We understand the lead up to Christmas is a worrying time, with families under immense pressure to create the perfect day and fulfil everyone’s gift lists.

We want to help you prepare and budget, as well as find more affordable alternatives.

Money Saving Expert has pulled together this guide which covers everything from budgeting for the big day, creating affordable magical memories for children, to how to get cheap fancy perfume: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/shopping/christmas-savings/

Here are our top five favourite tips:

1. Worried about being able to afford the big ticket items on your children’s wish lists?

Seek out good quality, second-hand items through charity shops or toy swap shops and local Facebook Marketplace groups.

Money Saving Expert has some tips on how to bag some bargains: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/shopping/cheap-online-shopping-shopbots/

Price-drop alert site https://www.lovesales.com/ allows you to add items from online retailers to your 'wish list' and name the price you're willing to pay, or ask for an alert when the price drops. Retailers include Asos, Amazon, John Lewis and M&S.

Sign up to Money Saving Expert’s weekly emails to find the best bargains: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/latesttip/


2. Calculate your budget (see our free Budget Planner), and ask: "What can I afford to spend?"

Make a list and stick to it, to make sure you don’t go overboard. We all want the perfect Christmas, but not at the risk of getting into debt or not being able to afford your rent or bills.

Try starting saving early by putting a small amount of money aside each month.


3. Make a No Unnecessary Present Pact (NUPP) with family and friends.

If you ‘feel guilt-tripped’ into buying presents for people, explain you want to cut back this year and focus on giving gifts to your children and close relatives. Chances are, with the current economic climate, those people may also want to cut back and don’t want to be the first to say so.


4. Secret Santa

This can be a fun and creative way for you to give one gift within a large group of friends or family, rather than buying everyone a present.


5. Make your gift meaningful

Instead of spending money on a gift, why not perform a good will gesture? Offer to babysit, do someone’s household chores, spend some quality time with someone who is isolated, cook a nice meal, or treat someone.

Create special memories by making plans to spend a day or evening with someone and do an affordable activity, like a treat day or date night.


Here is what we are doing to help families in our community through our associated charity work with Key Unlocking Futures:

1. Wade Hall Community Association and The Base on Broadfield is joining forces to provide children from our communities with a Christmas Eve Bag filled with treats, Christmas presents and a new pair of pyjamas.

Last year they delivered 512 bags and this year we anticipate this number will increase dramatically with the rising cost of living.

If you would like to donate new pyjamas, drop them off at The Base, Bannister Drive, Leyland, or The Place, Royal Avenue, Leyland, by 16 December.

2. If you want to show your support to others, South Ribble and Chorley women’s refuges will hold their Christmas Wish Tree Appeal. Details on this will be released soon.

 Here are some more localised resources and ideas to help you get ready for December:

1. Penwortham Care and Share - A clothes and toy bank at Penwortham Community Centre in Kingsfold on the last Tuesday of the month from 9am - noon.

Donations are always welcome, please ring Lindsey on 07763197615 or email harringtonlindsey10@gmail.com. This is supported by Penwortham Town Council.

 2. A Thrift shop at Wade Hall Community Shop, Royal Avenue, Leyland – Open Fridays from 12.30pm until 6.30pm. Warm soup and clothes stalls.

3. South Ribble Borough Council is hosting pop up bike shops, selling bikes for £20 to £30: 

Leyland Civic Centre, Tuesday 6 December, 4.30pm until 6.30pm.

Bamber Bridge Leisure Centre, Wednesday 7 December, 4.30pm until 6.30pm.

Penwortham Community Centre Thursday, 8 December, 4.30pm until 6.30pm.

 4. Tippy Toes Baby Bank donates good quality, second hand clothes, equipment, furniture and new toilettries to families. For more information visit www.tippytoesbabybank.co.uk


For more help and support, visit our new Cost of Living Hub.


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