I’m no Scrooge but shopping for Christmas brings out the grumpy side in me.
I can’t help it although I do try.
These days Christmas is all consuming and everyone feels like they must splash their cash on anything and everything to do with Christmas to stop people from calling them a skinflint or Scrooge.
Well I’ve had enough. I tell you what Christmas is NOT about, it’s not about:
- Excess eating
- Buying presents for everyone you can think of
- Decorating every room in your house with the latest fashionable colors
No, Christmas originates in the Christian faith and the tradition was to celebrate the birth of Christ. But I’m not going to get into religion here because that’s not what I am about.
What I am about is making sure you and I don’t sink with the pressure to spend when there is no need.
It’s not just about working out how to do Christmas cheap, it’s also about focusing on what matters to you, just you.
You can celebrate Christmas without spending a fortune and blowing your carefully worked out budget.
I don’t want you to feel the pressure to spend when you know it’s only going to end up on your credit card and a January of debt.
And the best way to keep your Christmas spending down low is to join me in refusing to buy.
I am refusing to buy this Christmas so that I can buy at other times.
Of course I’m not refusing to buy everything, just the stuff that I consider unnecessary. Too much these days is about instant gratification and consumerism.
Why don’t we take back Christmas so that it is more meaningful for us and our families? Where we don’t buy a million and one things only to regret it later.
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9 Things I Am Refusing To Buy This Christmas
Too Much Food
This is actually one of my weak areas. An area where I try to reduce my spending each December and often fail.
I am determined that this year I will not go mad and get sucked into buying just this extra bit here and this extra bit there ‘just in case’ we run out.
The shops are only closed for one day!
Any other week and I would be at the grocery store just once yet in the weeks leading up to Christmas and I end up shopping 2, 3 or even 4 times in one week! Not good.
This year I will have a plan. A meal plan to be exact.
The difference is that this year my meal plan will include EVERYTHING for the holiday period. Food, recipes, meals every day, snacks, drinks etc.
Buying For Everyone Just Because
I know it’s Christmas and I know it’s nice to be generous and give to others. But really, are we giving in the true sense of the word?
Or are we merely giving for the sake of giving?
This year I am being more focused on who I buy for and what I buy or make for them.
I intend to make as many homemade, interesting and useful gifts as I can using ideas from these posts:
Presents In December
I have no intention of adding to my stress levels by trying to buy presents (or present making supplies) for people during December.
Buying in December is a recipe for overspending. Be prepared and buy early.
That way the crowds don’t encourage you to spend more and you get the exact presents you intended, not some over-priced impulse buy that seemed like a good idea at the time.
I’ve not bought Christmas decorations for a few years now and will continue to not do so.
You only use them for a week or two once a year, their costs add up and they are invariably made of plastic or come wrapped in plastic.
This year I’m going to go green and using nature’s own ingredients to add to our existing decorations. I’m thinking ferns, pinecones and small fallen branches I pick up on walks in the local area.
Expensive Christmas Crackers
I’m not refusing to buy crackers totally, just the expensive full price ones.
As much as you might get a better quality toy/item in the expensive crackers, the fact is these things are always surplus after Christmas.
When did you ever keep and use something you got in a Christmas cracker? Exactly.
But I will still have crackers for our Christmas table. I bought them in the January sales for 70% off. And they weren’t super expensive to start with.
Wrapping Paper & Gift Bags
I have not bought wrapping paper or gift bags in the run up to Christmas for many years now. Gift bags are reused over and over again.
A few years ago Mr2p and his brother had a gift bag that went back and forth between them each Christmas for about 7 years.
I still use wrapping paper although I love the idea of being more extreme in the wrapping department.
Like using old newspapers and magazine pages for wrapping your presents. Or even wallpaper off cuts or old sheets.
I don’t buy newspapers or magazines so I can’t use them and I think the other alternatives are a bit too extreme even for me!
Instead this year I have done what I do every year by being frugal, and that is to buy wrapping paper in January when it’s 70% or more off. I can get decent wrap for as little 25p a roll.
I often stock up on cheap wrap that isn’t covered in Christmas motifs and use this for wrapping birthday presents throughout the year too.
Cheap Little Extra Presents
I don’t have lots of stockings to stuff nowadays, if DD2 doesn’t come home for Christmas then it’s just Mr2p.
But this doesn’t always stop me from giving into the consumerism pressure occasionally and buying just a few extra stocking stuffer type presents, just because they are cheap and cheerful.
I’ve got better in recent years but this year I am determined to make it a 100% year.
A year where I do not buy any extra little stocking stuffers or cheap presents from Poundland (UK equivalent of the Dollar Store).
Cheap little presents still add up in cost yet they invariably do not add value to the recipient. Cheapo presents are designed to make us feel better about the act of giving.
I’m already good on this one. Every year so many people I know buy new Christmassy outfits to wear to the parties and gatherings they are attending.
Yet at home in their closet are the Christmassy outfits they bought last year and the year before that which haven’t seen the light of day since.
So I’ll be doing the same as I do every year and not buy new specifically for a party.
I already have some nice clothes and I’ll wear them again with pride, knowing I’m saving money by doing so.
I love chocolate, full stop. Especially selection boxes of milk chocolate filled with different centers.
I could eat a whole box of chocolates given half a chance. And therein lies the reason for not buying any chocolates this year.
I eat them. All too quickly.
Which spoils every other meal I eat. And doesn’t do me any favors in the weight department.
I am no size zero and too many chocolates means I’ll be facing a tedious January of trying to diet when I really don’t want to.
My secret weapon this year is that I am ever more conscious of the plastic we buy. And the chocolates in tins are individually wrapped in plastic.
This extra reason to not buy is just what I need.
Take Back Your Christmas Budget
These 9 things on their own aren’t super expensive and won’t break your Christmas budget. But added together they can make a tidy sum that you can do without when you don’t have cash to splash.
Take back your Christmas and start January debt free and stress free by joining me in refusing to buy these unnecessary things.
Although I’ll forgive you if you buy a few Christmas chocolates because, well, they’re chocolate!
For more help with making your pennies stretch further and money saving tips have a read of these posts: