The run-up to Christmas is often the most expensive time of the year in terms of hitting the shops to buy presents.
However, with the kids being off school for a couple of weeks, this can create added cost pressures for families right into the New Year.
With some simple steps, you can reduce how much you spend over the festive period. Here are our top tips from the Fair For You team to help you do just that this Christmas.
Reduce Costs For Cooking Christmas Dinner
The rising cost of energy bills has been well documented in recent times. But the cost of using appliances is keenly felt over Christmas, especially with the average Christmas dinner taking several hours to cook in the oven.
Research by Forbes Advisor found that an electric fan oven costs 85p per hour to run, whereas a gas hob costs 15p per hour to use. A slow cooker was found to cost 44p per hour to run.
BBC Good Food also has some amazing yet cheap air fryer recipes for Christmas. Compared with using an electric oven, air fryers require far less electricity to run, and also cook food in a shorter amount of time, which also reduces their running costs.
The Eco Experts report that using an air fryer costs around £50 per year, which is £250 less than the standard cost of using an electric cooker.
Plan Ahead For Extra Meal Costs
Similar to the summer or Easter holidays, when kids are off school extra meals will need to be provided. All of which means extra costs for families.
The most simple way to reduce costs is to plan ahead, which will lessen the need to rely on takeaways or other costly forms of feeding your family over Christmas.
Another top tip is meal prepping. This involves preparing meals in bulk, freezing them and reheating them at a later date.
Research has found that by meal prepping, the cost of household food bills can be reduced by 50%. If that wasn’t already fantastic, meal prepping also means there’s always something in for dinner, and the food is also very easy to serve as it just requires heating up.
Focus On Free Or Low-Cost Activities
Christmas can involve many days with time to fill. Just because you’re on a budget, that doesn’t mean you can’t spend quality time together as a family, especially if you apply a little creativity to the activities you come up with.
Some free activity ideas to try over Christmas include:
Family movie nights
Baking Christmas treats
Board game marathons
At-home Christmas plays
Indoor den making
Check out what’s on at your local children’s library
These ideas are far from exhaustive. Consider the types of activities you enjoy as a family, and also think about involving friends and family, since quality time spent with those we care about doesn’t have to cost the earth.
Watch Out For Pressure To Spend Money You Don’t Have
Whether it’s buying more food than you could ever possibly eat, splurging on Christmas presents that are out of budget or all the deals coming at you in the sales - it’s so easy to spend money at Christmas.
In reality, you don’t need to spend to excess to have a great Christmas. In fact, long before Christmas became a retail holiday, it was supposed to be a time for togetherness.
So although it might seem dull to keep an eye on your bank balance at Christmas, having to deal with huge credit card bills in January is just not worth it. This is especially true if money has been spent unnecessarily on impulse purchases.
Fair For You - Discover Our Tips To Help You Spend Less This Christmas
With the right approach, keeping to a budget doesn’t have to mean less fun at Christmas.
Fair For You makes it easier to afford the essentials, by offering appliances on a payment plan that you can afford. Discover how Fair For You works to learn more.