money saving christmas tips

please post all money saving christmas tips here so they are all in one place as requested. ;D


  • cathy_3
    cathy_3 Posts: 1,500
    Combo Breaker First Post
    Newbie MoneySaver

    Posts: 14
    Skinflint's Christmas Challenge
    « on: Today at 1:17pm » Quote Modify Remove


    First and foremost, does anyone else agree that it would be nice to have a separate Christmas forum for the ever-growing number of Chrissie threads?

    Anyway, to the point ......... I have 2 sisters, and at Christmas I tend to do them each a 'goodie bag' of girlie stuff - you know the type, make up, smellies, sweet treats.

    Having embraced the MSE lifestyle in preparation for next year's wedding, I have decided this year that, at worst, these items must all be free. At best, they will actually MAKE me money, through extra loyalty points, survey payments etc.

    So, have started off today in true MSE style in Boots (whilst buying BOGOFs of course) - 300 points for each purchase in the Astor cosmetics range, so cosmetic pencil sharpeners at £2.49 each were a great buy.

    Can you let me know of any other little gems for my collection.

    Thanks folks!


    Newbie MoneySaver

    Posts: 17
    Re: Skinflint's Christmas Challenge
    « Reply #1 on: Today at 1:28pm »

    An oldie but a goodie:

    Register another person living at your address and get them 3 different flavors each!

    Newbie MoneySaver

    Posts: 14
    Re: Skinflint's Christmas Challenge
    Today at 1:38pm »

    Harrumph, was just trying that, but it says I'm already registered although it was a different person and a different email address.

    Think I'll try my Mum's address instead and tell her in advance she's not to nick 'em!!


    Regular MoneySaver

    Posts: 302
    Re: Skinflint's Christmas Challenge
    « Reply #3 on: Today at 2:33pm »

    Yes, I do think it would be good to have all the Christmas stuff under one roof. It's going to happen whether we like it or not so we may as well make it quick and easy to look up all the Christmas tips.

    I've been saving my points and vouchers from online surveys to help with the Christmas spends as well. This year (for the first time ever) I'm going to be sensible and not spend so much

    Regular MoneySaver

    Happy Halloween!

    Posts: 422
    Re: Skinflint's Christmas Challenge
    « Reply #4 on: Today at 2:59pm »

    If you've saved your tesco rewards vouchers, what about swapping them for a day out for someone as you get four times the value of the voucher, i don't know if they have any pampering days on offer but that would be good for your goody bag!

    Newbie MoneySaver

    Posts: 17
    Re: Skinflint's Christmas Challenge
    « Reply #5 on: Today at 3:32pm »

    OK, this isn't exactly free - unless you can find a pot (try pound shops or - my favorite for pots and jars a charity shop) but it might be good for your Mum/ Mother in Law to be.

    Take cuttings from any nice plants - find ones in your house, friends houses passing gardens , visit your local park etc.

    If you shove it in the cutting gel stuff you get from the garden centre soon it should be strong enough to plant up into a nice pot for Xmas.

    I'm not a good gardener and I find the gel stuff easy someone more greenfingered might know a cheaper way.

    EverSoRegular MoneySaver

    Posts: 1989
    Re: Skinflint's Christmas Challenge
    « Reply #6 on: Today at 4:15pm »

    there are a few "print off a coupon" and get a free sample on the freebies board, i like these cos you can try before buying a full size one.
    IP Logged

    Posts: 437
    Re: Skinflint's Christmas Challenge
    « Reply #7 on: Today at 5:26pm »

    If you go to your local estee lauder counter they have an offer on where you can get 3 free samples of perfume.
    Just say you saw it advertised on there website,which it is.

    Visit all the counters while you are there and ask if they have any samples and say you are using a competitors
    brand and would like to try some of there products.
    Repeat this in all big department stores and boots.

    Coupon Crazy Lady

    Regular MoneySaver

    Every bit counts!

    Posts: 296
    Re: Skinflint's Christmas Challenge
    « Reply #8 on: Today at 5:45pm »

    If you live in or near a town with department stores you can go to a few cosmetic counters and say that you are planning to change your skincare routine/seem to have developed a greasy (dry, sensitive.... whatever!) skin and would welcome a sample of something they recommend.

    I live in London and used to go in Oxford St. and Bond St, giving each dept. store the same spiel, and I usually came back home with a bagful of samples, worth a fortune when added all together (now I do not use the stuff anymore so I use my time in different ways).

    Register online for samples of Lancome and all the other big cosmetic houses, perfume houses etc and hope for freebies.

    Try to organise a Virgin Vie or Body Shop class in your home, where you invite all your friends, then you get a free facial and if your friend buy stuff you get a commission in goods. With Virgin Vie there is NO obligation and NO pressure to buy (I know because I used to be one of their reps). I don't know with Body shop but I imagine it must be the same.

    Make homemade cosmetics and essential oil mixes, there are plenty of recipes in this forum, online and in books that you can borrow from the library.

    Good luck!


    EverSoRegular MoneySaver

    Posts: 1989
    Re: Skinflint's Christmas Challenge
    « Reply #9 on: Today at 5:48pm »

    toe seperators from boots springs to mind. is that still on??

    have you ever been to a duck do?

    Regular MoneySaver

    "Its my husband that spends all the money!"

