Christmas is just around the corner. Which inevitably means lots of spending.

I’m sure each and every year we all swear that this year we’re going to have a cheaper Christmas.

In reality, it’s really difficult to spend less at this time of year as you’re bombarded with adverts and cultural norms of spending more than you can afford.

Here are just a couple of ways that you can save money this Christmas (and the next one!).

1) Buy second-hand

Buying gifts and presents for people is one of the biggest joys of Christmas.

As a kid, I loved nothing more than a big pile of presents under the tree. The older I get, the more I want to give presents instead of receiving them.

Unfortunately, giving comes with a price.

If you’re someone who is creative, you might make presents for people - something that can be both thoughtful and cheap!

I’m not creatively blessed and so I have to buy things. But what I’ve tried to do more of is buying second-hand.

Not only is this cheaper but it’s also better for the environment. There’s already so much stuff in the world and Christmas is a time when we’re encouraged to perpetuate the endless consumer cycle.

With second-hand present giving, you can get the best of both worlds. A nice gift to sooth your capitalist instinct without the burden of producing planetary clutter.

There are some great second-hand bargains around and a lot of the time, used items can look as good as new.

If you’ve already bought all your presents this year, think about selling some of your stuff to other people who might be looking to buy presents. Perhaps they can’t afford the latest things and would be made up to buy your unwanted items for a cheaper price. It’s also a good way for you to make money quickly!

2) Plan your food shopping

Christmas is synonymous with eating. And lots of it.

Something a lot of us do is buy way more food than we need or will ever be able to eat.

In past Christmases, my house kitchen cupboards have resembled those of a doomsday-prepper. Walls practically insulated with tins of biscuits and a freezer full to the brim. We weren’t awaiting the apocalypse, just trying to make sure that we could all thrive in gluttony without needing to leave the house for at least a week!

If you plan your Christmas food shopping well, you will save money on groceries and waste less food.

Plenty of people are going hungry right now in the UK and UNICEF have even had to feed British children for the first time ever recently.

Try and only buy what you need. If you feel compelled to buy buckets of food, please think about maybe donating some to food banks or helping the less fortunate in your community

Christmas can also be a time where our health runs away from us. Leaving us dejected and desperate by the time it comes to New Years resolutions. Try and aim for a whole-food Christmas and swap some of the chocolates for some extra portions of roasted veg.

You can still pig out and eat like crazy, but buying some tasty whole-foods instead of packaged snacks will cost you less, be better for you health and the environment.

Also it will leave you feeling less regretful in January!

3) Re-use decorations

This is something that I’m actually pretty good at and I know others are as well.

Instead of buying new tinsel and tree decorations, keep a box full of all your Christmas goodies. Then just pop it in the attic or out of sight to be used in following years.

The Christmas theme never goes out of style so all your decorations will look just as good each and every year.

Although, my Christmas tree angel is looking a bit grey and weathered (she may be due an upgrade soon!).

Christmas decorations are a big part of the December feel. I don’t think we should do away with them but using the same ones is a great way to save money and reduce waste.

Merry Christmas!

There’s just a few ideas to save money and reduce waste this Christmas!

More importantly than buying stuff, make sure you take the time to tell people how much you love them. This year more than ever, you don’t know what could happen or who needs some love.

So give it generously!