December is definitely not the easiest of months to be frugal in, there’s presents and extra food to buy and exciting events and celebrations to attend. I’ve always found that the key to saving money at this time of year is to be organised, Christmas happens at the same time every year but still manages to catch people unawares. I am guilty of this too and usually end up having to stretch our budget to include something I’ve overlooked.
This year I’ve tried to be as organised as I could, budgeting well for all our extra outgoings. It’s the first Christmas in a long time when I haven’t felt stressed about being able to afford everything. I think this is mainly down to the small frugal things I’ve been doing throughout the year, it’s also because I’ve changed my mindset as to what constitutes a good Christmas. I realised it’s not about how many presents there will be under the tree.
This hasn’t been the most frugal of years and I’ve definitely been a little frivolous at times, but I feel like I’ve finally pulled it back towards the end of the year and I’m ready to make some fantastic money saving and money-making plans for 2019.
Here are my five frugal things for December.
- I’ve taken full advantage of the supermarket price wars this month, keeping an eye on the prices of the festive food I want to buy and stocking up when it’s on offer. This has resulted in a few extra shopping trips, but it has been worth it for the good deals I’ve managed to pick up. We love having a selection a cheese and crackers to indulge in over the festive period, but after looking at the seasonal offerings I realised I would only be paying extra for the fancy packaging. So I opted to visit the usual cheese aisle and pick out our favourites at a fraction of the cost. I often get suckered in by gimmicky packaging and flavours but this year I’ve decided to shop a bit smarter.
- With blog work slowing down as it usually does for me this time of year I’ve turned my attention to my ‘side hustles’ instead. This includes taking paid surveys, mystery shopping and focus groups. These things fit in so well around family life and help to keep my mind sharp. Over the years I’ve weeded out the low paying sites, focusing on the well paid and more interesting of tasks. These side hustles make up a fair percentage of my monthly income and when I’m organised and in a good routine provide a great return on the time I invest in them.
- I’ve finally downloaded some of the apps that pay you for uploading your receipts. I can’t believe I’ve left it until now to do, I love shopping and could have cashed out several times over by now. I’m using Receipt Hog and Shoppix where we can both earn an extra 200 tokens if you use my referral code 5LMGDT9M when signing up. I know these apps won’t make me a fortune but every little helps so they say
- I didn’t have to buy any new Christmas wrapping paper this year, I’ve used all the end rolls leftover from last year. I’ve even used up some birthday wrap we had leftover too, the kids won’t notice and it’s much better than wasting it. I’ve also discovered that you can recycle most gift wrap as long as you remove the sticky tape and it’s doesn’t have any metallic or glitter patterns on it.
- The weather has remained relatively mild for this time of year so we haven’t yet used as much gas as we budgeted for. I’ve been implementing ideas from this post I wrote a couple of years ago, there’s some great tips left in the comments by readers too.
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