The silly season is officially here! Party invitations are pouring in and the list of Christmas presents is growing every day. It’s easy to give into temptation and use up that savings stash to buy expensive gifts for everyone. But hold on savvy saver, we have a better idea.
How about embracing the DIY phenomenon? According to MoneySmart.gov.au, Australians spend an average of about $450 on Christmas presents and 60% of people dig into their savings to pay for these. To help you steer clear of this temptation, this week’s Santa Saver lists cheap and super easy pressies which will save you some precious cash AND make your loved ones feel that extra bit special.
Not feeling crafty enough? Don’t worry, most DIY present ideas don’t involve complex skills – all you need is some time and enthusiasm. Here’s how you can save up to $350 on 10 Christmas presents this year.
1. Gingerbread men: $5 for a pack of 20 cookies
This classic Christmas goodie makes for a great gift option and is a favourite with kids as well as adults. A batch of 20 cookies takes about half an hour to bake. There are 11 ingredients in total to purchase, which will cost you about $25 from a supermarket. The good news is, you can make a total of 100 cookies once you’ve got all the ingredients. This means you can make a gift pack of 20 cookies for just $5. Check out this simple recipe of gingerbread men from taste.com.au to get started on your baking adventure.
2. Milk and honey soap: $10 for 4 soaps
Another great gift idea for grandma or Aunty Jude is handmade soap. It’s personal, it’s easy to make and it lets you innovate with different ingredients and fragrances. For starters, you can see this basic recipe of milk and honey soap – it requires milk soap base and raw organic honey, which should cost you about $23. You can add a festive touch with Christmas themed molds, which will cost you another $15. So for $38, you can make about 16 milk and honey soapbars. If you make gift packs of 4 soaps each, one present will cost you only about $10.
3. Strawberry jam: $10 per jam jar
Who doesn’t love good old homemade strawberry jam? You’ll have to dedicate about two hours to prepare this, but once you’re done you’ll have jars full of pure Christmas joy! Here’s a super easy recipe of strawberry jam – the ingredients will cost you about $53, which will make you 6 jam jars. Feel free to experiment by adding more flavours with different berries or fresh fruits.
4. Handmade candles: $2.30 for a candle
These are easier to make than you might imagine and will really impress mum and dad. All you need to buy are candle wicks ($3 for 5m) and wax ($20 for 2kg), and you can easily repurpose old jars or even tea cups as ‘antique’ candle holders. Sounds fancy doesn’t it? With these supplies you should be able to make 10 candles, with each candle costing only about $2.30. Once you get started, you’ll discover there’s a wide range of candle making supplies to choose from, and you can always add decorations or scents to make your candles more special.
5. Cookie jars: $4.30 per jar
Sure to be a hit with anyone who likes to don the chef’s hat, a cookie jar containing all the ingredients to bake a batch of homemade cookies is a great gift idea for kids. All you need to do is carefully layer up the ingredients in order in the jar and tie a gift tag around the lid with the recipe. Read this cookie jar recipe by Jamie Oliver for some instant inspiration – the ingredients will cost about $20 and will be sufficient to fill up 7 jars. Even if you add the cost of a jar ($1.50) to this, one present is still quite cheap at $4.30.
With all these gifts costing you no more than $10 each, you could make 10 presents for only $100! If you otherwise spend about $45 on a Christmas gift (so a total of $450, which is the average), this will save you a whopping $350. Happy gifting!
TOTAL POTENTIAL SAVINGS – $350
Missed a week of our Santa Saver Challenge?
- Week 1 started with setting up your sleigh of success by moving your cash to a fee free bank account and linking it to a high interest savings account.
- This was followed by Buy Nothing New founder Tamara DiMattina’s top tips for bringing down the cost of the silly season by doing more with less.
- Next up, we showed you how you can enjoy an interest free Christmas thanks to a 0% intro rate offer.
- In week 4 we found how a quick pantry audit and BYO lunches for a week can add up to $200 to your Christmas cash stash.
- Week 5 was dedicated to travel when Vice President for KAYAK in APAC, Debby Soo revealed how to avoid the hidden travel booking fees.
- As we reached the halfway mark of the Santa Saver challenge, we crunched the numbers to show you how giving up a vice could save you up to $120.
- And in our most recent post Michael Ginsburg, the Founder & Chief Hacker of Spending Hacker, shared his top tips on saving on your online shopping this Christmas.