Last updated on Mar 12th, 2021 at 11:54 am

The festive season is a time of joy with family and friends but it can also be a financial strain, especially when it comes to buying gifts…

We’ve rounded up some really practical tips on how to spend less on Christmas presents, without being the Grinch.

READ MORE: 5 budget-friendly Christmas decorations you can make at home

1. Secret Santa

Instead of buying presents for everyone, suggest doing Secret Santa. Get people to choose a name (there’s even an online way to draw names for Secret Santa using emails!) before buying a gift that doesn’t exceed a certain value. Part of the fun is guessing who got you the gift.

1 save money on Christmas gifts – secret santa

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2. Get one gift the entire family can enjoy

If you have a large extended family, you know how expensive gifts can get. Even spending R100 on a few family members adds up. Rather get a group gift, like a board game, or make a hamper that the whole family can enjoy.

Save on Christmas gifts – buy family gifts

  • Twister, 30 Seconds (buy the booster packs if they already have the game), Rummikub, Cluedo, Pictionary or Monopoly are great family games.
  • Create a hamper filled with their favourite treats or put together a movie night hamper containing popcorn, drinks and a Christmas movie.

3. DIY gifts (that people actually want to receive)

Put on your apron and channel your inner Nigella by making delicious edible gifts everyone will love. Here are 20 edible presents that are not only easy to make but look good too.

 save on Christmas gifts – edible gifts

If baking isn’t your thing, put together a beautiful baking kit, like this DIY fudgy brownie kit

save on Christmas gifts – DIY gifts

SEE MORE: Indulge in a greener Christmas this year. We show you how!

4. Set a random amount

Choose a person (similar to Secret Santa) and set an amount. The more random the amount, the better, like R103,99. The point is to buy gifts that add up to that exact amount. Part of the fun is figuring out what to buy as well as explaining how you spent the money to the recipient. And you can’t cheat because part of the gift is showing the receipts.



5. Make your own wrapping paper, gift bags and cards

Sometimes the wrapping paper, card and gift bag can cost more than the gift! Here are some cost-effective ways to make sure your gift stands out without looking cheap (you can even get the kids involved).

save on Christmas gifts – DIY gift wrap


save on Christmas gifts – make cards


6. Use your rewards points

Whether you use Ucount rewards, eBucks, Clicks Club Card points or something else, points all add up. Make a list of how much you have on each and use those to either buy or pay towards gifts.

READ MORE: Make this Christmas wreath

7. Something old and something new

To save on costs, but still give great presents, give a pre-loved gift as well as a new gift. Think of that beautiful dress you never wear, but your friend absolutely loves, books you’ve already read or know you won’t get to, décor you no longer use, make-up you’ve never opened – there are so many options!

Remember the key is to give things you no longer need or would like to re-gift. And never give away something you wouldn’t want to get. This is not an excuse to get rid of that hideous painting that’s been in the family for years.