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Christmas on a shoestring

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Set a budget and stick to it this Christmas using the tips from this handy booklet.
  • 1Christmas on a Shoestring

  • 2The Lloyds Money For Life challenge has funded the residents of Barking & Dagenham foyer to create this booklet to help fellow residents and those in the wider community to enjoy their Christmas without spending a fortune. We recognise that many people live on a tight budget, but with a bit of imagination, we can all celebrate the Christmas festivities without getting into debt. The average family in the UK spends 820 on Christmas, but we have come up with ideas that will help you to have a great time for a fraction of the cost.

    Setting and st


    to a Christma

    s budget

  • 3Money saving tips Ask yourself How much can I

    afford to spend on Christmas?

    Make a list of everyone you have to buy a present for, decide how much money you have to spend and stick to your budget

    Make a list and stick to it when shopping

    If you must buy for friends, agree to only spend a max of 3 on each other or arrange a secret Santa

    Dont be fooled by Christmas offers and discounted goods as they might not be cheaper

    Go to money saving websites for vouchers

    Compare your food shopping with www.mysupermarket.com website to make sure you are getting the best deals

    Make your own Christmas decorations and cards

    Go for a classy minimalistic Christmas look

    Look out for magazines and catalogues in the run-up to Christmas with features on Christmas dcor for inspiration and look for similar decorations in cheaper shops

    Buy Christmas cards, wrapping paper, and decorations in January when the sales are on and keep them for next year

    Use festive images from magazines and catalogues as Christmas stickers

    Contact shops to find out when the for pre-Christmas sales are

    Dont buy gift cards without checking the expiry. Some gift cards cost more to use than cash so check the terms and conditions.

    Save up your supermarket points or supermarket stamps to even out the cost

    Sell old toys and unwanted items on eBay to make money for presents

    Dont use your credit card for Christmas shopping you could be paying it back until the following Christmas especially if you are paying a high interest rate.

  • 4Gift ideas Give framed pictures to family

    for Christmas. You could use a photograph of your family or a picture your children have drawn.

    Buy less expensive perfume and pour it into a pretty bottle or box

    Buy gifts from charity shops look around for special bargains

    Go to the 1 shop for stocking fillers and other bargains

    Make chocolates / sweets / biscuits and put them in a jar with a Christmas stickers or ribbon tied around it

    Buy inexpensive bath salts in packets and put them in pretty jars or plain jars with your own added Christmas sticker or glitter

    Buy some cheap baskets and make your own Christmas hampers. You could fill them with food or toiletries.

    Buy an inexpensive plain plate, glass, mug from the 1 shop or charity shop and decorate it with ceramic paint

    Decorate an old biscuit tin with glitter or ceramic paint. Buy some inexpensive biscuits, place them in the tin and wrap in tinsel.

    Personalise plain wooden hangers with friends names or special sayings.

    Get your children to help with making gifts. Spending time with children is more important to them than buying expensive presents

  • 5Christmas food The most expensive food is not

    necessarily the nicest. Blind taste tests often show that people enjoy budget brands just as much.

    Only buy what you need to avoid wasting food.

    Eat your Christmas leftovers on boxing day, you could make a turkey curry or bubble and squeak.

    Make your own mince pies

    While making your own mince pies, get the children to help decorate them

    Make your own pigs in blankets, which will be much cheaper than shop bought

    Buy frozen vegetables. They can be cheaper than fresh, are just as nutritious and you only use what you need

    If you are inviting friends or family to Christmas dinner, ask them to each bring a course of their own

    Download a recipe from the internet and make your own punch or mulled wine

    Make your own Christmas pudding and cake involve children they will love helping

    Use economy mixers to mix with drinks

  • 6Christmas decorations If you have children make

    Christmas decorations with them.

    Purchase from the 1 shop: glue, wool, glitter, paint, scissors and stickers

    Buy a large roll of plain brown paper, some string and glitter to make your own wrapping paper

    Recycle last years ribbons and bows

    Collect evergreen leaves, cut a hole in the top and thread some string through it and hang on the tree

    Dip leaves in silver or gold paint

    Pick ivy and drape it around your home

    Go to the park and collect acorns or pinecones and spray them silver or gold

    Thread popcorn onto cotton and hang it around the house as a garland

    Pick up twigs from the park or forest and paint gold, silver or red

    If you cant afford a Christmas tree, find a branch, paint it white and hang Christmas decorations on it

    Buy plain Christmas baubles and personalise them

    Cut out pictures of your children and paste them onto plain Christmas baubles

    Cut out snowflakes from plain paper and glue these to coloured card

    Buy value envelopes to put homemade Christmas cards in.

