree, guilt- free!
So, let’s get started! Here’s a list of my suggestions for you to try out:
1. Make your list- and check it twice!
It’s always worthwhile to create a budget, and stick to it.
I am guilty of spending over my budget every single year, and I am not sure that the gifts end up being any more special than if I had stuck to my limits.
So this year, I plan to rein in unnecessary spending – are you with me?!
This means not going overboard with gifts for the kids – and having a word to Santa about those big presents that he needs to match every year too!
You could also agree to a budget or consider a secret Santa to keep things simple with your family gifts.
When you can, say no to the to the junk-for-junk gift exchanges at your work, friendship group or local club. These gifts can increase your costs, and often end up as waste before the holiday is over. It’s totally ok to just say no (thank you)!
2. Get crafty!
Skip filling your trolley with unnecessary decorations and try your hand at making some!
There are some awesome decorative ideas out there that you can try and it’s also a great way to keep the kids busy too (bonus!)
I love the idea of a homemade wreath with native plants or even some homemade bon bons.
And let’s not forget the main decoration – the tree! Why not try growing your own?! Keep it in a pot and reuse it every Christmas. You can get the beautiful look and feel of a real tree without the expense and the waste!
3. Give gifts from the heart!
If you want to give something personal, memorable and one of a kind – make it! Homemade gifts are always lovely to receive, plus there’s no limit to what you can come up with.
You could try your hand at cooking up some gifts such as homemade jams, pickles, biscuits or chocolates just to name a few. I love the idea of a homemade cocoa mix with a cinnamon, or chilli twist!
Other great homemade gifts you might like to try could include plants from your garden, bee’s wax kitchen wraps, a bee hotel, a favourite or family recipe printed out nicely, or personalised library or reusable shopping bags.
The best part of homemade gifts is that they are a great way to complement other gifts if you wish. It makes it much more affordable and has a lovely personal touch that will have your loved one feeling over the moon!
If you need help getting inspired, check out Pinterest for some ideas to help get you started.
If you aren’t super crafty, you could make a gift basket with a collection of someone’s favourite things. Seriously simple and super cheap (and lovely).
Don’t feel bad if you are not quite up to making batches of jam or knitting socks for your Christmas gifts this year, it’s not for everyone, and there’s plenty of other ways to save money and the cut waste.
4. Sell your stuff
We all know that feeling of when we have to make room for all the new ‘stuff’ that we accumulate over Christmas, even when we are trying to keep things simple.
So, in preparation, why don’t you start to clean out your old things and make some money whilst you’re at it?
We know the season isn’t supposed to be about stuff, but you never know, the items sitting in your closet might be just what someone is searching for. This way, it helps cut unnecessary waste by giving them a new life!
You can sell your baby, kids & maternity clothes and accessories on Jumping Jack. Turn your old stuff into some spare cash – which we all could do with more of during this time of year – and do your bit to help the environment (and your purse) in the process!
5. Donate to charity
Share some goodwill this season and give to a charitable cause.
We all have that one person who is impossible to shop for. A charitable gift or voucher is a great way to give to a cause that they care about.
You could also consider selling some (or all) of your outgrown or unused baby, kids and maternity clothes and accessories for a charity to help women and families on Jumping Jack.
Now you can sell your old clothes for a cause, it’s a great way to get those warm fuzzy feelings of helping others, without breaking your budget!
6. Shop secondhand!
Seriously! There’s some great secondhand stuff out there for you to stock up on.
Most are still in great condition, some even new with tags!
It’s ok if secondhand is not quite the right fit for all of your family members. Why not just stock up on the summer essentials for your kids without breaking the bank?
Don’t forget those super cute Christmas outfits that will only fit your little ones for this year before being outgrown!
7. Share experiences
There’s nothing better than a special outing shared with a loved one. Instead of buying stuff, consider going for an outing this year as part of your gift.
You could buy tickets to a show, musical, play, game or even a voucher to a movie or restaurant. It’s a great way to make some fun memories, plus cut out the unnecessary waste of buying more ‘stuff’ that they don’t need.
8. Cut your cards
Do you like to send out Christmas cards? It can sure add up between the cost of stamps and cards! You could try your hand at recycling old cards or perhaps skip the post altogether and send e-cards instead this year.
These options are both an affordable and earth friendly way to stay in touch with your friends & family over Christmas.
9. Make a winner dinner!
Are you hosting the Christmas dinner this year? Or perhaps attending a celebration at a loved one’s house?
However you are celebrating, a great way to keep it simple (and affordable) is to all pitch in!
Get every member to bring a dish to help cut the work and the cost for the host, or create a theme to mix things up! It’s also fun to try some new dishes and share recipes.
10. Wrap gifts creatively
It’s frustrating spending your money on rolls of wrapping paper that end up in shredded piles all over the floor on Christmas morning. Not to mention the waste of it all too!
There are plenty of crafty ideas that you could try out that aren’t going to cost a cent and are a good choice for the environment too!
I often recycle my kid’s paintings from throughout the year as personal and affordable wrapping for loved ones. Another option is using old newspaper, wrapped up with some colourful ribbon or twine or even decorated by the kids with some paint stamps.
You could also get creative and find some reusable bags to gift your presents in, or even try your hand at cloth wrapping which can be beautiful and reusable!
There you have it – plenty of planet-friendly, purse-friendly and festive ideas to get you through the holiday season this year!
I hope you find some of these ideas helpful and I’d love to know if you try any of them out or have some other suggestions!
Happy Holidays! xx