It’s easy to become the host with the most with PAK’nSAVE. Read all of our awesome tips and tricks for a stress-free Christmas day!
Plan plan plan
Santa was on to something when he made a list and checked it twice.
- Start Christmas shopping as early as possible! If you can, buy Christmas presents throughout the year and put them aside. It spreads the cost, you can take advantage of specials and there is no last minute dash to the shops.
- If you’re really good at thinking ahead, be sure to buy your Christmas crackers on Boxing Day when they're cheap and save them for next Christmas.
- Figure out what you can make and cook before the day. Some food goods, like Christmas cake, gravy and cookie dough, can all be made and frozen well before Christmas day. We recommend putting these together three weeks before hand for less stress on the day.
- Join our Christmas club and put a little aside throughout the year for your Christmas festivities. Check out Christmas Club here – it’s not too early to start saving for next year.
- You don’t have to buy one expensive gift per person! Find a basket or tin, then make your own gift hampers for an awesome personalised gift that is simple and easy on the wallet.
- Create a “Recipe in a jar” gift. Use one of your favourite cookie or cake recipes and layer all the dry ingredients inside your jar. Make sure the lid is firmly secured, and make sure you include a tag or card along with the card that specifies the recipe’s other ingredients (like butter and milk) and cooking instructions.
- Make homemade fudge and wrap in cellophane for delicious and cheap Christmas gifts! Check out our recipes for inspiration.
- Recycle used wrapping paper and get the kids to help making gift tags and Christmas decorations. If you have small children, you may have a few artworks from throughout the year. If you don’t want to hang on to all of them, use them as wrapping paper too.
Christmas Dinner is often the biggest – and most expensive! – meal of the year. Take some of the stress out of it with these tips:
- Get your friends, whanau or workmates together and buy in bulk. It often works out cheaper to buy bulk and it can be fun. This works well for things like sacks of potatoes, flour and sugar, and even big tubs of ice cream can be divided up separately for Christmas Day.
- If you’re putting on a large family gathering, brainstorm a menu and have someone from every family make a dish. Everyone loves a potluck dinner – and you’ll only have to worry about one plate of food!
- If you are planning to bring a dish to someone’s Christmas Day festivities, only bring enough food to feed your family. Otherwise you have lots of leftovers and therefore wasted food.
- But if you do have leftovers, why not have friends over after Christmas day and celebrate again? You can also make the most of your leftovers by making a frittata with left-over meat and vegetables.
Don’t be too tied to traditions
You can have a very merry Christmas even if it’s not exactly traditional! Traditions can be wonderful, but they sometimes mean "spend money, just because." Here's a few untraditional Christmas tips:
- Do a Secret Santa with friends or family instead of everyone buying for everyone. Set a price limit, and if everyone is focused on getting one person a really great gift, they'll be really stoked.
- Instead of giving gifts, why not use the money to go towards an extra yummy day of food and fun activities.
- Make your Christmas meal a flash BBQ. It’ll be easy to prepare, it’s cheaper and everyone can pick and choose the food they want to eat. Make sure you include a couple of vege options for a well-rounded meal even the vegetarians will love!
Theme your Christmas Day! Christmas decorations can be very expensive during the lead-up to Christmas. Imagine if you decked your house out like a tropical beach instead? Discuss it with your guests beforehand and decide on a theme everyone is comfortable dressing to. Include themed food, games for the kids, and prizes for the best dressed! Here are some clever ideas: Country Christmas, Hawaiian Christmas, Tacky Christmas, Enchanted Forest Christmas, Country Club Christmas, Karaoke Christmas, Pirate Christmas, Disney Christmas, Celebrity Christmas – the list goes on!
- Spread out your celebrating! Sometimes, Christmas can be filled with travelling from house to house, trying to see everyone all in one day. Spend less time rushing to the next place on the itinerary and enjoy celebrations with different sides of the family on Christmas Eve or Boxing day.