How to save money over Christmas

Festive doesn’t need to be expensive

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…and it can also be one of the most expensive for many of us. Saving money over the festive period doesn’t necessarily mean skimping on the trimmings or subjecting loved ones to generic gifts. Finding the balance between finance friendly and fabulously festive can take a bit of planning but doesn’t need to be difficult.

You’ll find that all these cost-saving tricks will help you capture the real spirit of Christmas, which is less about buying things and more about sharing time.

Make a list, check it twice

Take a leaf out of the jolly man in the red suit’s book. Having a well thought out plan for your Christmas shopping helps you avoid being swept up by impulse buys. Get your list started early (now!), allowing plenty of time to ponder and revise as you come up with the perfect gift ideas for loved ones. Having your list sorted early means more time to hunt around for the best prices, and you’ll avoid the pre-Christmas shopping frenzy as well.

If you have a budget in mind, it’s useful to include this in your list-making so you know exactly where you stand financially.

Trim the trimmings

While the traditional hot Christmas lunch (or dinner) still holds popularity, consider swapping out tired turkey for a succulent roast chicken, and focus on fresh seasonal vegetables like asparagus in place of peas. Seasonal produce (and smaller birds) are usually more affordable and they deliver on taste too!

Better still, say goodbye to the traditional meal completely – fire up the BBQ and feast on fresh seafood, delicious salads and summer fruits. A vegetarian or vegan Christmas feast will be even lighter on the wallet – and on the planet too.

Use Secret Santa’s secret to saving

Children, grandchildren, work colleagues and friends – the number of people most of us buy for each year can quickly snowball out of control and become stress-inducing. Suggest Secret Santa as an option – it’s a sure-fire way to save money and avoid gifts for the sake of gifts. Typically, you’ll be assigned (at random) a person to buy for, given a budget and told to keep it all hush-hush. There are many online generators that can make this easy and fun, allowing participants to add wish lists and send anonymous questions to their giftees.

Don’t see red over your power bill, go green

With dishwashers and ovens working overtime, Christmas lights adorning the house and houseguests running the showers all times of the day, Christmas can also be an expensive time of the year for your power bill.

Christmas by candlelight may be one thing, but a better idea is thinking ahead and switching to solar. What better time to harness all that NZ sunshine and do your part in the effort toward a cleaner, greener and more sustainable future? All while saving on your festive-season power bill!

Solarcity has been on a mission to return the power to the people, by offering cheaper, cleaner and smarter energy for New Zealanders. Through their offering ‘solarZero’ you can have solar panels and a smart battery installed for free, and there are no upfront costs (perfect at this notoriously expensive time of the year). Instead, you’ll pay a fixed monthly fee, starting from as little as $85 +GST a month. It’s so low that solarcity guarantees you’ll save money on your power bills from that first year. solarcity also takes care of upgrades and maintenance, so there are no hidden long-term costs to worry about.

Think solarZero might be right for your home? Click here to see if you qualify to join the Grid for Good to generate power from your roof.

Make, bake or create 

Ready to farewell the consumerism surrounding Christmas altogether? If your family, friends or colleagues are gifted in the creative department, consider switching to a homemade Christmas where gifts must fall in the make, bake or create categories.

There’s no reason why you can’t go ahead and DIY a selection of presents, even if others aren’t interested in partaking. Homemade gifts are undoubtedly more thoughtful as people appreciate the time and effort spent on creating something unique.

Make, bake or create inspiration:

  • Create a buzzHomemade beeswax wraps 
  • Green thumb – give a kitchen planter box of fresh herbs or micro-greens
  • Bakers delight – nothing beats a brownie mix in a jar, or are you famous for your fudge?
  • Heaven scent – DIY bath bombs or festive handmade soaps
  • Posh preserves – add something special to summer entertaining
  • Sewing sensation – sew a simple, reusable shopping tote or wine bottle holder (just add wine!)

The key to pulling this off is searching for inspiration online and planning ahead so you have enough time to get everything done.

It’s a wrap!

Most of us love that festive feeling of fancy wrapping paper adorning presents under the tree, but with a vast amount of it non-recyclable it’s far from planet-loving. You can not only do your bit for the environment but save significantly by taking a little extra time to create your own unique wrapping. One great idea is to get children involved in decorating a roll of butcher’s paper – little fingers love getting creative, it keeps them entertained and your cute wrapping paper is sorted.

Think solarZero might be right for your home? Click here to see if you qualify to join the Grid for Good to generate power from your roof.