47 Christmas money saving tips
1. Budget - Plan what you can afford to spend on Christmas and don't rack up lots of debt for one day of the year. Check out the 'Best budgeting apps in the UK' to start saving now or even for next Christmas.
2. Cut down your present list - You don't really need to buy for every member of your family and all your friends, just agree to only buy presents for children and save yourself time, money and stress.
3. Don't take your children Christmas shopping - Apart from the fact that they will get bored, taking your children on a shopping trip will simply mean that they will see more 'must-have' presents to add to their list. Buddy up with family and friends to alternate babysitting duties to allow you all to do your shopping.
4. Set a budget to spend on presents - read my article - Manage your shopping with great smartphone apps to help you set a budget and keep organised.
5. Search for the cheapest deals - read my article - 7 alternative websites to slash your Christmas shopping bill.
6. Stop your children watching TV adverts - I know it's easier said than done but TV adverts encourage parents to spend more money than they planned to as they strive to please their little cherubs. Get your children watching BBC (advert free) or DVDs to try and avoid the commercial bombardment.
7. Hit the pound shops - Obviously, as the name suggests, you can pick up some great bargains but you can also parcel together a number of items to make a more substantial present at little cost (think colouring books, pencils and craft stuff). Look for creative gifts such as colouring books and craft sets as these can occupy little ones for longer while you are preparing the Christmas dinner.
8. Make your own presents - You can make your own presents at little cost. There are many videos available to show you how. Pinterest is also a great place to get ideas on how to get creative.
9. Buy your presents after Christmas - If you are not seeing people until after Christmas then why not buy their presents in the post-Christmas sales to save money.
10. Don't buy food that won't get eaten - At Christmas we buy food just in case somebody might fancy it sometime over Christmas. Not only will not buying it save you money but it will reduce waste too.
11. Make your own decorations and gift tags - Decorations and gift tags can be very expensive so why not make your own. Get the children involved as they will love creating their own decoration or tags. There are lots of videos on YouTube for inspiration.
12. Use your loyalty points - We probably all collect loyalty points but saving these points up to spend during the run-up to Christmas will have a significant impact on your budget.
14. Hand deliver your Christmas cards - Try and use the postal service as little as you can and hand-deliver cards whenever possible. Maybe deliver a number to one person to pass on to other friends and family and you can do likewise for them.
15. Do a secret Santa - Set up a secret Santa with a group of friends, work colleagues or family and just buy one gift instead of spending out on gifts for everyone. It's also a great excuse to meet up and socialise over a mince pie and glass of wine.
16. Start shopping early - Start early and you will pick up the pre-Christmas bargains, particularly on drink, sweets and snacks. This will save the last minute panic buy when you will spend too much on food you won't eat. However, make sure you keep a list of presents you've bought so you don't forget what you have bought and where you have hidden them from prying eyes.
17. Get designer clothes at high street prices - Visit outlet shopping centres and look our for sales on the run up to Christmas, especially Black Friday sales in November.
18. Work out the value of everything - When in the flurry of Christmas shopping it is easy to get carried away, read this article - How to work out the value of everything
19. Give a personalised gift - A photo of a shared event in a simple frame will make a memorable but inexpensive present that is bound to be well received.
20. Do a decoration audit - Before you go out and buy more decorations do a thorough check on what you already have. Your loft is probably full of decorations that you got bored with or just forgot you had, see if you can use them again to save buying more.
21. Don't always buy a new party dress/outfit - Check out the back of your wardrobe and try on your existing clothes before you decide you need something new. Don't worry, nobody will realise it's not new!
22. Shop online - Shop online and there is less temptation to go over your budget. Also if you need to exchange items you get a better deal online, read my article - Shop online to make sure you get your money back
23. Sell unwanted items - Now is the time of the year that everyone is looking for a bargain so why not sell your unwanted items on an auction site such as eBay to raise some much-needed cash. Read this article to get you started - Top tips for selling on eBay
24. Ditch the turkey and try something cheaper - there is no written rule that says you must have a turkey at Christmas. Turkeys are expensive so why not try a cheaper alternative, I am sure the family will love to have something different for a change.
