Yorkshire advent calendar December 6: It's the most expensive time of the year!

How do you celebrate Christmas in a cost-saving way, without being a Scrooge? Take a look at our list of money saving tips.

Sunday, 6th December 2015, 7:00 am
Take a look at our money saving tips

While we can't wait for the festive season to arrive for all of the fun that it brings, there's no denying that it brings a whole lot of headaches along with it. There are presents to buy, cards to write and food to prepare - and all of this comes with a pretty hefty price tag.

Don't forget it's about family and fun: The stress of Christmas time can often run away with you but remember, no matter what you buy, eat or drink you will be together as a family. And that's what matters.

Don't buy unnecessary presents: It can be easy to get swept up in the Christmas excitement and over indulge on buying exciting presents from everyone to your parents to the postman. But try and make a limit. Does that person on your team at work really need a selection box from you? Do you need five presents for your brother when one will do? Set a limit, and do not cross it.

Do it yourself: Are you a dab hand at sewing? Do you make a mean Christmas cake? Why not don your apron, grab your safety pins and set about making a home made present for your loved ones? It's the thought that counts, after all.

Have fun at home: Christmas parties, visiting Santa, attending carol concerts. You want to get the most out of Christmas, but don't want to break the bank. Why not have your mates around for a singing session, or set up Santa's grotto in your dining room with the help of a willing friend? There is always a cheaper alternative than paying over the odds.

Look for the best offers and deals: Three for two, buy one get one free, three for £5. The offers are endless. Don't be too tempted to opt for the first offer you see. Check who stocks what you're after, and check out the competition.

Make a list, and stick to it: Christmas impulse buying. We're all guilty of it. But before you pop into the local department store and buy a dozen pairs of gloves, some slippers and 20 selection boxes, just think: what did I actually come in here for?

Set a spending limit: As well as sticking to a list, it's important to not go over budget. So while you decide on slippers for dad and a dressing gown for mam, don't forget how much you normally spend. If the pennies are tight and £30 is all you can spare, don't spend £50 just for the sake of it.

Spend time, not money: No matter how many adverts we see about offers, gift sets and bargains, Christmas isn't just about the presents. Haven't seen your friend for a while? Pop over and watch a Christmas film together. Or if you've been short of time to visit your grandparents, this will appreciate a cuppa and cake with you more than a potted plant sent in the post. Make time for your loved ones

Think personal: Nothing does it like a personalised present. A cushion with an initial, a candle with their name on it, or even a horoscope bookmark. Dig a little deeper, and pick something that will really count when December 25 rolls around.

Try own brands: We all have that one friend or relative who is a little bit (whisper it) snobby. Only the finest champagne will do, darling, and the chocolates must be from a "proper shop". But there's nothing wrong with branching out - especially when you're on a budget. Don't be afraid to check out the own brand toiletries in Boots, Superdrug or the Body Shop, or the makeup from Marks & Spencer. You might find your new favourite product.

Visit a budget supermarket: It's time for the dreaded Christmas food shop, and you're loathe to see the receipt. Why not choose Aldi or Lidl for something different this Christmas. Both supermarkets stock a delightful and delicious range of Christmas only products, from Panettone to Iberico ham. Tighten the purse strings and pop an extra hole into the belt instead.