Saturday, 13 December 2014

SENSIBLE, FRUGAL CHRISTMAS PRESENT GIVING!


It's nearly Christmas and there's any amount of gifty type stuff all around us in the shops, but what's the point of it all? Most of these "ready made" gifts show how little thought the giver has put into finding something just right for the recipient! 
I heard someone say on TV this week, that this is "tit for tat" giving and when you do tit for tat giving, then you all just end up with tat! Very true - you know what I'm talking about- expensive cardboard boxes with two or three very small (and very expensive) bath "smellies" gifts or a boxed handkerchief with a pair of nail clippers or a key torch - need I say more? I think it's time to stop this type of giving, spend less and think more, so I've come up with an idea to help us all. 
We all like a little parcel to open on Christmas day, so my idea is to buy a relevant small gift (even if it's only from Poundland - in fact, preferably if it's from Poundland!) wrap it beautifully and supplement it with an amount of money roughly equal to what you would have spent on the "tat" present!
For example find out what kind of chocolate someone likes - look for it in a pound shop (Toblerones, Maltesers, Walnut Whips, etc) and wrap a fiver around it! Done! Don't just look in the "Christmas gift" sections, but check out the whole store. You can find notebooks with pretty covers, car accessories, beaded trinket boxes, bike pumps, puncture repair kits, pretty hair clips and hair brushes, or perhaps you could buy a nail varnish in a suitable colour for your recipient along with a gift of the "folding stuff" - it seems more practical and instead of packs of socks or handkerchiefs, they'll have some money to buy what they really want - even if it's just their own choice of a magazine! 
Happy frugal Christmas!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

43 DAYS TO CHRISTMAS!



43 days to Christmas- that's 43 days to save £43! You've got to be able to save/make a pound a day! Not much perhaps - but actually better than nothing!
It'll buy you some Christmas food, pay off a bill in January or add to your savings in the brand new year.
But how? Well, money not spent is the best way. Spend half an hour looking at your bank statement NOW! Cancel any old subscriptions to magazines or gym memberships that you no longer use.
Walk or scrounge a lift instead of taking the bus/car if it's at all possible. Take a packed lunch and never, never buy takeaway coffee until you know you're a millionaire! 
Don't start celebrating too early - work Christmas lunches or after work drinks will suck away your money quicker than you can knock back that pre Christmas Bailey's!
Sell anything useless that's laying around your house/garden/wardrobe - particularly if you have any festive items like Christmas jumpers, unwanted gifts, party wear, shoes - and do it NOW! You still have time to list it, sell it, post it and get the cash.
Cut back on food treats now - both your wallet and your waist will thank you. Give the chocolate buying a rest, stop sending out for pizza and don't buy those choccy biscs! Leave buying (and eating) those mince pies until at least Christmas eve!
Use any points you have on loyalty cards to either buy groceries, necessities or Christmas gifts/food. 
Do online surveys - not quick money but you may just scrape up enough for an e voucher for Amazon, Marks & Spencers, John Lewis etc. Try valuedopinions.co.uk. Make sure you go through a cashback website for all your online purchases and use a credit card that will also give you points/cashback.
None of this will make you exceptionally rich - but you'll be better off than if you hadn't done it! 
Happy Frugal Christmas!
Need crafty Christmas gift inspiration? Take a look at Free Christmas knitting patterns and Free Christmas crochet patterns!

Sunday, 27 July 2014

CHRISTMAS IN JULY!

It's only July and I don't normally resurrect my Happy Frugal Christmas blog until at least October, even though there only 150 days to Christmas! But my viewing stats are telling me that you frugal people are already out there thinking about how to plan to afford a great Christmas! And what a great idea that is - planning always saves money and leaving all our Christmas buying to the last minute always, always costs us more. 
If, like me, you love charity shop browsing, start now especially if you're away on holiday! I often get great bargains when I'm away from home and these go into my "Christmas gift drawer". 
I never leave home for a charity shop day without my Christmas pressy list (which tells me who I've got to buy for and who I already have bought for) and there are often many brand new bargains to be found. 
However, don't just leave it at buying a new, unopened item - if you can sew, look out for fabric remanants (I've just found a beautiful piece of Liberty silk!) or large curtains and patterned duvet covers - these can made into scarves, bags, quilts, cushion covers, soft toys etc and no-one will ever know, saving on the horrendous cost of new fabric from the craft shop! 
Happy frugal Christmas planning!
Need crafty Christmas gift inspiration? Take a look at Free Christmas knitting patterns and Free Christmas crochet patterns!