A mum has shared an easy way to help to spread the cost of Christmas this year – and it’s being welcomed by parents.
Casey Stanley posted a photo of her Christmas Box on the Family Lockdown Tips and Ideas Facebook page, asking if others did the same thing. She said that she starts her festive food shopping three months before the big day so that she doesn’t have to pay for it all in one go.
“Does anyone else have a Christmas box?” she asked, “We add a few things to the weekly shop every week from October so it’s not a huge bill come the week before Christmas. Anything that won’t perish before the 25th from cranberry sauce and gravy granules to chocolates.”
Other parents thought it was a great idea and said they were going to do the same thing. Some even made it part of the family festive countdown, saying their children were excited that the Christmas Box had begun.
For some, it seems the Christmas Box is a family tradition passed down through generations: “We started our box this week! My twins were so excited. Always did this when I was little and myself and brothers loved it!”
Another added: “Yep, passed down from Mum. I thought everyone did this. We also use all our nectar points to do the Christmas week shop.”
Others said they start buying as early as the start of August in their weekly shop, meaning that they have almost all their sweets and chocolates now. It also means that, post-lockdown, if we are able to visit friends and family, there’s a supply of goodies to take with you.
One mum explained: “I’ve done this for the last 22 years. I start in August for long dated munchies and I also make sure I put bottles of wine and chocolates etc in for when I visit peoples houses over the festive period to make sure I’ve got a little something to take along with me.”
Another said she starts a new box as soon as Christmas is over: “We start in January with crackers, cards, wrapping paper and discounted decorations. If you have the space to store them you can save yourself a fortune!”
Heartened to hear how it had helped others, one mum said she had started running a Christmas Box for the first time this year and said ‘it’s been brilliant’ because it was really helping to spread the cost. It also helps to reduce the stress in the final weeks leading up to Christmas Day when the shops tend to get very busy.
What to put into your Christmas Box
Items added into Christmas Boxes so far include:
- Tins of Quality Street
- After Eights
- Advent calenders
- Christmas tree chocolates
- Christmas crackers
- Cranberry sauce
- Cheese biscuits
- Gravy granules
- Pickles and chutneys
- Chocolate biscuits
- Festive treats
- Pet treats
How to make sure your Christmas Box doesn’t go wrong
Whilst most find it useful, some have warned that it can lead to overspending and overindulgence if you’re not careful! One mum said she ended up piling on weight as a result of buying too much stuff in the months leading to Christmas.
And others added that having tempting food, like chocolates and crisps, tucked away in the cupboard was just too much of a temptation for some family members and that there was no way it would still be there come December! One mum even hides her Christmas Box just inside the loft hatch to stop it disappearing before the big day!
A mum of two said: “I do this – but my family members now know that from October and definitely from November there are goodies stashed around the house, and the hunt is on!”
“Excellent idea,” said a mum of boys, “I’d have to hide it away from everyone though as it would all be inhaled in my house of boys!”
There is a solution, however, if you end up with too many items a week before Christmas Day – one kind mum said she collected her Christmas Box then made it into hampers for people in her local community and hospital instead of using it at home.
* What are your money-saving tips in the run-up to Christmas? We’d love to hear and share them to help others. Get in touch via our Brummie Mummies Facebook page or by emailing email@example.com