Last-minute Christmas savings

It's not too late for these thrifty tips.
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It’s been a busy year and the budget has been stretched more than usual, but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate at Christmas.

With a bit of creativity and ingenuity, there’s still time to make this the best Yuletide season yet, with no need to spend the big bucks.

Just like Miranda Kerr, there’s no need to go overboard

with decorations and trinkets!

(Image: Instagram)

Bring nature in

Forget expensive centrepieces for the Christmas table or mantelpiece. Grab a vase and go out into your garden and pick some leafy natives. They’ll also bring a fresh aroma to the home.

The optimal choice is Christmas bush, but eucalypts work just as well. Can’t find a vase? Lay them directly on the table – banksias work particularly well for this.

Head to the markets

Want a unique gift that won’t cost the earth? You can often find plants, flowers, jewellery and candles for a fraction of the price at local markets.

Keep an eye out for up-and-coming fashion designers, who often have market stalls as it’s cheaper than having a bricks and mortar store. The bonus is the gift will be unique, and you are helping to support a local businessperson.

Use debit over credit

Don’t be tempted to pull out the plastic and go on a gift-buying spree. Think about the consequences come January

when that credit card bill arrives and you’re paying extra interest on it.

Spend only what you have available, and if necessary, lower your budget. Remember, now more than ever, it’s the thought that counts.

No need to go out and buy wrapping paper. For a personal touch, get the kids to paint or draw on large pieces of paper and use this to wrap your gifts.

(Image: Getty)

Take a staycation

Left the holiday planning till too late? Or maybe this year the budget can’t stretch to a week-long beach holiday. Here’s a fun idea – feel like a tourist in your own town or city by going on a new adventure or trying a fun activity.

Look up free activities where you live and write up a two-day itinerary for the family, just as a travel agent might. One day could be a picnic at the closest National Park and another could be taking a free walking tour.

Make a list, and check it twice

There’s one guarantee if you’re hosting Christmas this year, there is going to be leftovers. Make a detailed meal planner for the week after Christmas.

Make note of what’s been sitting in the pantry and freezer for months and add that to the meal plan – that’s another budget meal or two sorted.

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