Five festive frugal things

Picture of white rose hips by our white back door

Rose hips by the back dooor

This week, I’ve been juggling work, present buying and Christmas admin with zipping down to London for the Vuelio blog awards, held in a suitably glittery circus big top. Ho yes. I even spent £8 on earrings, to liven up my ‘older than my children’ long dress.

Further to my plea for a little less Christmas, I’ve been looking at ways to cut the cost, so here are my five festive frugal things this week.

For further festive activities, wish me luck this weekend. I’ll be cooking Christmas dinner from a Muscle Food recipe box sent for review. Looking at the mahoosive turkey, I suspect it could last a little longer than Sunday…


Picture of a box of baubles from a charity shop with my white rattan wreath

Bargain baubles to liven up my wreath

Nabbed some baubles from the charity shop

Charity shops are a brilliant source of Christmas decorations, should you need anything new. Our old decorations are still going strong, but I’m keen to liven up a wreath I was given when I visited Poundland for the Christmas in July festival. So I was glad to snap up a box of little baubles in the EACH shop for just £1. Now to grab some greenery.


Picture of my son's new scooter, bought with sale savings and trade in discount

New scooter, dark day

Saved with a scooter trade in at Halfords

My son was keen to replace his elderly 3 wheeled scooter with a dashing 2 wheeled stunt version. My husband took him along to Halfords, because they were offering selling a whole range of scooters for Christmas with  plus another 15% off if you traded in a scooter before 2 December. This meant we could get rid of an even older scooter knocking around in the cellar. I’m chalking that up as a win:win for both money saving and decluttering.

Claimed cashback vouchers for Christmas shopping

I rack up cash back during the year, by clicking through from websites like TopCashback* and Quidco whenever I shop online. I earn a little bit back on spending I’d do anyway. The money tends to build up until we have a particular purchase in mind – such as replacing our printer, or crucially at this time of year, buying Christmas presents.

You can ask for cash back to be transferred straight into your bank account. However, if take your payout as gift vouchers instead, you earn a bit extra on top. Recently, I withdrew £47.26 in cash back, rounded up an extra 2.5% to £48.44, because I opted for Amazon vouchers. You can get a bigger boost by swapping your cash back for vouchers from other companies, such as 25% extra on Virgin Experience Days, 15% at Debenhams and 10% at Xbox and The Entertainer.


Picture of a mince pie on a plate with a Christmassy cup of tea

Nope, not going to last til Christmas

Used cashback to cut the cost of Christmas food

I’m still keen to continue earning cashback. So I took advantage of the current Snap & Save offers* from TopCashback to claim 15p off a £1 box of mince pies. You just have to buy a product as normal, then submit a picture of your receipt via your computer or mobile phone.

There are several other festive Snap & Save offers running until 19 December – 20p off any 454g Christmas pudding, 15p off a ‘confectionery’ selection box and 15p off a 500g carton of Bird’s brandy or rum flavoured sauce. One advantage of Snap & Save is that you can claim on any brand of mince pies, selection box or Christmas pudding, so it works from any shop. Just check if it only applies to a specific pack size.

There’s zero chance a box of mince pies will last until Christmas in our house, but we’ll enjoy eating them beforehand.


Picture of a hamper with the food and toiletries I collected for #Foodbankadvent

Final #foodbankadvent box

Finished my reverse advent calendar for #FoodBankAdvent

During November, I collected food and toiletries for our local food bank, Families in Need (FIND) in Ipswich, as part of the UK Money Bloggers’ #FoodBankAdvent campaign.

Previous post: what does your food bank actually need?

This week, I finished adding my last items, including a hefty tub of Cadbury’s Heroes as a treat. We took everything along when my son went to Cubs, as Hadleigh Sea Scouts are also collecting for FIND, and will be delivering all the donations tomorrow.

I’m counting my #FoodBankAdvent reverse advent calendar as a frugal thing, because although I donated food and toiletries that would normally cost just over £33, they only actually cost me £17.59 thanks to multi buy offers, cash back and referral credits from the Shopmium app.


Picture of the row of red stopped scent bottles used in a Make Your Own Perfume experience

Create your very own perfume!

Last chance to win a ‘Design Your Own Perfume Experience’!

Head on over to my post about designing my own scent, thanks to Buyagift and The Perfume Studio, if you’d like to win a similar experience for yourself. The giveaway is due to end at midnight on Saturday (8 December), so get cracking if you’d like to enter!


Now – over to you. What’s your favourite tip for cutting the cost of Christmas? Do share in the comments, I’d love to hear.

I’m linking up with CassEmma and Becky in this week’s ‘Five fabulously frugal things I’ve done this week’ linky.

*indicates an affiliate link, so anything you buy through it will help support the blog, as I will get a small commission at no cost to you. Many thanks!

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Pinterest sized image of red rose hips against our white back door

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  1. 7th December 2018 / 7:20 pm

    Well done! Your reverse advent food box looks great! We have 6 or 7 at work to take to the food bank next week.

    • Faith
      9th December 2018 / 9:19 am

      Wow brilliant that you work managed to fill so many boxes for #foodbankadvent!

  2. 10th December 2018 / 4:02 am

    There were many gift card offers (buy a gift card, earn $10 of grocery store credit, or the like), so we stocked up on gift cards we need in 2019. I applied these directly to our 2019 budget, and have used the credits to buy the majority of our toiletries for 2019. I also have about another $100 in credit knocking around that I’ll have six months or so to use.

    Otherwise, I also use a site (ebates) to earn money back from online purchases. I always collect that at the end of the year & put it in my “found money” account. And, have been selling a bunch on Ebay. This is the best time of the year to list things you no longer need, so I’ve exceeded my goals by quite a bit & decluttered the house.

  3. Eloise
    11th December 2018 / 6:45 pm

    To literally spread the cost of a gift, for an elderley relative who is difficult to buy for how about a gift card which promises a homemade cake every month of the year.

  4. Alice strang
    22nd December 2018 / 9:39 am

    Dress older than my children

    • Alice strang
      22nd December 2018 / 9:39 am

      The laughjng emojis dont show up! That was best line in the blog!

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