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Make sure the magic of Christmas doesn’t turn into a financial nightmare

Christmas is upon us again, and for some, the magic of this time of year can turn into a nightmare. There’s huge pressure to spend a fortune on everything even when we cannot afford it. If you can, make a list (within your budget) and stick to it, however that is not always easy, so try a few of the ideas below to limit your spend and have a great time.
  1. Calculate your budget and ask ‘What can I afford to spend on Christmas’ then stick to it.
  2. On average we spend £36.00 per present for our friends and loved ones, how about agreeing a limit of say £10 or try a ‘Secret Santa’ with a £10 limit. For 5 presents that is a saving of £130.
  3. Instead of giving presents that end up on ebay or in a charity shop, how about offering your services for half a day, say gardening, cleaning, or even a massage, and save £££’s.
  4. If you know what people want for Christmas use ‘MegaShopBot’ to find the lowest prices, or use your smartphone/tablet/PC to search for discounts and voucher codes.
  5. Here’s a crazy idea for the person who has everything. Why not buy them some LED bulbs? If you upgraded five 50W spot lights to five 3.5W LED bulbs (around £10 – £15), you could save £39 per year on electricty, equivalent to 130kg CO₂.
  6. If you have the foresight, wait for the post Christmas sales to buy presents for the following year, you can save a small fortune.
  7. If you are having friends and family over for Christmas, why not ask them to bring a dish of food for the meal, it will take away some of the burden and save you money.
  8. If you are travelling by train over Christmas try split ticketing, this is where you may find it cheaper to buy a ticket from A to B then B to C. See SplitTicketing.com
  9. Turn off your Christmas lights when you can. A 100 string of Christmas tree lights left on for 10 hours a day over 12 days will produce enough CO₂ to inflate 60 balloons.
  10. Why not send an e-card this year and donate some of the savings to your favourite charity.
  11. Buy a turkey reared in humane conditions from a local source, it may cost a little more but tastes chemical free, reduces food miles and CO₂ emissions.
  12. You don’t have to buy champagne (the most expensive bubbly). Try Cava or Prosecco instead, it may even taste better.
  13. If you are planning a huge shop go to MySupermarket, it will compare the cost of goods at all the big on-line supermarkets. The prices will be similar in-store.
  14. If you grow your own veggies, try and keep a few for your Christmas meal, for some reason they taste so much better!

Whatever you do, have a great Christmas.

Cheers from the boys @ecofrenzy

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