Friday, 8 November 2013

Frugal Friday | Christmas

For some, Christmas and shopping for it is a chore and will think that me posting something Christmas related when it isn't even December is a travesty. Well bah humbug to you missy! I have been excited for Christmas since August and love buying goodies for all my loved ones.
The trouble what with being on a budget and wanting to buy bits for people who are priceless to you can be a little tricky, buuuuut the idea of the game in Frugal Friday is to think smart and get the most bang for your buck so planning ahead and buying presents early is a wise move.
November is usually the time I start to worry and panic that I haven't bought a single pressie, and really if you are going to be super smart with your money, buying bits across the year is the most efficient way to do it, but I kinda prefer to shop when there are wintery vibes and I can barely see what I am buying through the giant snood I have wrapped round my face in the shops or layers of blankets and a mug of hot choc whilst browsing online.

I thought I would share with you a few easy ideas that you can make or buy that will still impress everyone but won't cost you an arm and a leg as well as a selection of tips to help you plan how to spend your money over the christmas shopping period.

Before you panic and start impulse buying, start by making a list of everyone you would like to buy for; if there are people on there such as your extended family's second cousin, twice removed who you only see once a year - rethink if they really need to be on your gift list? A thoughtful card or homemade gift in a jar (such as ingredients to make a yummy hot chocolate including marshmallows and chocolate sticks for dipping is a nice idea or 'Spa in a Jar' with bath salts, a face pack, nail varnish and travel sized moisturiser - let your imagination run wild!) These small gifts won't cost much, plus if you find you have left overs you can always make more for other people as an extra treat.

Once you have decided who, its time for what! Knowing what to get for everyone can be tricky so set yourself a budget of what you want to spend on each individual. With partners and close relatives it might be worth having a little chat and explain that you are trying to cut back this year what with saving for [enter plea for extra vouchers and money reasons here] With your budget in mind, hit the internet! It is definitely the best place to find serious offers and deals that will save you a few pounds so if you do feel a little bad you haven't bought as much as you would like for so and so, you won't feel guilty buying them a little extra sumin sumin with the money you have saved. And by so and so I definitely mean yourself. You cant be left out in all this frantic present buying, a girl has to look amazing at the works Christmas do!

Also I need to make this probably the most important tip when present buying - DO NOT BUY HAND CREAM FOR ANYONE UNLESS THEY ARE OVER THE AGE OF 70! Lets face it, you are just wasting your money on something half hearted when if you are that bothered with giving them something cheap and cheerful, spend a few extra pounds on something that at least looks like you have spent more than all of 2 seconds thinking of them - unless of course someone you know actually likes receiving hand cream then go for it girl!
This point extends into every gift you buy. I know it sounds pretty obvious but countless times I have seen people receive or received myself gifts that makes me really wonder if they actually want to bother at all. Point in question is last year... My mum, off of her 'close friends', was given the ugliest, rotten smelling candle and NAPKINS! Yes, napkins! Not fabric ones, but ones you get at a children's party to hide all the revolting scotch eggs and cold iceland sausage rolls you tried but spat out. Yeah, that kind of napkin! Now don't get me wrong, I am not ungrateful by any means, I love the excitement of opening a present and feeling special that someone has thought of me. But if 'napkin' springs to mind when you rummage in your mind tank as to what you think the perfect gift is for someone, top on my list would not be paper napkins thank you & I would really consider going on a few bonding sessions to get to know each other a little better.
So just bare that in mind dearest readers. I am sure those who receive crappy, half hearted gifts would much rather the few pounds spent go into your piggy bank rather on something that is heading straight towards the unwanted pile for eBay/charity shop/bin.

So with present giving in mind, here are a few ideas that can be as extravagant or as penny-pinching as you so choose. I hope you like them and they give you a little inspiration for gifts you would like to make yourself....

Super Duper Hamper
This is an idea that I have already used for my boyfriends mum & dad as a thank you for making me dinner and having me round almost every night of the week for the past however many years.
I included things such as Julie's favourite chocolate, nice shower gels and hair products that she wouldn't usually buy herself as well as bits and bobs for Tim and homemade cupcakes as a little extra treat. For Christmas I am going to use the same idea again but switch it up with a more luxurious twist.
With a hamper you can really go to town with how it looks, and include hand made items like biscuits or pretty bath bombs decorated with bows to look extra special but also give it a personal touch. I am going to include a mixture of bought bits like vouchers, hardware accessories like a kindle cover, slippers, home ware items and beauty products as well as and handmade goods like gingerbread and carrot cake cupcakes. This is the perfect gift for anyone really, just customise it to what the individual likes and bobs your uncle!

Personal Time Line
I don't mean twitter or facebook or anything social media related, but something a little more personal.
A few years back I spent AAAGES and by ages I mean MONTHS sourcing, copying and customising photos of my dad and his childhood and other key points in his life such as the birth of his incredibly fabulous daughter and documented all of this in a hand made book with little annotations. I included clippings and quotes of all the adventures we have been on together as well as pages left blank for him to add to. My dad absolutely loved it and it hardly cost a thing. I think he preferred it to any present I could have bought him and is something he can look back on in years to come and remember all the lovely times we have spent together.
Another variation of this is to buy a large frame of your choice and fill it with loads of different photos, theatre tickets, posters, flyers, anything you have saved that is of relevance to the person you are giving it to as a little memory board. These were popular amongst my friends when we were younger and I love to look at them and remember all the adventures we had been on <3

Tea for Two, Just Me & You
A super easy stocking filler that you can make yourself is a tea cup candle. Firstly you get to hunt down cute tea cups from charity shops or even buy a one new if you prefer, then melt down some wax, add a scent if you wish plus any decorations like petals or shells, pop in a wick and you're good to go! Not only does this look soooo cute on a shelf or dressing table, but once the candle is all used up, you have yourself an adorable mug to sip your tea from (be sure to give it a good scrub a dub dub though - no one likes a waxy earl grey!) I think these would be so cute if you find three tea cups in different sizes but with a complimentary colour scheme, placed in a pretty gift box & wrapped in a bow for lovers of everything shabby chic and vintage.

I hope you have enjoyed the second of the Frugal Friday series and have taken something away, even if it is just spurring you on to get organised and plan what you are buying for who and for how much. Don't forget that Christmas isn't just about all the presents under the tree or how much money you have spent, don't go crazy with money you don't have and jeopardise your own well being i.e. worrying you wont be able to afford your next phone bill, enjoy spending time with the people you love the most and find happiness in thoughtful gifts. If you are wanting to be extravagant, be sure you can afford to and plan your money wisely so you still have some spare for any unplanned emergencies (chocolate dashes unfortunately do not count)

Be sure to let me know if this has helped you plus any suggestions of what you would like to see in this series are welcome. Don't forget you can send your savvy saving tips to to be featured in the final Frugal Friday post to share with other bloggers, youtubers and readers. Feel free to include all your links even if you don't blog, your tips are still helpful :)

Rheya xx

Missed the first Frugal Friday post, check it out here | My current favourite Fred Perry Frock | See my first ever Bloggers Appreciation post. Could it be you next?!!!

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1 comment:

  1. I'm so into hampers myself, I think there a great way of getting loads of little things and putting them altogether and your totally right you can go to town with how it looks and you can buy pretty much anything to fill it!
    Jess x x