Yes it's still April, and yes this is bit early to be talking about Christmas...but is it??
My regular readers know that I have a fixation with Christmas. I love the preparation, the planning and the build-up.
I love being so organised that it does not cost me more than it has to.
I write about this regularly. It is important to me.
One way I make Christmas affordable is by buying items when they are below their usual prices. One other way is by making things. I have a place in my house where items get stored throughout the year.
I have a list of people I like to give gifts to, and these will be gifts like mugs with their initials on or pretty notebooks.
I spend larger amounts of money on daughter, son-in-law, grandkids and husband - but I still buy these things through the year. These will be gifts like items of clothing or fragrance for the adults and larger toys or books for the smaller people.
I've never done the 'ask for what you'd like' routine for either birthdays or Christmas. I think this goes a long way to helping me stick within my budget.
I'll also buy ahead food items that get put in my Christmas cupboard in the kitchen. This will be things such as mincemeat, chocolates, dried fruit: I also save to buy booze - although I don't drink, other people do.
My crafting helps with gifts: I knit socks, crochet blankets/throws and sew patchwork items.
I do get asked how we manage Christmas on our small income.
A key thing we do is buy a £1 voucher/sticker every.single.time we visit the local supermarket. They have collection cards that take 48 vouchers and give 2 free. We spend these collection cards in December on food.
I make no apology for talking about Christmas. This year with the cost of living rise, many more people will dread this celebration unless they prepare ahead.
A key thing we can do in April/May this year is prepare other people...if Christmas is going to be a struggle, then tell folk you're not exchanging gifts this year, maybe you're not going to have a huge meal with the family...or invent some cheaper things to do..a board game afternoon with a buffet that you all contribute to - less stress and less money for one person to have to struggle with.
Do you have any ideas to add here?