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Festive frugality – how to save money this christmas

Wednesday, December 18, 2013   by: Greener Ideal

Photo: Laura Bittner

If there is one universal truth about Christmas it is that it can be pretty expensive. Presents, food, decorations, travelling all over the UK visiting your long lost family – the spending doesn’t seem to stop at all during December.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could all spend just a little bit less over the festive period? Well the team at Bygone Windows agree, and as a result have devised this easy and yet ingenious guide to cutting costs during the ‘most wonderful time of the year’.


Switch off the Christmas lights

We wouldn’t leave the house lights on at night or when we go out for the day – so why do we do so with Christmas lights? You may have spent hours untangling the tree lights (how do they get so tangled?) but that doesn’t mean that you should leave them switched on/plugged in the entire time.

Not only does this waste electricity and money at a time when your outgoings will already be pretty eye-watering – but it also poses somewhat of a security risk, illuminating your tree (and as a result the presents beneath it) to all-and-sundry in the outside world.

If you have exterior lights then this will be using a great deal of electricity, however you don’t need to keep them switched on while the sun is up so make sure they are only on when people can actually appreciate them.


Put down those electronic devices

Christmas is a time for family and spending time together so why not switch off the TV, put down those mobile devices and do something with the family? Have a few rounds of Monopoly or Clue do, or maybe even just sit around talking to each other for a bit!

It will make a refreshing change from the electronic entertainment that makes up most of our time in 2013 – and you’ll even save some money along the way!


Make your own decorations

It’s surprising how much a length of spangly paper can be, so why not get crafty and make your own decorations this year? You can do a lot with natural materials you’ll find down your local wood or park – such as pine cones or eucalyptus branches – while you can use paints and glitter to jazz up anything home made.

Paint pine cones silver and gold (or whatever colour scheme you’d like) and use them as tree decorations, or perhaps combine them with some sprigs of greenery to create an attractive table centrepiece.

Another good tip is to save all of those old Christmas cards that usually end up in the recycling box and use them to create decorative features the following year. You could even cut up the festive images and use them to design a Christmas collage!

How does your family save money over the Christmas period? Let us know your top tips in the comment section below.

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