    Posts: 457
    Re: Skinflint's Christmas Challenge
    « Reply #10 on: Today at 5:58pm » Quote Modify Remove

    Last xmas I remember seeing a xmas pot-porri mix at an extortionate price. Seem to remember it had pine cones, dried autumn leaves, dried orange slices and cinnamon sticks in it. Now know where to get pine cones and have got cinnamon sticks in. Can anyone help with the drying out of rest of items.
    Remember pot-pourri mix was in big cellaphone bag and tied with ribbon.
    This should be free or very cheap to make.
  • Bogof_Babe
    Bogof_Babe Posts: 10,803 Forumite
    Why not agree in advance with anyone you think might be up for it, to forget exchanging gifts this year - or just have token ones like a box of biscuits so you have something pretty to unwrap. Most families, especially where the children are grown up or non-existent, find the whole present-buying business an exhausting chore, and would gladly do without the hassle.

    Same with cards - (by agreement) cut down to the minimum, just elderly aunties etc., and distant friends. Please let's ditch the ritual of handing cards out to everyone in your office. Save a bit of money and a lot of trees! Our office started a charity donations scheme instead, and anyone who didn't want to bother with cards just added their name to the internal online website list and made a donation of however much they wanted to into a central collection box. I think it was the Company Charity Committee who received the money, and it went to local causes - the hospice etc.

    Buy your brussels sprouts well before the last few days, when the price goes up. Buy a net in a market (will be fresher than supermarket) and hang in the garage or shed to keep cold. Or you can prepare, parboil and freeze them if you have freezer room. Same with cauliflower cheese if you have this as an accompaniment - much better to make your own and freeze it, rather than buy ready-made.

    Don't feel you have to have the whole meal ritual anyway. We only have me and hubby and my elderly parents at Christmas, and have to take the meal to them in thermal containers, so keep it as simple as possible. Hubby is vegetarian so I do a pack of veggie sausages and don't bother with chipolatas for the meat-eaters, they just have a veggie one. The rest of us have a M&S turkey breast joint - plenty for three and so much easier to cook. I always buy microwaveable individual Christmas puds, as most of us are full after the main course, but they are there if needed.

    I'm sure I can think of lots more on this subject - it being one of my annual bugbears. If it weren't for the parents, hubby and I would like to start a Campaign for Optional Christmas - any takers? ;)
    :D I haven't bogged off yet, and I ain't no babe :D

  • sce37
    sce37 Posts: 130 Forumite
    When the kids were small we didn't bother one year with the whole ritual of the meal so we just had cold turkey and chips. No slaving over the cooker! The kids didn't care as long as they could pull their crackers.
    I say what I like, I like what I say!
  • shanni
    shanni Posts: 353 Forumite

    I tried your idea last year, I got nearly everyone to presents. I thought I would be doing them a favour too, but what happened? Everyone bought for me!!! And I was left feeling very red-faced about it all. :-[

    This year I have said the same to some friends that I only meet up with about twice a year and I've decided If they bring presents to our annual meal, then that is up to them. I am NOT buying. I haven't seen them for a year, it's mad feeling you have to buy when you just can't afford it.

    I'm happy to buy for little ones in the family but going into more debt each christmas really annoys me. People are sympathetic that you have no money all year round but still expect presents.

    I'd ban it! Bah humbug
  • jaybee
    jaybee Posts: 1,553
    First Post First Anniversary
    There's always someone who goes and wrecks the agreement over the 'no gifts' thing. Stick to your guns. If they want to act all hurt, then let them. It's difficult I know - his sister always gets something and mutters under her breath even though everyone else in the family agrees and abides by the rule. We just give to the children now. Some people just enjoy being a killjoy and a martyr about the whole thing.
    Bah humbug!
  • Spendless
    Spendless Posts: 23,993
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    I have had similar prob with this when person concerned announced "kids only" didn't have prob with it happening but didn't like tone of attitude in which it was said - person saying it was far better off than we were so suited me fine to oblige, went well till said person got divorced and is on own and now buys for us again!!!!!Now left stuck what to do .
  • cathy_3
    cathy_3 Posts: 1,500
    Combo Breaker First Post
    loads and loadsa kids here to buy for on both sides so I got everyones attention at a family do (out-laws) and suggested we have a dip for ONE kids name each
    so we buy for one and one only and label it from all your uncles and aunties

    so each kid gets one good pressie from everyone instead of a lot of rubbish presents from everyone

    and the headache of duplicate toys etc has gone in one fell swoop

    this year we are buying the great nephew in law a dvd player £50 but a lot easier to buy that than trawl the shops for 27 other presents which even at a tenner each is expensive
  • Lucie_2
    Lucie_2 Posts: 1,482
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Buying for kids only or 1 kid each is a great idea. My sister & bro in law tend to get a token bottle of wine / box of biscuits from us & we spend the money on the kids presents instead.

    A few years back my cousin & his wife were skint at christmas so bought everyone a lottery ticket! A couple of people won a tenner.

    Last year my friend Jean sent a little note in all her christmas cards saying it was the last year she was going to bother & this year she would give the money to Charity instead. What a great idea. I don't bother sending them to everyone at work - just 1 or 2 friends that I actually choose to speak to/spend time with outside work.
  • Humbug_2
    Humbug_2 Posts: 36 Forumite
    Wherever possible buy Christmas presents after Christmas in the sales. Not a silly as it sounds. We usually catch up with friends several days after Christmas giving plenty of time to buy in the sales. So they get much better pressies, or the same pressies costs us much less. Indeed why not do the whole present giving thing on New Years eve?
  • Janeryan
    Janeryan Posts: 273
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Just been on the original source site & ordered my free bottles-thanks for the tip.

    I always look in charity shops especially for stocking filler type presents. Got a beautiful leather games compendium for £1.50!

    Have given up giving cards to people I see and just send out a christmas letter(by email if poss) to those people I don't see.No postage costs at all then!!
    Jan 2012 grocery spend £19.20
    2012 total budget is ????
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