Feeling frugal this festive season? YBI’s Christmas hacks will keep your budget on track and leave you cash to spare.

Let’s face it, Christmas can be a truly expensive exercise. From the presents to the Christmas meal to the decorations and paraphernalia, it’s easy to blow your budget. But it doesn’t have to be this way. With a little bit of ingenuity and elbow grease you can deliver a great Christmas for you, your family and friends.

Gift hacks

Roy Morgan predicts Australians are expected to spend $51.9 billion at retailers in the lead up to present. Is there any wonder the pressure to spend up big on presents in immense? Don’t fall prey to a budget busting spending spree, instead consider these gift hacks to keep your spending in check.

Put a cap on it

Agree upon a spending limit with your family and friends so you can keep your spending under control. Better yet consider a ‘kids only’ gift regime. Take advantage of sales to nab a present while prices are low.

Grab a voucher

If you like a touch of luxury but don’t want to lose and arm paying for it, deal sites often have some great voucher options that make perfect gifts. From experiences to pamper packages – vouchers can deliver the perfect gift option for that special someone. Or perhaps you have some unique skills of your own? Consider a DIY voucher option offering up your services as a chef/ gardener/ masseuse or handyperson.

Compare and save

Don’t be afraid to ask a store to price match or for a competitive deal. Most retailers will beat a competitor’s price if you can show them proof of the details when you go into the store.

Everything old is new again

Antique stores and second-hand shops, Gumtree and eBay can provide a plethora of options for the thrifty shopper. Yes, it may take some time trawling online or through a dusty brick and mortar store to find your treasure but when you do, the reward is immense.

Get down with Dinner Duty

So, you’ve pulled dinner duty for this year’s Christmas festivities. However, that doesn’t mean you have to carry the weight alone. Consider these hacks to save time and money yet still have a Christmas feast with all the trimmings.

Share the catering

Just because you’re playing host, doesn’t mean you have to provide all the food and drinks yourself. Ask your guests to contribute a signature dish or provide nibbles, dessert or drinks… You’d be surprised how happy everyone is to contribute and how much less stressful it is to host Christmas Day lunch or dinner if you aren’t doing it all on your own.

Make a list

Ensure you don’t overshop. Make a list and buy only what you need. Australian’s throw out millions of tonnes of food each Christmas thanks to over catering. Don’t be a mug and buy food only to bin it because you have excess. 

Make it personal

Aussies spend bucket loads of cash on wrapping paper and cards each and every festive season. Yet most of these cards and wrappers wind up ditched in the bin faster than you can say ‘ho ho ho’. This year instead of wasting your hard-earned on store-bought cards why not turn your Christmas cards and wrapping paper into Christmas keepsakes instead?

Get creative

Put your kids to work with pens and paper, ink and paint, to create artworks that you can turn into wrapping paper or cards. Print a favourite photo to make a personalised Christmas greeting. Pull out your smartphone or tablet and record a Christmas message or pull out or the stops and stage your own festive film to email to your family and friends.

Once this year’s Christmas festivities are done and dusted get the jump on next Christmas and start planning for 2019 now for even more savings.