I am very sad but for the last 3 years I have kept a spreadsheet of everything I buy during the year for Christmas ie presents, cards, crackers, food, drink etc - I never go over my budget for presents but might go over a small bit for food (nothing to worry over). Actually, even my food bill has been going down as I only really buy for Christmas Day and Boxing Day and don't buy any extras "just in case".
So the last three years I have used up my budget of £540 per year and saved the following on presents and Christmas paraphernalia by buying carefully during the year and in sales etc
2008 - £247.98
2009 - £110
2010 - £268.5
My budget for the last 3 years has been £50 per month i.e. £540 per year. I am going to stick to the same budget this year but its been getting harder and harder - and this year I have more children to buy for so will have to juggle the budget to fit. I am really lucky in that my dd (who is now 14) doesn't want the latest phones, laptops, GHD's etc but that might change in the future! Luckily her birthday is just before Christmas and she gets mostly money for that so if she wants something she can buy it - she never asks for anything at Christmas - she's happy with all her surprises bless her!
I always buy my cards in the sales but don't always use full packs so I am going to put what's left from this year in a big envelope and mark 2010 on it and then not use those ones until 2012 so wont be sending the same ones 2 years running!
Do you really need to buy more food?
19 hours ago