This year has hit people hard with many struggling to afford anything for Christmas. Whether it’s food or gifts, wrapping paper or travel, here are some tips to get thing for free and ideas on what you can do to save a lot of money.
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Charities and some churches offer hampers and food for Christmas but you need to be registered. Please, only do this if you genuinely don’t have money as there are limited supplies, especially this year.
Look around for free food in your area, forage if it is legal to do where you are, barter or check out how to get free and super cheap food.
If you have some money for food and are not fussy about what you get, go in Christmas Eve before everything closes. It can be hectic but deli items, meat, dairy and other fresh produce is heavily reduced as they will be closed the following day. You can get an assortment for a huge discount. The downside is you can’t plan and have exactly what you might want.
Also, be sure you know what to do with leftovers and how to reduce waste.
Work out who you need to give a gift for and see if you can reduce the amount of gifts you need to do. For example, in my family, adults no longer exchange gifts. Nieces and nephews have their names pulled from a hat and we buy for only a few instead of all of them. I am about to have the 20th grandchild for my parents so buying a gift for every niece and nephew would cost a fortune.
Consider Kris Kringle for other places such as work as well. With your own kids, it will be harder as you want to get them whatever it is that they want and there is also the “Santa” element.
Look for freebies e.g. we have a huge list of Aussie freebies and sign up bonuses here which you could use.
Also check out this list of frugal gift ideas.
For your partner, if you have no budget consider a Love Language gift
What is their love language? Find out about the 5 Love Languages then look at how to give by speaking their language.
Acts of Service
This love language is about doing things for others. They feel loved when people do things for them and show love the same way.
A coupon book of things you can do for them or surprise them by doing a task he wants done but hasn’t gotten around to it.
Words of Affirmation
Praise and appreciation make this person feel loved. Fill a notebook with appreciation, your favourite memories together and why, list things they do that show they love you and how it makes you feel etc.
Candlelit dinner, just the two of you, go somewhere in nature for free just you two and have some special treats you’ve baked, look up a free event and pack a picnic etc.
Look on Facebook Marketplace and other locations for free things they would love. Or something you can fix-up. There are loads of freebies in our area. Last week I got 2 bags of free clothes with amazing jeans and things in it my partner loves.
Offer a full body massage. Or I know many men who actually love massages, manicures, pedicures etc but they would never admit it.
Use the kids artwork for wrapping paper. Also look at how to use cereal boxes and similar for packaging.
For decorations and other things, check Facebook and freebie groups to see if anyone has anything.
I realise most of us haven’t been travelling but since some borders are open and it is constantly changing, you might be considering it.
House Swaps are a great way to get free accommodation as is house or pet sitting. Lock in fuel prices with the 7/11 fuel app or make sure you are using your Everyday Rewards and Flybuys cards to get discount fuel.
Check out how to travel for free or super cheap for some discounts and more ideas.
Christmas doesn’t need to be expensive. I’ve been homeless over Christmas and my kids still had a great one. Look at free traditions you can start such as doing random acts of kindness for the 25 days, volunteering or donating, a non-food advent calendar, go see Christmas lights, learn a Christmas recipe from another country etc.