Christmas time is the most expensive time of the whole year. If you consider all the activities, errands and gifts that are due in the run-up to the big party, it can not only be quite stressful, but also cost a lot of money.
Unusual gifts, elaborate decorations and the festive meal are usually not even the only costs. In addition to the mandatory visits to the Christmas market, many people who love to travel are drawn to a short trip abroad over the holidays. Ski regions in Austria or Switzerland that are known for their high prices are particularly popular destinations.
So, to take it easy on your wallet during the Christmas season, we have listed the five best gift ideas and savings tips for you.
1. Make DIY gifts and decorations yourself
Instead of expensive last-minute gifts that often just end up gathering dust on the shelf, you can try some creative do-it-yourself gifts this Christmas. So, if you are not blessed with great craftsmanship, there are numerous instructions for simple gift ideas on platforms such as YouTube.
Another tip: If you are looking for a change for your Christmas tree, you can use simple handicraft tricks to make new, homemade decorations. This does not only save money, but also looks a lot more personal!
2. Compare prices when shopping
Of course, you won’t be making all the gifts yourself. But even with the “conventional” variant, you can save money. Before you buy products such as electronic devices or clothing, you should compare prices and offers on the Internet. In the best-case scenario, you have your gift ideas in mind early on. So, strike early and buy the Christmas gift way before the season. As a rule, prices only start to rise properly from this point in time. You will also be able to take advantage of Christmas sale.
3. Buy a last-minute Christmas tree
There are also inexpensive alternatives for the Christmas tree. In rural regions outside of cities, there is often the option of cutting down your own tree from certain dealers. Not only can this be a fun day out for the whole family, but it will also save you a little money.
If you don’t see yourself as a born lumberjack, you can still save money: Last-minute Christmas trees, i.e. trees that were not bought on December 24th, are usually offered for a lower price so that they can still find a home.
4. Skiing in Eastern Europe
What the Christmas goose is for some, the mandatory ski trip around Christmas is for others. Ski equipment, accommodation and skiing passes are traditionally expensive.
What many do not know: Even in Eastern European countries such as Slovakia, the Czech Republic or Poland there are great ski areas that are in no way inferior to their competitors in Austria or Switzerland.
The advantage: The prices are significantly cheaper, and, in many cases, you can save up to 50%.
Finally, one last piece of advice: remember that the “real feast” last for only 2 days, so don’t buy that much food – not more than for the weekend. Sometimes I found myself buying a lot of eggs and salad ingredients, and white sausage, and several types of cold cuts. Also, my in-laws still make pate; and you still have to eat some sour soup, then cakes, etc. And yet, you buy the ingredients of each dish in such big amounts as if it was the only dish you are going to eat. The result: either a lot of food remains, and you have to eat it for the next few days, or it goes bad because you didn’t serve everything, you didn’t manage to prepare everything on time, or the guests didn’t manage to eat everything.