Saturday, 15 December 2012

Handmade Christmas on a Frugal Budget

Hand Making Christmas

Snowman Soup
This year, I'm in a bit of a quandary as to what to do and how to proceed as far as cards and gifts are concerned. Basically, most folks I know are skint and opting out of gift-giving or card sending. I can't really blame them on the cards thing, as it saddens me to see tons of pretty cardboard binned or burned after the festivities are done and dusted, and it doesn't help that the cheapest postage stamp is now 50p, which is enough only for the flattest, non-embellished cards. Anything fancy and we're into the realms of 'large letter' postage.

For those on certain benefits, (I can't tell you which ones as I don't know) thre's the opportunity to purchase a limited number of discounted stamps, so make the most of it, even if it's just to help a friend, as I know some are doing.

For details of the 'snowman soup' featured in the photo, see blog post here.

My middle name, or one of them, should be 'disorganised'! I do try my best to save up as many vouchers and points as possible throughout the year so I can afford Christmas but it never works out that way! I shop online via Topcashback, collect Nectar points, Co-op points and accrue credit card cashback. The sum total can amount to well over £100 worth over the year, which a small fortune for me! It buys all sorts of essentials through the year - like cat food, bulk food buys and assorted gifts that can be sent directly. Trouble is, the voucher savings never last long enough to complete the Christmas shopping. I need to get inventive and make gifts that can be posted for the minimum First Class amount of £2.70, plus I now live in a tiny community where everyone exchanges cards, hence my need for extras.

Tonight's job is card-making and I can cheat a bit with the bulk of them by way of the cardmaking kits I bought in a charity auction. These will be hand delivered to friends, family and neighbours. The further afield ones all get sent to one address for sister to distribute accordingly. I would show you the kit cards all made up but can't, as a couple of the recipients would see them before receiving them. :)

NOTE TO SELF: Double sided sticky tape and sticky tabs are just that - STICKY!

After completing the kit cards, it will be time to move on to the individually created ones for gran daughters, nieces and nephews. Coupled with that, I shall also create my entry card for the bloggers' competition that was announced following our completion of the Secret Santa challenge.

The Christmas Card Crafting Competition will need a blog post on its own, but everyone is free to take part. Here are the details I received from Money Supermarket about the 'Christmas card craft off' challenge:

We want to see photos, guides, tips and the different stages you went through – and in exchange you’ll be in with a shot of winning one of the incredible prizes, which are on offer to the top three entries in each category:

  • 1st – iPad Mini
  • 2nd – £100 Hobbycraft vouchers
  • 3rd - £50 Hobbycraft vouchers
  • 1st – iPad Mini
  • 2nd – £100 Hobbycraft vouchers
  • 3rd - £50 Hobbycraft vouchers
Like any good frugaler, I'm determined to secure my entry into the competition, but need to get my personal Christmas cards out before that. 
Back soon,


  1. Just a question about your Champers... I made up my batch on Friday, how long do you let it "sit" before you decant it into bottles.
    Kiwi Fi

  2. Good luck, I'd bottle around Wednesday. :) That's one of the links to the frugal champers. I leave mine 5 to 7 days before straining/filtering and bottling and by then it has already started fermenting by then. If you strain the fruit at 5 days, I have had no problems using it for fruit pies/crumbles - just don't eat too much at the one time. :)

  3. I did a post on my blog about postage and Christmas cards: as the price of postage over here is just getting more and more expensive. I mailed a knitted baby cardy and hat the other day, the outfit cost me $24 and the postage was another $9+

    I need to be more organized myself with Christmas next year and try and make a lot more gifts to save on money.



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