25. Make your own meals and freeze them - If you are entertaining over Christmas then providing food for all can be expensive. Why not make your own snacks and soups and freeze them ahead of the occasion, this will save you money as well as time on the day.
26. Club together - To save cost on food shopping why not club together with friends and family and bulk-buy at wholesale warehouses like Costco and save money.
27. Share the load, and the cost - If you are having friends and family round for a meal then why not spread the cost by asking them to bring something with them. Maybe a dessert or starter which will not only save you money it will also make the catering easier.
28. Use a cashback credit card - Use a cashback credit card and get money back on whatever you spend over Christmas, but make sure you clear the balance every month. Find out the latest offers in our article, 'Compare the best cashback and reward credit cards'
29. Don't use store cards - Interest rates on store cards are extortionate so don't use them or you will be paying off your debts months after Christmas has gone.
30. Protect what you have - Make sure you have your possessions protected, read this article to find out more - Check your home insurance policy covers Christmas
31. Get free Kindle books - Read this article to find out more - The easy way to find the best free Kindle books
32. Get the best prices on the internet - Read this article to find out more - How to get the best prices when shopping on the internet
33. Compare supermarket prices online - use this site to find the cheapest prices MySupermarket.co.uk
34. Take your own treats to the cinema or pantomime - if you are planning a trip the cinema or a show over Christmas make sure you take your own food and treats rather than buy them when you get there.
35. Save money on train travel - If you are travelling by train over the festive period then make sure you get cheap tickets. To find out more read this article - How to beat the train fare rises and get cheap tickets
36. Get the best deal on your holiday money - If you are going abroad over the holiday period then make sure you get the best deal on your money. For more information read this article - The best way to take money on holiday
37. Cut the cost of staying in a hotel - if your are planning to stay in a hotel during the Christmas period then you need to know how to keep the cost down. Read this article for some great tips - 10 tips to cut the cost of staying in a hotel
38. Fill up with the cheapest fuel - you will be surprised how much petrol you use at Christmas just shopping and visiting relatives. Make sure you get the cheapest petrol by reading this article - How to find the best petrol price in your area and cut your bill
39. Buy an artificial Christmas tree - I know a real Christmas tree looks great but they are quite expensive. If you buy an artificial tree it will last you for years and you can get the perfect size for your room.
40. Take a packed lunch to work - I know preparing a packed lunch every day can be time consuming. But if you want to save some money ahead of Christmas then commit to taking a packed lunch to work in the preceding few weeks and you will be surprised at how much you can save.
41. Cancel the cappuccino - If you love your coffee then the amount you spend on a daily basis can soon mount up, so pledge to cut out your coffee leading up to Christmas to save money.
42. Don't wait for the new year - stop smoking now! - Not only is smoking bad for your health it also costs a stack of money. Don't wait for the new year to start your 'no smoking' resolution start now and you can put that money towards Christmas spending.
43. Include essentials in your children's presents - Put essentials such as slippers, nightwear and socks in with your children's presents to save you purchasing them in the new year.
44. Get money back when you shop online - You can get money back when you shop online by reading this article - Cashback sites - Make money when you shop online
45. Get a 0% credit card - If you get a 0% card you can use it to do all your Christmas shopping and pay the balance off after Christmas without paying any interest. Make sure you do pay off the balance otherwise Christmas will be even more expensive than you thought. To find the best deals read our article, 'Compare the Best 0% purchase credit cards'
46. Change up all your loose coins - We all have loose coins lying around in drawers and containers so why not change them all up and spend the money at Christmas. Many supermarkets have change machines that can quickly count the money for you.
47. Plan for next year - You can save a lot of money by buying for next Christmas in the new year sales. Christmas cards, decorations and small gifts will all be cut price at this time of year. Also, why not start saving for next year by arranging a direct debit into a separate bank account to pay for next Christmas.