Christmas is fast approaching, and the excitement is almost getting too much! The Christmas markets, the gifts, the lights and decorations, the mulled wine… all the lovely things that come along with the winter season are well and truly here, and filling us with warm and fuzzy feelings while we await the big day. Bliss!
But Christmas can also be an expensive time of year. When you have a big family, with lots of presents to buy and many mouths to feed, organisation is key for a stress-free day. So here are some tips to save yourself some time and money over the festive period, so that you can have a beautiful Christmas day.
Order gifts online
You will want to put aside a few days to hit the shopping centres and shop for food and presents, but what if you're working right through the Christmas period and don't have the time? Get online!
Buying gifts online can be just as fulfilling. Plus, you'll save hours! When you shop online, it's quicker and easier to compare prices and find the best deals.
You can also scour the web for discount codes to add to your basket at checkout and make your shopping even more pocket-friendly! It's quicker to search for the perfect presents as most websites will allow you to sort and filter through their items to easily find what you need, and you'll have lots more choice with access to stores and brands you may not be able to get to so easily in person.
Use gift-wrapping services
Another benefit of shopping online is that most stores will offer a gift-wrapping service. This may not be something you'd ever consider throughout the year, but it will save you a lot of time during the festive period, especially if you're buying a lot of presents or are just rubbish at wrapping them - like me!
Set a budget
Fail to plan and plan to fail! One of the best things you can do for yourself this Christmas is set a budget. It'll be a lot quicker to shop for everything you need if you have a strict spending amount to stick to and therefore know exactly what you're buying.
It's really easy to get caught up in the excitement and buzz of Christmas and go overboard with spending, especially when all the sales start popping up. That extra time you spend browsing for things you don't really need could be quality time spent with your family on Christmas day.
Buy one or two extra presents
In the spirit of not going overboard, why not factor enough money into your budget for two small, spare presents? This might sound counterproductive but if you get an extra guest or someone buys you an unexpected present, this will mean that you're prepared and have a little something extra for them - saving you time because you don't have to do the mad dash to the shops or come up with any awkward excuses!
Prep what you can on Christmas Eve
Make your sauces, chop up your veg and season your meat the night before. That way, on Christmas morning, all you have to do is pop everything in the oven, leaving you with more time to spend opening presents with your loved ones!
Make a gift list
Finally, making a gift list, and encouraging others in your family to make their own will save you hours of time over Christmas, and help you to budget and plan effectively. With a gift list, there's no guess work - you know exactly what you need to buy, and you know the recipient is going to love it!
Now, all that's left to do is start thinking about what you'll do with all that spare time and cash. 2020 holiday, anyone?