Saving for a super Christmas

Christmas is just round the corner and this year, things are going to be a little different. To help you get a handle on Christmas, we’ve teamed up with Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA) to provide some hints and tips on how you can save money and reduce waste.

Secret Santa

The key to ensuring you retain the festive spirit without spiralling into Christmas debt is to do Secret Santa at home. Agree with your family who wants to get involved, throw your names into a hat and agree a budget. This way, everyone gets a nice gift and no one is left struggling!

Don’t buy gifts, buy an experience

Make donations to good causes on behalf of family and friends or if you do intend to buy, then gift someone an experience they will always remember. Consider theatre tickets, a pampering day, a tandem skydive or even a hot air balloon ride.

Shorten your gift list

Don’t feel you have to buy several things for everyone. Buy only one good quality thing for each person on your list.

Download the Olio App

If you love food and hate waste, then download your local community OLIO App. OLIO connects neighbours with each other and with local shops so surplus food and other items can be shared and not thrown away.

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Cash for clothes

Before adding more clothing to your already packed wardrobe, recycle your unused and unwanted clothes with family, friends or a charity. Companies like John Lewis, M&S, H&M and Nike have schemes in which they’ll buy back your unwanted clothes.

Don’t wrap your gifts

This may seem extreme, but find an alternative to wrapping paper like putting your gifts in reusable bags or wrapping gifts in old clothing or sheets. Furoshiki is a Japanese tradition of wrapping gifts with fabric. It’s an awesome, zero-waste idea. It costs nothing and the reusable cloth becomes part of the present!

Get crafty

How about making upcycled Christmas decorations this year instead of buying new to save money? These can be made from materials found all around the home. Don’t be afraid to look for ideas – there are hundreds out there! Like bottle topped snowmen or stockings made from old plaid blankets and scarves. They can also make excellent gifts.

Cash for gadgets

Before you go spending, see if you have any electronic items like mobile phones, laptops and TVs you no longer want. Instead of throwing them out, you could raise some money for Christmas by cashing them in, at the likes of CEX. If you don’t have time to sell your items, companies such as MusicMagpie allow you to send in your old and unwanted electronics for an agreed cash amount.


Try to avoid disposable plates, cutlery, and napkins. If you have lot of guests coming and you are worried you don’t have enough plates and cutlery, ask your guests to bring some! They won’t mind. It also shows them that you are trying to be more environmental.


Be prepared for the inevitable Christmas leftovers. Think of other meals, soups, curries or smoothies that you can make with your leftovers. Your freezer can be your best friend this Christmas, make good use of it. Think ahead, New Year is only a week later. If you haven’t got it already, the Love Food Hate Waste App is a great place for recipe ideas.

Grab end-of-sale bargains

January is a great time to grab a bargain for next year. Wrap any gifts you buy with this year’s wrapping paper and put away in a dedicated Christmas cupboard.

If you’re worried about your finances over the Christmas period and would like a bit more help or some free and friendly advice, get in touch with us now on or take a look at the range of services we provide.