A “cheap” mum has revealed that she’s slashed her festive season budget by £1,200 through buying toilet rolls as presents and asking family to chip in for their dinner.
When Charlotte Deering, 27, realised that her family didn’t care about receiving “top-of-the-range” gifts for Christmas, she made the decision to cut back and begin looking at the holiday more frugally.
The mum-of-one, from Cheshire, previously hit the headlines after revealing her savvy wedding soireé, costing less than £2,000, including a £10 gown from Tesco.
Before, she used to spend £1,500 on presents alone, but now, she’s slashed this down to £300 for the entire affair – claiming asking family to pay their way and bulk toilet rolls are to thank.
“I have a massive family and I bought into it all, always buying them the latest technology and other luxurious gifts,” Charlotte, a stay-at-home mum, told http://NeedToKnow.co.uk .
“But then I noticed how myself and those around me were getting into debt and struggling, so I couldn’t justify it anymore.
“I decided to ease the financial burden by doing a family secret Santa, where we set the budget at £10 per person, which is more affordable.
“I have been known to bulk buy toilet rolls as gifts too, and last year, I got my mum a big box of washing powder as I know this will save her money in the long run.
“I also make everyone chip in for the Christmas roast dinner and place a money tin on the table well in advance, where people can put their spare cash in toward the big day.”
Charlotte, who prints off festive artwork and hangs it around the house for free decoration, has also turned to secondhand websites to fill her daughter’s stocking.
She said: “I got a used Playmobil set from Vinted, which was around £55, but it ages well.
“She will be able to play with this for many years and when it’s ‘old’ for her, then I’ll donate it to charity or sell on.
“I get most of her clothes from charity shops, as well as toys, teddies and board games, which I’ll include in her stocking.
“I’m also going to buy 12 used books, wrap them in brown paper and label them with each month, so she has a new book to open all year round.
“I try to stay away from themed, novelty gifts, so I get more for my money.
“But I have to use decorative plates, so I saved my cash and got these for free from Facebook Marketplace.
“If I really like something new, then I’ll search for a cheaper dupe, so I don’t have to spend on expensive brands.
“Most of the time, these are often better than the real thing.”
Her other savvy tips include using the “divide and conquer” method, where she buys multipacks of items and splits them between hampers to get more “bang for your buck”.
But her biggest inspiration? Family.
She added: “I have grown up watching my mum struggle for money and worry about Christmas to the point it made her ill.
“The most important thing for me is the food and memories spent with family, as that’s what I remember, not the gifts.
“Low cost items do not mean low value – if I bought a photo of my daughter in a frame worth £2 vs spending £50 on a gift card, I know what my family will appreciate more.
“I want to teach my daughter that Christmas is about enjoying company: ‘It’s about who is around the tree, not what is under it’ as I like to tell her.
“She won’t remember what presents Santa brought her, it’ll be the laughter and spirit that won’t be forgotten.
“It’s all for one day at the end of it – it doesn’t need to be fancy – keep it simple and I guarantee you’ll have the best Christmas ever.”