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Christmas is coming – yes, it’s true. Rather than ignore the fact that the most expensive time of year will be here before you know it, planning ahead will not only save you stress, but time and money.

There are many different ways that you could approach Christmas with a thrifty point of view – the money that you save could be spent elsewhere, even on a holiday to look forward to after the winter is through.

Here are a few suggestions of thrifty presents you could give, without any unneeded embarrassment:

  • Make Your Own

This isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you are skilled in a craft, can bake, or are otherwise ‘arty’, why not create something special and original with the materials you already have? Some local craft shops even hold workshops where you can make gifts to give. Websites such as Craftgawker and Pinterest provide plenty of inspiration – just make sure that you don’t end up wasting more time than you spend on making your presents!

  • Buy Bargains

Use websites that offer vouchers and cash back on your purchases, such as Topcashback. If you’re going to buy something new, check out and see if there are any online deals or vouchers before you make your purchase.

  • Trade a Skill

Whether its babysitting hours, a spot of gardening, or changing a tire, sharing skills is often far more appreciated and longer lasting than a box of chocolates from the supermarket or high street. Your friends or family could always return the favour, benefitting everyone involved.

  • Give Gift Vouchers or Experiences

Sometimes these may not seem like the cheapest option, but when considering value for money a gift voucher or a gift experience usually rank pretty highly. A pre-teen finding their own style would enjoy a gift voucher for a trendy clothes shop, whereas busy parents would really appreciate a voucher for a spa treatment.

  • Go to a Boot Fair

If you have friends or family members who are into all things vintage, visiting a boot fair is a much less costly option than antiques and vintage shops. You might even be able to find a long-lost well-loved toy from childhood to bring back fond memories. Remember to check china items for chips, and try to avoid electrical goods if possible.

  • Ethical Options

Why not make a donation to your recipient’s favourite charity on their behalf? You can even receive cashback on an RSPB membership or purchases from charitable shops online, such as the Oxfam Online Shop and Present Aid.

Hopefully there are some ideas which may inspire you to start your Christmas shopping – or making, early. The time and money that you save through this can be put towards making the most of a stress-free holiday season – perfect!

Bill Weston writes on a number of topics, including how to save money with discount codes. For more information, please visit