Friday, 7 December 2012

The Madhouse Family's Tips for a Frugal Festive Season #XmasSavingTips

Britmums have teamed up with Tesco Mobile to run a #XmasSavingTips Blogger Challenge and they asked The Madhouse Family to get involved and share our festive money-saving tips. Well, here are some simple ways of saving a few pounds.

1) Rather than buying expensive Christmas decorations, have a big crafting session with the kids. You'll have loads of fun, create totally personal and unique Christmas decorations and it won't cost you a penny if you already have a well-stocked crafting cupboard. Spray branches and pine cones with silver or gold paint as a table centrepiece. Cut egg boxes into segments, cover them in foil and add a little piece of foil squished into a ball on a thread to make silver bells to put on the tree. We made some rather fabulous decorations from toast (see here and here) and they look great and are still in perfect condition.

2) Plan ahead and buy up a stock of wrapping paper, cards and crackers in the sales straight after Christmas. You'll pay a fraction of the price. If you see any lovely gifts in the sales, buy them up now and stick them in the cupboard until next year too. Homemade crackers are often a lot more enjoyable than the cheapie ones from the shops - the kids have great fun making them with toilet roll tubes and tissue paper and you can put little gifts inside that will appeal to people much more than a cheap plastic toy, such as fun-size chocolate bards, perfume samples or keyrings.

3) Avoid buying presents just for the sake of it. Every year, my mum buys a tin of Quality Street for the neighbours and they buy a tin of Roses back ! It's turned into a bit of a silly tradition now that nobody wants to put a stop too because they'll look like cheapskates. If you have people you buy for just because you feel you have to because you know they will, suggest going homemade and exchanging cupcakes or cookies instead - it will be more meaningful as well as saving a few pounds.

4) For the grown-ups and older kids who don't believe in Father Christmas any more, suggest waiting for the post-Christmas sales for buying gifts. You'll spend the same amount but get a lot more for your money. Use price comparison sites online to make sure you get the cheapest deal too, but keep an eye out for hidden costs like delivery charges or customs fees if things are coming from abroad.

5) Check out the Christmas closing dates for the supermarkets and do your shopping just before. They will have to try and clear all the fresh bread/cakes/deli products before they reach their sell-by dates so you should be able to pick up some absolute bargains.

The #XmasSavingTips challenge is also designed to help spread the word about Tesco Mobile offering families some of the best deals on handsets and tariffs this Christmas, most notably the Samsung Galaxy Ace – available for £12.50 a month including 500 free minutes, 5000 texts and 500 MB of data - and the BlackBerry Curve 9320 - available on pay as you go for £125.

Tesco Mobile have other handy ways of saving money for families :

You can control your mobile spending with their capped tariff: This means that family members can’t use any more than their allocated monthly minutes, texts and data and you don’t end up with any nasty surprises on the bill at the end of the month.

With two or more contracts you get extra perks with the Tesco Mobile Family perks offer – this means you can add all your family handsets onto one single bill and each member can choose from a selection of extra perks each month such as free texts, minutes or data.

What’s more, if you’re a Tesco Clubcard customer, you’ll get triple points for every £1 you spend at Tesco Mobile (that’s a lot of Pizza Express vouchers – Clubcard members, you know what we mean!)

What about you ? Have you got any great #XmasSavingTips that you'd like to share ?

Disclosure : This post is part of the BritMums #XmasSavingTips project, sponsored by Tesco Mobile.

Other blogposts you may be interested in :

More Christmas decoration crafts with Hovis
Homemade Christmas decorations good enough to eat from Hovis
Luxury Christmas Foods from Aldi review


  1. I bought all my cards and paper in the sakes last year ready for this year, hubby shoved them in the loft and cant find I went and bought more. I agree with the not swapping for the sake of swapping, if you swap 10 this with people you get 10 tins back and then eat them for the sake of it.
    Love the home made decos idea.

  2. Great tips. I have started Christmas craft (which we love anyway) and we are doing lots more this weekend. Already planned to go shopping on Christmas Eve to buy our reduced turkey - fingers crossed!

  3. Great tips - love christmas crafts, we have made decorations and snow globes!


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