Being frugal in the run up to Christmas isn't always easy. Yes I mentioned the C word, it is October and therefore allowed (unless you speak to my brother who won't allow mention of Christmas before his November birthday ... but I digress).
So how to save money when all the shops are encouraging you to buy those "must have " gifts and you have a list of friends and relatives as long as your arm? Well I have attempted to remain frugal this week and here's what I have done.
Stopping shopping in October. There is a campaign at the moment promoting staying sober for October but I decided to stop shopping. I have to admit that this is only for myself but it means no new shoes, clothes, bags or even a cheeky scarf which is already proving difficult as I have two nights out planned already but I have been steadfast ..... so far.
Buying Christmas presents on offer
I have been slowly buying Christmas gifts, not the big ones but the little gifts that my girls like to buy for their friends. I saw a 3 for 2 offer and online discounts at Claire's Accessories this week, so have stock piled gifts at pocket money prices.
I may have become a little addicted to my local selling pages on Facebook. It reminds me of the old Bargain Pages where you could sell anything locally but unlike eBay, there are no seller or Paypal fees and someone will generally come and collect it from your door. The girls are loving making space in anticipation of Christmas and putting money in their piggy banks while doing it.
No coffee shops
I have to admit that I am a big fan of hot chocolate and marshmallows but my regular stop off at Costa is not good for my waistline or my bank balance. So I have stopped going in. Stopped the temptation. Stopped the spending. For now anyway ..... I am already thinking about buying and getting into that Christmas party dress.
Remembering not to buy Christmas cards
I picked up some Christmas cards in the shop the other day but something was nagging at me in the back of my brain that I already had some at home. When I checked at home, I remembered that I had bought a batch of Christmas cards in the sales in January, so I managed to save myself some money without even realising it!
What are your top tips for saving at this time of year?