Get creative this Christmas
Millions of people across the UK have come up against fresh financial pressures this year as the cost of living continues to rise. Don’t let money worries get in the way of a fabulous Christmas break – here are some ideas to help you spread the cost and really make the most of the festive season:
Though time may be a premium for everyone working in dentistry, considering using some of the hours you would have spent shopping to prepare for a hand-made Christmas. Make your own crackers for the table, create some decorations with the kids, or reuse old bottles to make unique candle holders and table centre pieces. For those with culinary flair, try to bake your own cookies or gingerbread (another great activity for the family). You also don’t have to be naturally creative to build your own wreath or ornaments, so why not have a go with friends? If you do like to try new things, you could even make some of your gifts for further cost-saving and that extra personal touch.
Dinner is served
If you can clear some space in the freezer, look to get the bulk of your Christmas meal ahead of time. Most meat, potatoes and many puddings can be frozen so you can make the most of any special offers you come across in the shops. Other tips for a deliciously cost-effective dinner include doing the meat in the slow cooker instead of second oven, vegetables in the steamer and potatoes in the air fryer. If you have your food delivered, get you slot booked now too so you don’t have to pay extra for the last remaining availability. Another idea would be to shake things up and do a bring-your-own-dish meal, which could be fun for all.
Gifting the right way
For those of us with big families or friendship groups, suggest a Secret Santa format this year. Everyone will still get a lovely present and can save some money by only buying one gift. Another great idea is to buy second-hand or ‘vintage’ – you could end up with even better presents for loved ones while looking after your purse and protecting the environment at the same time. Additionally, look out for websites that offer cashback when you buy to save a little extra. In a similar vein, some shops offer free gift wrapping – make the most of this too.
Keep track of your spending
Keep a running total and break down of everything you spend for festivities this year. Not only will this help you to financially plan for the weeks ahead, but it will also ensure you buy things efficiently. How many times have you found a gift in January that you have forgotten all about? it’s not uncommon – write it down and you won’t buy twice!
Stay warm for less
If you have guests for the big day and want to keep them warm but are concerned about the energy cost, there are things you can do. Even turning the thermostat down by just one degree could save more than £3,100 over the year. It will warm up fast with several people and the oven/fryer on so don’t worry about it being a little cooler to begin with.
Ultimately, the festive season is about spending time with the people you care most about. If you’re feeling the pinch, you are definitely not alone, so friends and family may be grateful if you suggest some money-saving ideas this year too!