I could swear that December rushes past faster than other months. My son has his birthday towards the end of November, then the next thing I know, oh hey, it’s Christmas next week. How did that happen? Where did the days disappear in between?
Do wish I was better prepared for Christmas. But one way or another we’ll muddle through the maelstrom of carol concerts, end of term, panto, presents, birthday celebrations and all the visitors over Christmas itself.
And after making the wreath I mentioned, while watching ‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’, it’s finally beginning to feel much more like Christmas!
So here are five more festive frugal things from the last week.
Used up turkey leftovers
After reviewing the Muscle Food Christmas recipe box last weekend, we had half a ton* of turkey left over.
So we spent last week doing our best to eat up the remainder of the roast. Turkey sandwiches, turkey with leftover red cabbage and roasted parsnips, turkey with ratatouille, turkey curry using a handy half price jar of curry sauce. I finally cracked and froze 400g in chunks, ready for futher curry or a turkey pie. I also froze slices of turkey, doled out in three different freezer bags. Hopefully now we’ll be able to face up to the real meal on Christmas Day…
Cranked up the cranberry sauce production line
Every year, I make cranberry sauce. We use one jar for our own Christmas meal, but I also hand out other jars as Christmas presents. (One younger cousin nodded with great appreciation about the ‘ham with jam’ after trying it).
So I swooped on a Morrisons offer for two 300g packets of fresh cranberries for £3, rather than £1.75 each. Luckily, this recipe for cranberry sauce is super simple, so there’s less chance of disaster than my attempts at strawberry jam…
Previous post: How not to make strawberry jam
Snapped up half price Christmas cards
Usually, I recommend buying Christmas cards in the January sales, but I didn’t see any I liked earlier this year. I’ve been cutting down our Christmas card list, as the price of stamps has soared, but I do still like sending some! Turns out one of the benefits of being so behind this year is that Morrisons had already cut the price of Christmas cards on Sunday, so I picked up packs of 10 for £1 rather than £2. I also got some for the kids last week using Boots Advantage points, so they could hand them out to classmates before the school holidays start.
Opted for a less expensive Christmas tree
My husband checked out the prices of Christmas trees here in Hadleigh, and we were looking at £40 for a five foot tree. So we headed over to Raydon Christmas trees instead, where you choose a tree growing in their field, and they cut it down for you. They charge £5 a foot, and give you a measuring stick to wander round with, so you know what height you’re buying. This meant we could get a bigger tree for less, as a six foot tree cost £30. Plus, you can admire their magnificent turkeys while walking over to choose your tree!
Bought discount theatre tickets as a present
Keen to give experiences rather than things, I decided to buy some theatre tickets as Christmas presents. The Official London Theatre website runs a January sale every year, where you can buy discounted tickets for performances of a whole range of plays, musicals and ballets between 1 January and 15 February.
We went to see School of Rock in February, and now I’ve lined up a new family outing. All will be revealed after Christmas!
I suspect sale tickets for the biggest productions, like The Lion King, Matilda and Aladdin, may well have sold out, but it’s still worth looking. Tickets cost £10, £20, £30 or £40, with no booking fee, credit card charges or delivery fees. Expect to pay more for the more popular productions and seats closer to the stage.
Now over to you – any festive frugal triumphs this week? Are you all prepared for Christmas? Or desperately scrambling to catch up, like me? Do share in the comments, I’d love to hear!