How to cut the cost of Christmas by starting your festive prep RIGHT NOW

Even though we're often reluctant to talk about Christmas too early, September is the ideal time to make a start on your festive prep. In fact, you can save money if you start your planning early - here's how...

Some items have been gifted

Christmas can be quite an expense – and one that we often don’t plan for until it’s too close for comfort. But don’t worry that you’re running out of time, as September is a great month to begin planning your family’s festive season.

We’re already only three months away from the big day but the brilliant news is that, by preparing for Christmas right now, you can save loads of money.

So, if you’ve got a budget to stick to, let’s spend it wisely and prepare for Christmas in advance.

Sparkling decorations on sale

If you want your home, garden and Christmas tree to all look magically festive in December, start planning for that now. If you splash the cash and spend some time in September, it’ll pay off with big savings.

Firstly, fairy lights. Once they hit the shelves of the shops, the price is fixed and you won’t be able to get a deal on them until the January sales start. So, you should be looking for online deals on fairy lights right now.

This year I wanted to get some Twinkly lights for my tree. They’re colour-changing LEDs that can be programmed in any colourway, pattern or animation using a smart controller app. As you can imagine, they’re an investment buy BUT at this time of year, the prices are slashed.

For example, many packs of the Twinkly fairy lights and festoon lights are currently reduced on the Lights4Fun website in their Outdoor Christmas Lights Collection. They’re discounted alongside countless more on-sale LED candles, string lights, solar lanterns and even festive wreaths in the outlet section.

If I buy them in September while they’re reduced they’ll cost me 20% less now – so I can save money by not waiting until closer to Christmas. Plus, you can use your lights for Halloween and bonfire night too – I can just imagine creating a spooky orange scene or a twinkling purple firework-themed animation with my Twinkly lights.

Likewise, decorations are cheaper to buy out of season AND if you start thinking about your festive theme right now, you have still got plenty of time to DIY your decorations for yourself. Three months of crafting, sticking and painting will result in a beautiful new collection of home decor for your festive interior.

Also, you can get the whole family involved. Check out artist Andy Greenacre’s YouTube channel to find out how to make handmade decorations, origami trees, Christmas crackers, wrapping paper, easy watercolour greeting cards and even DIY your own no-sew Santa hat!

I’ve previously shared some DIY ideas for creating three Scandi-style festive decor projects using items that I’ve found in charity shops. So, if you want to recreate these ideas, along with my upcycled toy decorations, starting now means you’ll have time to search the secondhand shops for items to use in your festive decor.

Bargain presents on a budget

Aside from creating a festive interior on a budget, you can also make savings on all the gifts you need to buy if you start shopping for them right now. Not only will you spread the cost by sourcing one present each week between now and Christmas, but you’ll also be able to take advantage of lower prices.

For example, at this time of year tech products are always on offer. That’s because many companies want to take advantage of back-to-school time, where students will be investing in laptops, accessories, PCs, smartphones, tablets etc when they go to college or university.

So, if you need to buy any tech items as Christmas gifts, you’ll probably find the best deals if you head to the high street electrical shops right now. But don’t worry if you miss the September shopping opportunity, as the Prime Big Deal Days are coming up in October and Black Friday is in November – both offering large savings on the gifts you need to buy.

But it’s not just tech that’s on offer – it’s an ideal time to buy toys for little ones too. At the moment, retailers are experiencing a lull, where kids are back at school so don’t need toys for entertainment and it’s a little too soon for Christmas shopping to start in full swing.

So, many toy companies are willing to offer discounts on their playful products in order to get parents shopping – which makes it the ideal time for you to stock up on their bigger ‘under-the-tree’ gifts. For example, until the 25th of September, it’s the annual Connetix 7-day sale so all sets have 15% off sitewide with the code CONNETIX15. That’s a healthy saving and could mean you’ve got some money left over for some stocking fillers, too.

Also, if you plan to make any beautiful handmade presents yourself, get started on those projects in September to make sure you’ll have completed them by Christmas. You’ve got time to crochet or knit a Christmas stocking, gloves or hat for your loved ones. Or you could check out my gift project videos on YouTube, from handmade tech cases to customised sweatshirts.

Spectacular savings

One more thing to consider is that, even if you don’t have the time or money to get your gifts and decor organised right now, you CAN still do something to make your Christmas easier. And that’s save.

If you start putting cash aside for Christmas now, it will add up to a healthy budget to work with when December comes around. Whether it’s £10 per week or a percentage of your wages from September onwards, you’ll have money that’s been pre-planned to use in December so you won’t have to put the cost of Christmas on your credit card.

So, even if you do nothing else, spread the cost of Christmas by starting to put some money aside for the big day. You can do this all year round – so don’t stop after Christmas! Start saving again on the 1st of January and grow an even bigger pot for next year!

Let me know if you have any other ideas for saving money before Christmas and I’d love to hear your festive decor hacks and gift-buying wins so please leave me a comment below.

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This post was featured by Twinkl in their Thrifty Christmas Guide.

Some items in this blog post have been gifted to me and the pink links indicate a gifted product, affiliate link or information source. All thoughts and opinions in this post are based on my own experience and I am not responsible for your experience 🙂

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to ‘get the look for less’ so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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