Top tips to save money this Christmas as the cost of living crisis hits budgets

ITV Wales reporter Kate Lewis has been finding out how buying second hand and not overbuying can be good for your pocket and the planet this Christmas

This Christmas is set to be a worry for many as the cost of living grips households.

But there are ways you can save when it comes to the festive food shop and going out with family, friends or colleagues for the night.

Hannah Garcia runs the Green Squirrel, a community hub in Splott, Cardiff.

She has shared some handy tips on how to keep things more affordable.

Christmas food

Making a simple swap in your Christmas lunch could be good for your wallet and the planet. Credit: PA

Hannah told ITV News that selecting the "classic things like meats, cheese, prawns and fish are expensive" and have a negative impact on the environment and climate.

So, what are the alternatives?

Hannah explained: "Some people are going to be keeping their Christmas dinner meaty but maybe letting some other ingredients be the stars of the show at other meals.

"Some people are going to be swapping red meat for white, which is simple, but it's a great climate action and money saver."


Credit: PA

We have all done it from time to time, but the temptation to buy lots of food over Christmas can be bad for our pockets, as Hannah told us.

"We can help tackle it by meal planning, by resisting the urge to overbuy.

"I think we all get a bit anxious around Christmas that the shops are going to shut, that we won't have enough in."

Borrowing items

Hannah is promoting borrowing not buying to save money.

At Hannah's community hub, she has a shop where you can borrow an item for a small fee and have it for however long you need it.

Hannah explained: "Instead of borrowing a book like in a normal library, borrow something you need and maybe something you don't need all the time and don't need to buy.

"For example Christmas clothes, things you might need for a party or if you've got guests staying and you need a camp bed."


Making your own gifts can be another affordable solution.

Things like bath bombs, homemade chocolate, and family pictures scrapbooks are all easy to do.

For example, children can draw themselves, make the frame by sticking pasta to card or paper and painting it.

Homemade chocolate could be an affordable gift. Credit: PA

These can be used to personalise notebooks, with a heartfelt message inside.

Sewing is another handy way of personalising gifts.

Gift baskets can also be made from old cardboard boxes you may have lying around your home. With some paint, glue and colourful fabric and glitter, you could make a funky box or basket to remember.