    Use small match boxes wrapped up like presents, tied with ribbon and hung on the tree to make inexpensive Christmas tree decorations

    Make salt dough decorations for the Christmas tree.

    Stick pictures of Santa on plain balloons

    Buy candles and decorate them yourself make sure that you do not use flammable materials

  • 7

  • 8Chocolate truffles recipe 16 digestive biscuits

    6 heaped tablespoons of drinking chocolate (plus 2 extra tablespoons for dusting)

    1 can (395g) of condensed milk

    1. Place the biscuits in a large plastic bag or bowl, bash with a rolling pin or anything heavy until the biscuits are crumbs

    2. Add the can of condensed milk and stir

    3. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes

    4. Divide into small round balls

    5. Put 2 tablespoons of drinking chocolate in a bowl & roll the balls around in it

    6. Put the balls into a see through bag and tie with ribbon

  • 9Christmas dinner

    Product Shop Price2 x 1.65 kg turkey breasts with Lincoln style stuffing

    Asda 6.00

    2.5kg smart price kilo British potatoes

    Asda 99p

    85g smart price sage & onion stuffing mix

    Asda 15p

    1 kg savers Brussel sprouts Morrisons 75p

    1 x savers packets of 6 mince pies Morrisons 60p

    1 x smart price 454kg Christmas pudding

    Asda 98p

    850kg savers frozen parsnips Morrisons 70p

    1 kg savers frozen carrots Morrisons 55p

    170g basic gravy granules Sainsburys 18p

    200g savers brandy butter Morrisons 1.00

    750ml bottle of Three Mills white wine

    Asda 2.50

    750 ml bottle of Three Mills red wine Asda 2.50

    WITHOUT WINE 11.90 divided by 6 people =1.99 per head

    WITH WINE 16.90 divided by 6 people = 2.82 per head

    * Prices correct at time of printing: December 2014

  • 10

    Christmas Quiz1. What is a Secret Santa?

    A) Father Christmas disguised as a telly tubby

    B ) Father Christmas secret address

    C) Where a group of people agree to buy a secret present for each other

    2. How long does Christmas officially last for?

    A) 12 days

    B) 2 days

    C) 7 days

    3. What are pigs in blankets?

    A) A type of farmyard insulation

    B) Bacon wrapped around a chipolata sausage

    C) New born piglets snuggled under a duvet in the barn

    4. What are pinecones?

    A) The seed of a fir tree

    B) A type of mincemeat flavoured ice cream

    C) A Christmas candle holder

    5.What is a popcorn garland?

    A) A home made Christmas decoration

    B) A new cinema flavoured sweet

    C) A string of sweet corn that you have with your Christmas dinner

    6. What country do turkeys cone from?

    A) Turkey

    B) Iceland

    C) Mexico

    7. How long was the biggest Christmas stocking in the world?

    A) 106 feet and 9 inches long

    B) 23 feet long and 4 inches long

    C) 215 feet and 10 inches long

  • 11

    8. If Father Christmas visits everyone under the age of 18 in the world, how fast would he have to travel?

    A) 2,000 miles per hour

    B) 650 miles per second

    C) 9,235 piles per minute

    9. In 1999 the worlds largest snowman was built, how tall was he?

    A. 113 feet tall

    B. 213 feet tall

    C. 186 feet tall

    10. What are the chances of white Christmas in England?

    A) One in hundred

    B) One in ten

    C) One in thousand

    11. Where did boxing day get its name

    A) Because there was always boxing matches the day after Christmas

    B) The council collects the empty boxes the day after Christmas

    C) From all of the money collected in church alms-boxes for the poor

    12. What colour are the berries from the mistletoe plant?

    A) Red

    B) White

    C) Blue

    13. How many points does a snowflake have?

    A) Six

    B) Four

    C) Twenty

    14. The song White Christmas was first performed in the film Holiday Inn. What year was this?

    A) 1942

    B) 1952

    C) 1985

  • 12

    15. Which country gives Londons Trafalgar Square its Christmas tree every year?

    A) Sweden

    B) Norway

    C) Finland

    16. What is new years eve called in Scotland?

    A) Auld Lang Syne

    B) Hogmanay

    C) Happy new year night

    17. How many wise men came to give baby Jesus presents

    A) 6

    B) 4

    C) 3

    18. Which reindeer was NOT one of the original eight reindeer from the Twas the night before Christmas poem

    Comet, Cupid, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Donner, Blitzen, Brazen


    1A, 2A, 3B, 4A, 5A, 6C, 7A, 8B, 9A, 10B, 11C, 12B, 13A, 14A, 15B, 16B, 17C, 18 BRAZEN

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