With gifts to buy, a fridge to fill and parties to attend, Christmas can be the most expensive time of the year and it’s common to feel under financial pressure.

If you’re worried about how much the festive season is going to cost you, we’ve put together some tips to help you make those all-important Christmas savings.

Set a budget and stick to it

Work out how much money you can reasonably afford to spend on presents, as forward planning can help you make some Christmas savings.

Setting a budget for gifts will ensure you don’t overspend and will help you identify what you can stretch to when shopping. Speak to your loved ones and set an affordable price limit for gifts, so that everybody spends the same.

Plan ahead and make lists

Write a list of everything you need to buy, from the turkey down to the carrot for Rudolph. This way, you’ll avoid panic buying and spending more than you anticipated. Take your shopping list with you wherever you go, so you can look out for any items that might be on offer.

If you know you need to make some Christmas savings, be realistic about how much food and drink you actually need and don’t overbuy things for the sake of it.

Shop around to make Christmas savings

Price comparison sites such as Google shopping can help you make Christmas savings by helping you find the best prices on the market.

Black Friday may have passed, but there are often even more savings to be made as the big day edges closer. Next day delivery can be expensive, so buying ahead will help you save the pennies.

Supermarkets often run 3 for 2 or bulk buy offers on food and drink, so doing your research will help you establish where you can get the best value for money.

Get creative

If you’re on a budget, think creatively about how to give gifts without it causing a financial headache. If you’re good in the kitchen, bake a batch of homemade shortbread, or alternatively find a nice family picture to frame for your relatives.

Christmas savings

Spend time with loved ones

Putting all the expense aside, spending time with your nearest and dearest is important, and this doesn’t have to come with a price tag. A long walk on Boxing Day followed by leftovers at home will cost you next to nothing. Bring out the board games and make your own fun without spending a fortune elsewhere.

Car share this Christmas

It’s Christmas and your social calendar is jam-packed, but the cost alone of getting home can be a deterrent. Sharing a cab with people is not only safer but will also help you make some Christmas savings, or you could set up a travel trade-off with your friends. Agree to give lifts whenever you’re able to, in exchange for the same from them.

Alternatively, make the most of public transport in your area. The National Rail app provides information on train times, so if you can’t afford cabs this Christmas, plan ahead and save yourself a small fortune.

Ask others to contribute to Christmas Day

If you’re hosting dinner, why not ask all of your guests to bring an item each? Whether it’s a bottle of something bubbly or a delicious dessert, sharing the cooking and the cost will help you make Christmas savings and lighten your kitchen load on Christmas Day.

Stay in touch for less

If you usually spend a fortune on cards and postage, make Christmas savings this year by sending e-cards instead.

Surprise friends or relatives overseas with a phone call on Christmas Day, which won’t cost you anything if you use skype, facetime or WhatsApp voice call whilst on wifi.

Other ways to make Christmas savings

Make the most of your store loyalty cards by using your points or vouchers on some of your purchases, which will help with your Christmas savings. Retailers often offer additional points deals over the festive period which can earn you some cashback.

If you’re really organised, plan ahead for next year. Set aside some money each month so that when the festive season comes round again, you don’t feel the pinch.

If you’re looking for someone else to manage your money, check out our affordable accountancy services.