Money Matters: Enjoy Christmas 2023 for less

Despite another financially volatile year, many people are looking forward to Christmas 2023, but how easy is it to make the holiday more affordable? Greg Potter, Head of Member Experience at Leeds Credit Union, takes a look.

For many households, Christmas is a notoriously expensive time of year, with presents to buy, parties to attend and little ones to keep entertained while their schools are closed. Throw in the rising cost of living and this year’s festive season could well prove to be prohibitively expensive for some.

The good news is that this needn’t be the case. Plenty of handy hints and tips designed to reduce the cost of Christmas are readily available, so we’ve compiled some of the best ones here.

Gifts: Own brand perfume

With many big name brands selling their scents for more than £100 per bottle, finding cheaper alternatives can save you a packet.

The good news is that fragrances are technically recipes and so cannot be trademarked, meaning other perfumes can be made to smell like the more illustrious ones for a fraction of the price. Channel’s famous Coco Mademoiselle, for example, typically retails for approximately £100; Next’s Eau Nude, which smells identical, can usually be picked up for around £16.

Gifts: Vouchers

Reduce your expenditure on presents this year by giving your nearest and dearest the greatest gift of all – you!
Homemade, practical IOU vouchers can be personalised for anyone on your ‘to buy for’ list, and could include offering to babysit, doing the school run, walking someone’s dog or doing some DIY. Best of all, they’re unlikely to cost you anything but your time.

Food: Turkey

Many of us clamour to pick up a fresh turkey in the days immediately before Christmas but there is a more cost-effective option: frozen turkeys.

Frozen turkeys can be found for about half the price of fresh ones and they’re likely to be tastier too, as the quality of fresh turkeys diminishes the longer they sit on supermarket shelves.

Food: Salmon

Rather than splashing out for a side of salmon or expensive fillets, keep an eye out for salmon trimmings. Taken from the edges of a main prime cut or an incomplete piece, trimmings are every bit as tasty but can be as much as 40% cheaper.

Entertainment: Free tickets

For many of us, a festive trip to the local pantomime is an essential part of Christmas. But with ticket prices on the rise, why not apply for free tickets to one of the BBC’s numerous TV and radio shows this year instead?

A comprehensive list of available tickets can be found at: – just remember to visit the website regularly as they tend to get snapped up quickly.

Entertainment: Staying in

There are plenty of fun things for families to do at home that don’t cost the earth, such as:

  • watching Christmas films. Take it in turns to pick one, settle in on the sofa with a few treats and get cosy.
  • having a scavenger hunt. Simply hide an inexpensive prize – such as some chocolate – then place some clues that will lead your family to it around the house.
  • playing games. Dust off your old Monopoly set if you want to get competitive; stick to charades if you’d rather keep it lighthearted.


Leeds Credit Union provides straightforward and affordable financial services to people in Leeds.


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