Creative Ideas For How To Save Cash This Christmas

Yaaahhhoooooo! The Christmas season is upon us. It’s such a fun time of the year, connecting with friends, family, and others from our communities. The weather is warmer in NZ and we can finally get more of those beach days in.

And with all of that fun can come spending more. Cash for social gatherings, food and drink, presents for the family, teachers, friends and loved ones, extra activities with the kids and friends, shelling out for those summer holiday trips. Let’s face it, most of us have a big network that we like to show some love to this time of the year whether through gifts or spending time together.

Having fun, showing love and enjoying the silly season doesn’t have to cost the earth if you let yourself think outside the box. Here are some creative ways how you can save cash this Christmas and still have a blast with the people you love.

1. Love goes through the stomach: Sharing your family food traditions

German Christmas Cookie

Food traditions can turn into great ways of giving something really special at Christmas. In my family, for example, German Christmas cookies are our forfeit. They are mouth-wateringly delicious and they look like a million bucks. We bake them en masse as a family using basic ingredients that are really affordable. We bundle them up nicely with some little bags and ribbons and gift these to my kids’ teachers, family members, friends, and neighbours.

You can premake it all, or make up DIY kits for your friends and family to enjoy with their own loved ones at a later date. Not just will those gifts ooze love, they also help you spend quality time with your family at the same time.

Do you have a favourite/traditional recipe in your family you could gift this year?

2. DIY gifts: Let Pinterest be your best friend

Pinterest has opened up the world of DIY to the masses and there are great ways of saving some cash whilst creating memorable gifts for the people you love. It’s amazing what you can do with a photo frame, some photos, artwork or prints of your favourite sayings.

One year my sister did tie-dye t-shirts (and undies!) for all of us. Another year I printed messages of love on cups for all of my besties for 10 bucks a pop. Years later they are still treasured items and were the source of great photos on the day. You can premake the gifts or create little packs for everyone to spend quality time together later on.

3. Gift a date: Quality time with your loved one

I loved doing this as a kid. Vouchers for ice cream dates, foot massages or doing the dishes. It was always a lot of fun to make the vouchers with some coloured paper and pens and they were always well received and ended up in amazing quality time with my mum. And now as an adult I have taken this to the next level.

I gift lunch dates, dinner dates, pamper days, shopping dates, adventure dates, you name it. Not just is it a great way of spreading the expense to a later date but it also allows you to have some quality one-on-one time while making memories with a person you love at a place of their or your choice.

Let’s face it, we have so much stuff. But what really sticks long term are those memories and special moments of being together.

4. Secret Santa: An oldie but a goodie

I have a friend whose family is obsessed with Secret Santa. Every year on Christmas Day they kick off the celebrations with Christmas hats, some bubbles and a two-hour round of Secret Santa. She always spoke so fondly of those memories where she got to laugh with her family about some of the ridiculous presents they were giving each other. Each person would open their present one at a time followed by ohhh-ing and ahhh-ing and a healthy family discussion about the use of the object.

Now years later I totally get the fun. It avoids a ridiculous amount of presents for everybody, keeps the budget low as each person only has to buy one present and it creates space for every gift that’s unwrapped to be enjoyed by everyone. If your family likes a good joke (and your kids are older and don’t mind their presents being stolen by a loved one) you can turn the Secret Santa into a Bad Santa round for a few extra laughs (see White Elephant game rules here).

5. Gift-giving combos: Two for one

Jetboating with fam Sophie K

Activities throughout the Christmas holidays for the whole family can be expensive on top of the usual Christmas spend. So why not combine the two? Take advantage of Christmas deals by event/adventure providers and daily deal websites and purchase a voucher for an experience for the whole family or friends throughout the holiday period. My brother-in-law did this for us one year where the whole family went jet boating together on holiday and it’s definitely one of those Chrissy presents that I nor my girls will ever forget.

6. Need vs want: Practical presents are the bomb

Do your kids need some new clothes, shoes or gear for activities throughout the coming year? Then Christmas can be a great time to get those needs filled. I’m a big believer in purchasing practical presents for my loved ones, not just my kids. Not just do those presents get some extra love because they are being used all the time but it’s also a great way to save some cash in the long run for everybody involved.

Sophie K and daughters outside

Of course, the creative ideas don’t have to stop there. Gifting and giving can be a fun, practical, time and money-saving affair if we allow ourselves to turn on our creative brains and really tune into what can bring each other joy and ease in our lives.

I know as a parent, in the past I often took it upon myself to get the Christmas shopping list ticked off on my own. But honestly, it is so much more fun when we can share the experiences with our tribe.

So here is to the jolly season and gift-giving at its funnest. Merry Christmas from me to you.

Article written by Sophie K for Kidspot

Sophie K

About Sophie K

Sophie is a coach and creator of The Thrive Guide, a mother of two, a joy seeker and a lover of adventure. She helps her fellow humans to find more time, confidence and ultimately joy in their everyday lives through empowering them at their core.

She knows what it feels like to be stressed and overwhelmed; almost constantly. Feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything. Between her professional and personal life in the past there just wasn’t enough time or energy left for joy. The result? Life often seemed hard and complicated. Her mental and physical health suffered. The people she loved the most ended up getting the worst of her. Including herself.

It took a major life event for her to realize that she needed more. She wanted to feel at ease, be the best version of herself for her kids, make time for what was important to her and follow what brought her joy and happiness deep down. Life is just too short to spend it feeling unfulfilled.

She loves to laugh and see the funny side of life and has a deep interest in people, their stories and what makes them tick. She has been running her business since 2020 and is excited to help make this world a better place for all our generations to come.

Visit her website for more or get in touch via to book a complimentary chat.

Leave A Comment