It is the 28th December and I have already started preparations for next Christmas!!!
As my last payday before Christmas is at the end of November, it can be hard to buy everything I need unless I plan carefully. So now that my December pay has come in, I can get ahead of the game and save a few pounds too.
Here is how I do Christmas every year
The most important first step is to make a list and then to stick to it like glue! Do not turn sale shopping into an excuse to buy stuff that you really do not need!!
Yesterday, I went to Boots and bought lots of nice boxed sets of smellies and a few quirky men’s gifts and quiz type ones for the family. They were now all half price instead of the original 3 for 2 offer.
This is how the prices work out
e.g. Sets marked £10 each which were 3 for 2 gifts i.e. The original price was £20 for 3 =£6.66 each. They are now half price so £5.00 each.
And sets marked £12 each which were 3 for 2 gifts i.e. £24 for 3 or £8.00 each, now half price so £6.00 each
(I still value them at full sticker price though when calculating the value of the gifts, or else I would end up spending more than necessary)
Retail tip for Boots
The shelves were quite bare but were getting filled up all the time so there seemed to be plenty of stock in the stockroom but it is usually all gone within two or three days. All the relevant shelves had a plain red strip on the edge or a price calculator banner on the top of the stand to show you which ones were in the offer- you have to be careful as a lot of gifts were not in the sale yet and are still full price. They may be added in later on.
Other must haves
I also had my eye out for Christmas cards and found some nice ones in Wilkie’s at 75p for 15 so bought enough for everyone on my list for next year.
Also on my list was wrapping paper, also now at half price, so I got a few rolls in Asda; enough to make sure that the kids have a different pattern next year.
I also need a new wreath for my front door as my old one is very tired, but they were all still too expensive. I opted instead for half price baubles, ribbons, berries and a Santa sleigh decoration from the Pound Shop as well as some green florist’s wire. I used them to decorate a plain wreath picked up last year in the sales!
Christmas crackers containing really good gifts were a must have as well as seasonal paper tablecloths and napkins all for half price too!!
I bought some new tree lights even though they weren’t reduced as the ones on my tree are faulty. I will throw the old ones out when I take them off the tree so I know I have working ones next year.
The only thing I need to do now is to store them all together in my designated Christmas cupboard so I know exactly where to find them next year.
Christmas card list housekeeping
During this quieter period, there is one more job to do. I have created a Christmas card list of all the ones I send each year. It has all the names and up to date addresses and also boxes to tick each year next to each name.
As I take down my Christmas cards next week, I will check the sender against my list of the cards I sent and put a tick next to each person who sent me a card. (Or I add them to my list if I didn’t send one!)
If I notice a person hasn’t sent one for a couple of years, I delete them from my list. (One year missed is too strict as they may have been ill or the card may have gone astray!)
And now I can breathe knowing I’ve bought time and saved money!
Next Christmas will be more enjoyable now, knowing I have already got a stash of goodies at the ready which I wont have to pay for.
My next post will be all about getting ahead with the food shopping. I start one or two days after Christmas by making a list of what I used this year while it is still fresh in my mind and then start shopping as early as 1st of October!!
How do you get ahead? Do you have a plan?
I’d love to hear your tips for a stress free Christmas.