Soaring inflation, rapidly rising consumer prices and ever-increasing energy bills, that’s the grim reality of the cost-of-living crisis as it continues to cripple spending across the country. A particularly cheerless notion as Christmas quickly approaches.

A recent survey by children’s charity Barnado’s found that more than half of families in the UK are planning to significantly slim their spend this year, in favour of a more cost-savvy Christmas.

But we don’t think that should mean that this Christmas is any less merry and bright. Here we’ve compiled a list of hints, tips and tricks to help you be more frugal this festive season, without scrimping on cheer. Here’s how to have yourself a thrifty Christmas:



Consumer prices rose by more than 10% in September, following a similarly sharp rise in August, and purchasing basic, store-cupboard items like pasta, bread and even teabags left our purses considerably lighter.

But Christmas is a time to indulge in the foods we love. So, we’ve compiled a list of some ways you can manage the cost and with a thrifty Christmas food shop.


  1. Shop in advance

Supermarket’s typically increase their prices during the countdown to Christmas, so shop as early as you can to get the best deals and freeze them.

Buying and storing or freezing food items can help you be more prepared ahead of the big day, and adding one or two additional items to your weekly shop helps to spread the cost. 


2. Make a menu

In addition to the all-important Christmas dinner, cramming the cupboards for that downtime between Christmas and New Year can be expensive. Avoid impulse purchases by drawing up a menu and a wish list of your festive faves. 

Keep an eye on the price per kilo and consider visiting the deli or cheese counter. Here you can buy smaller amounts of things like meat or cheese, that tend to be better quality – and it helps support local, independent and family-run businesses.


3. Save money by tackling food waste

It’s worth taking a look into food waste pick-up spots there are in your area. Some supermarkets are now offering the opportunity to families to get their hands on food for free if it’s nearing its sell-by-date.

You can also pick up ‘odd boxes’ of fruit and veg from local growers and some supermarkets such as Lidl.

Have you tried food waste apps yet? On the Too Good To Go app you can pick up a ‘magic bag’ of leftover fruit and veg from partnering supermarkets for around 70% off the standard retail price. You can even pick up the ‘last of the keg’ from a local establishment! 

Another firm favourite is Olio, an app that allows you to share surplus food with others in the area.

Spend less on Christmas dinner for a Thrifty Christmas


There is perhaps nothing that makes people feel quite so warm and fuzzy as the glow of a real tree strewn with festive fairy lights. But this year, more than ever, people are pausing to ponder how much Christmas lights will cost to run.

Here are our hacks for adding some cost-conscious comfort and joy to your home.


  1. Downsize your tree

For many people, Christmas isn’t Christmas without a real tree. But with a five-foot Christmas tree coming in at around £40, downsizing is a good compromise. 

You can keep all the charm of a real tree with a pint-size potted version. Usually planted with their roots, smaller potted trees can be re-planted when Christmas is over – so next year you can have a larger tree at no additional cost.

Check out this handy article on how to regrow your tree.


2. Alternative tree decorations

Do your decorations look a little worse for wear after a year in storage?

Consider making your decorations multi-purpose by decking your Christmas tree out in edible treats. Classic candy canes come at 12 for £1 from Asda and Iceland, and you can buy chocolate baubles cheaply online. There are plenty of options to suit your colour scheme.

For the nature lover, pinecones make lovely decorations and can be easily decorated with glitter, paint, or nail varnish – and it’s a super fun thing to do with little ones during the run up to the big day. If you fancy getting crafty, these handmade pom pom baubles are another fun alternative. 


3. Christmas lights

Energy prices are skyrocketing, but don’t be in the dark this Christmas. LED lights use 75% less energy than standard bulbs, and using mirrors to reflect fewer fairy-lights is a great trick too.

Thrifty Christmas Decorations


Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, but it is also the most expensive.

Here’s some ideas we’ve put together to make sure you can still enjoy the experience of gift-giving with family and friends. 


  1. Handmade Gifts

For cheap but thoughtful Christmas gifts, you can’t beat handmade.

Some great options we’ve spotted include bird feeders, easy loom scarves and loom hats, personalised photo calendars and Christmas cookie mix in a jar.

You could also consider upcycling. Source free or cheap items and turn them into something else, like these teacup candles.

Another idea we love is regenerating or repurposing an item belonging to a loved one but has seen better days. Perhaps they have a piece of furniture that looks worn out or some clothing that needs mending. Why not take care of it for them?   


2. Purchase second hand

As the cost-of-living crisis continues to put pressure on people’s pockets, pre-owned and pre-loved purchases have become very much in vogue.

Apps and websites like Vinted, Depop, eBay and Facebook Marketplace are the perfect place to find some second-hand sparkle. But be sure to start browsing early to allow for postage times. 

Clothes swaps are also a great way of getting hold of glam gifts and gear up for the party season. Here’s a great one taking place in Liverpool on December 1, organised by members of The WO team, Cynthia Ajayi and Olivia Matlock.

Clothes swaps and shops like this one offer a great way to refresh your wardrobe and exchange your gently used items for something new.

Are you looking for consoles or electricals? Shop refurbished from companies like CEX and Music Magpie – they will have been fully checked and come with a guarantee.


3. Get cashback on your purchases

For the purchases you are making, using websites like Top Cashback can earn you back up to 4%, as shoppers pocket the app’s commission for their earnings. Another app Rakuten allows you to shop at major outlets such as Amazon and earn up to 5% cashback.

The Women’s Organisation is the largest developed and deliverer of training and support for women in the UK. We work with women from all sections of the community and from all walks of life to empower them to be their best selves and take charge of their futures.

We recognise the direct impact of the cost-of-living crisis on many of the women we work with. We have curated a programme of completely free courses and events, so that women can continue to grow their confidence, develop their skills and explore ideas and opportunities without it putting any additional pressure on their pockets.

For more information on upcoming events visit our Eventbrite page or call our friendly team today on 0151 707 8111.

Thrifty Christmas Shopping