Cutting back on what you spend this year doesn’t mean losing out on festive cheer. With a few creative ideas here and there it’s easy to make more of less – often with a lot of fun along the way. Here are few things to try…

Eco-Friendly and Frugal Christmas Ideas

Send E-Cards

I’ve hesitated from doing this in the past as the options were a bit ‘naff’. This year a lot of charities are offering great e-cards though. See Marie Curie, Macmillan, Friends of the Earth, and RSPCA. Some ask for a small donation.

Check out Paperless Post too. Or for a few meme-style giggles,


Share The Cooking

If your family is getting together, ask everyone to prepare a part of the meal. If that’s unrealistic, you could put together a kitty to cover the cost of a big family meal. If there’s anything left over you could donate it to a charity.


Give Vintage Pottery

Turn Christmas into Thriftmas with gifts found in second hand or antique shops. There are a lot where I live so I often upcycle old pots into candle gifts. It’s an affordable way to tap into the on-going trend for ceramics too. Just swap the expensive high-street pot for a lovely old one with tons more character.

Eco-Friendly and Frugal Christmas Ideas

Piggy Bank Your Coffee Spends

Then use the saved-up pounds towards you gift shopping. Not a coffee drinker? Have one less drink at a festive gathering and save that instead. Better for your pocket and the morning after!


Don’t Buy Unnecessarily

A really thoughtful, small gift (homemade? Even better) is far nicer to give (and receive) than heaps of parcels that get forgotten.

I try to embrace less is more when shopping for my nieces – like many children, they simply have so much. I’m not amazing at this, but awareness is half the battle.


Agree A Budget

It could be as little as £5 or £10. Enjoy the challenge, too!


Keep An Eye Out For Free Delivery

It always comes around at this time of year. Rather than buying mindlessly when it does, have a list. More about that below…

Eco-Friendly and Frugal Christmas Ideas

Actually Write A List

And stick to it. Many of us don’t ever write one.

Have one this year – even if it’s a note on your phone. It’ll help you avoid impulse and unnecessary purchases, which you may not be able to afford. I’m using this tact for buying my winter wardrobe. Having a note in my phone is a good reminder if I find myself with something ‘off list’ in my hands!


Give Your Time

Offer to do something for a friend. Go carol signing to raise funds for a local charity (and some real, all-round cheer). Volunteer – I’ll be doing this on Christmas Day with my parents.


Don’t Forget Loyalty Points

We inevitably need a handful of bits and bobs from the high street. Check your supermarket and chemist cards to see if you can use ‘points’ to cover a little of your shopping.


There’s so much you can do to trim the cost of Christmas down with a little bit of thought. This far from exhaustive but hopefully gives you a starter for ten.

If you’re thinking of making your gifts this year, have a look at these diy ideas. And check out Becky’s foraged wrap and trim for a lovely final flourish.


Eco-Friendly and Frugal Christmas Ideas By Braintree's Clare