Thrifty tips for Christmas

Here you go, five thrifty tips to help you out this Christmas!


1. Rather than taking your child to see a bored  Santa why not get a personalised video for them FREE from The Portable North Pole. It will save you £’s they can enjoy it again and again and it really is so well done, (saving £2-£10)

2. Rather than buying big tubs of chocs to take with you when you go visiting save money and be a bit more original and take something homemade.  Shortbread or Cookies are both lovely options and I have some easy peasy recipes for you over at Family Budgeting .

3. Rather than slogging your heart out and spending a fortune making Christmas dinner why not accept an invitation to have it somewhere else? It will save you time money and a whole lot of effort and you can focus more on having fun with the kids. Be sure to offer to wash up though and take some of that shortbread!

4. Why not make your own decorations rather than buying any new ones: paper chains, silver sprayed pine cones, dried orange slices and a bit or red ribbon all look wonderful. These are inexpensive to make and are a really fun activity to do with your kids (and cheaper than soft play!)


Photo credit: Ktylerconk

5. STOP for a moment and before you buy another thing know what you have bought for who already have it written down. I bought someone 2 gifts last year and bought my kids 2 selection boxes another, its easy to do . With your own kids make a list of what you have bought or you could go on adding stuff endlessly!



Wishing you a thrifty Christmas





Oh how I love to browse my local charity shops.

Mostly my eagle eye is on designer clothes at bargain prices or brand new and sealed items that make marvellous gifts. Sometimes however I find treasure.

This week I definitely found treasure.

My dad loved Dean Martin and was forever whistling or singing or  humming his tunes. I think he fancied himself one of the rat pack. This gorgeous record reminds me of my dad.

It is perfect there is not a mark on it and it features Nat King Cole who gives me warm fuzzy feelings when he sings.

Nat king cole christmas

I popped it on my little record player which bemused the kids completely (I don’t think they had seen it before and they could not  understand it!) These songs are fun, classic, sweet and simple. They make me think of snow and family, chestnuts and tradition. They make me think of my childhood and simpler days.

charity shop Christmas, dean martin christmas, dean martin, nat king cole

What a wealth of memory and feeling for just £1.50. I even baked shortbread listening to it – and I haven’t done that for a few years!!

Oh the treasures you can find in a charity shop. You don’t need to spend much to bring something new (and old) into your life. Being preloved sometimes makes it even more special,



The VERY best budgeting tip for Christmas

I want to share this with you now before you get too Christmas carried away (people do you know) It’s my absolutely top tip for Christmas when it comes to budgeting. Are you ready..

Make it all about the experience not the presents 


If it’s all about lists, shopping, buying and wrapping and spending we are getting a bit lost in consumerism. If this is our focus and what we pour all our time and our energy in the next few weeks into we are losing a real sense of the Christmas spirit.

We are also, most probably, spending more money than we have and certainly more than we can afford. You know what? it doesn’t need to be this way. 


There are many, many ways to have a very happy and very special Christmas without spending a lot of money and I’m going to tell you my favourites:

1. Do some Christmas baking…lots of fun for the kids and really gets you in the spirit. Baking makes top gifts too with a little cellophane and ribbon shortbread brownies etc are a lovely gift. Crank up the Christmas music and have  a baking say.

2, Do some Christmas crafting make snowflakes out of white paper angels out of paper plates (google it!) and tags out of old cards. this will also ll save you money get you in the spirit and provide lots of together time.

3. Build in some lovely traditions like a long family walk on boxing day,  nativity service on Christmas Eve, making reindeer dust writing Santa a letter on December 1st. Traditions create warm and cozy feelings and cement out childhood

4. Get out the board games and play charades. have fun on the wii and watch old movies on TV. You don’t need expensive meals out, the cinema or even pantomimes, why not make your own fun!  

5, When it comes to food be sure to plan carefully.  So much food gets wasted, particularly Christmas dinner. Yes it is nice to have a nice meal but it doesn’t have to be ENORMOUS with 4 puddings. Everyone feels better if they don’t over indulge too much on the wine, chocs and dinner so give them a hand and buy just what you need.

Saving money is important at Christmas and through the year. We need to make sure we are saving for the future too, Kids grow up in the blink of an eye and years pass.

Just remember this and don’t get too Christmas carried away,



This post has been written by me as part of a project with Now:Pensions who  are encouraging people to think about saving now and in the future.







The Handpicked Collection is a wonderful online store that always seem to have the perfect gift for every occasion. When it comes to Christmas Gifts they have some lovely ideas. I have been reviewing this ribbon photo holder from their collection and I think it is absolutely adorable.

It costs just £12.95 and it can be totally personalised. You could fill the 9 hanging pockets with postcards, photos, ticket stubs, letters or any other meaningful token so each contain real meaning..

This would be a Christmas gift from the heart.

I’ve earmarked mine for my daughter and along with photos of her best friends and her cousins I am going to include a handwritten note from me and some Brave cinema tickets as well as a postcard form our holiday at Skengness. These will all mean so much to her and she will love to open this pre-filled on Christmas day.


Don’t forget you can find a whole series of Frugal and Thrifty Christmas posts over at my Family Budgeting blog


I had to share this sweet little Christmas Stable book with you that I was sent to review from  Lion Hudson. It’s so cute.

You read the story of Christmas which is beautifully told with lovely illustrations. Then you simply pop out the building pieces from the books and recreate your very own Christmas stable. It is so simple you don’t’ need any scissors, glue or model making skills and look what you get…

build your own stable, create a nativity

It can be bought out each Christmas and played with again and again. It is pretty sturdy too.

For £5.24 I think this is a wonderful nativity scene and one you don’t mind your little one playing with.