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10 ways to save money on kids’ presents this Christmas

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10 ways to save money on kids’ presents this Christmas

November 24, 2022 – 18:01 GMT

Sophie Hamilton

Worried about buying expensive Christmas presents for the kids? Check out these 10 ways to cut costs this festive season – and still keep children smiling

The Christmas build up has already started and with the cost of living worries this year, many parents across the UK will be planning pared-down festive celebrations. But how do we keep our kids happy on Christmas Day without spending a fortune?

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Well, Christmas gifts don’t have to cost the earth and there are several ways to cut back without forgoing those wonderful little smiles on 25 December. Take a look at our money-saving tips below for some inspiration…

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Explain the cost of living crisis You may want to explain the current financial climate to your children, so if you do decide to give fewer or smaller presents this year, they will understand why – that way there won’t be an upsetting shock on Christmas Day.

In our house, we’re reducing the number of presents this year and have told the children to expect one main special present from mum and dad under the tree and then see what Santa brings in their stockings.

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The four-gift rule Have you heard of the ‘four-gift rule’ with Christmas presents? It’s a really nice, thoughtful idea for those on a budget and gives children the chance to focus on the quality not quantity of gifts they receive.

How it works is parents give their child four presents: one thing that they want, one gift they need, something to wear and a present to read.

It may be a big departure from how you normally gift within your family at Christmas but it’s a sweet idea and hopefully one the kids will understand and respect.

Make gifts at home It sounds like a cliché, but this can be such a fun way of spending time together and really gets you in the Christmas spirit.

If your child loves toiletries, you could make some homemade bath bombs or soaps for them. Or how about creating a special photobook or scrapbook of recent memories – such a treasured gift.

You could even bake some cookies and present them in a cute ribbon-tied basket and add the gift to their stocking.

Have a pre-Christmas clear out I don’t know about you, but we have A LOT of unused toys at home that the children no longer play with.

A good idea is to have a big pre-Christmas sort out and either take toys, books and clothes to the charity shop or sell them online – that way you’re raising funds to buy your children’s presents for this year.

Reinvent old toys I remember once seeing a friend give her daughter a gaming device for Christmas and her daughter was thrilled – she later told me it was her son’s old device; they’d just bought a new cover for it, and their daughter was none the wiser.

Likewise, if your child has a favourite doll or soft toy, why not buy or make it a new outfit? Or if Scalextric is a favourite at home, buy a ‘new’ second hand car or track pieces.

It’s not always necessary to buy a whole new toy – you can find cost-effective ways of adding to existing toys your children love.

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Visit charity shops You can find some brilliant presents in charity shops – from books to puzzles and board games – and with a little clean up, they can look brand new. Charity shops often sell new items too, so it’s worth looking out for those too.

They also stock plenty of affordable stocking fillers, plus you’re giving back at the same time.

Give time, not things This is such a cute idea, and one that will likely be very meaningful to your children.

How about giving each of your children a selection of envelopes with ‘vouchers’ inside them handwritten by you for activities you’ll do with them. Examples are: a day out in the city, a sleepover night with a friend, a home games night, a one on one football session, inviting their friends around for dinner, a cupcake baking session.

Then your child can ‘cash in’ their voucher whenever they choose.

Shop in cheaper spots There are plenty of more affordable shops to go present hunting in, and you can grab some real bargains.

A favourite of mine are the middle aisles of Lidl and Aldi, where you can find some great cut-price toys. High street stores like The Works are brilliant for affordable books, stocking fillers and craft materials, and don’t forget the wonderful Home Bargains!

Throw a gift-swap party How about having a pre-Christmas toy swap with your local friends, then gifting the new toys you return home with to your children for Christmas? A board game which your kids are tired of may be totally new to a friend.

Make homemade wrapping and gift cards We love this idea – it’s a fun, crafting bonding activity to do with your kids and it’s also good for the planet.

Get yourself a few rolls of cheap brown paper and have fun decorating it with your kids and turning it into wrapping paper for Christmas gifts. Cut out your own festive-shaped stencils and make painted prints on the paper. Add glitter or whatever you fancy.

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