Although you may be forgiven for assuming that Christmas cheer engulfs the whole nation from December 1, this is not always the case. Aside from the massive amounts of anxiety this time of year can bring on to those suffering from mental health issues (nothing is worse than having to “perform” for tactless family members or feel like the only one not brimming with fucking joy at the sight of the John Lewis ad), Christmas can also equal a great deal of expense.
For 1 person, you will need:
Chicken leg: 50p (4 for £1.99 – Aldi)
1/4 red onion: 3p (9 for 79p – Asda)
1 tsp cranberry sauce: 5p (200g for 69p – Asda)
Breadcrumbs: 2p (use bread in cupboard)
200g potatoes: 10p (2.5kg for £1.19 – Lidl)
30g stuffing: 6p (170g for 34p – Lidl)
1 rasher bacon: 10p (14 for £1.29 – Lidl)
30g sprouts: 5p (500g for 70p – Asda)
1 tsp gravy granules: 3p (170g for 70p – Asda)
Decorations are also expensive. But a little can go a long way. If you are not time poor paper chains look nice and are relatively cheap to make. But I found them very hard to get hold of last year. You can of course make your own- if you have the time. Otherwise, Poundland and the pound store have really stocked up this year with garlands and decorations which will brighten any room. And the Pound Store is now online so you can order for delivery if you can’t get into town, but it costs an extra £5.
It may be crazy to even think about presents if money is really very tight. Mostly, children want something to unwrap on the day and will excuse it not being the exact thing they asked for. Use selling groups if you can arrange a pick up and charity shops if you can get to them. Again, this is really hard if you’re time poor and working also. I’m not assuming you have a lot of time to browse charity shops. Look for deals online – a lot of places start their Christmas sales early. Likewise if you’re shopping in actual shops a lot of stores will start their Boxing Day sale on Christmas Eve, so you can get deals early.
In terms of thinking ahead – I really hope you’re not in the situation you’re currently in next year, but it’s worth thinking about making the most of the sales to stock up with things you may be able to sell on. Boots for example slash 75% off their gifts towards the end of January.