Christmas saving

7 great ways to save time this Christmas

Give yourself the gift of time this season with our savvy tips for festive prep

Christmas can often pass by in a blur of present-buying, cooking and cleaning, and then it’s over before you’ve even had the chance to enjoy yourself.

But it’s time to make a New Year’s resolution early, and vow that this year it will be different. And it really can be with these seven time-saving tips…


1. Get your Christmas shopping done in one

Pick a weekend (or two days midweek if you’re a stay-at-home mum) and resolve to do all your present buying before it’s through. It’s easier than it sounds. You just need to be organised and make the most of online shopping.

If you need the kids looking after, make a deal with your husband that if he stays home with them you’ll do his Christmas shopping for him (apart from your present, of course!).

Then get your kids to write their Christmas list early and ask adults to make an online wish list (using Amazon, for example) so you can get a good idea of the sorts of things people want.

For our 48-hour shopping planner, see Do all your Christmas shopping in one weekend.


2. Wrap and write as you go

If you leave all your card-writing and present-wrapping to do in one go, not only will it take ages, but you’ll never want to see another Christmas card again.

Instead, keep your address book and cards in a bag by the side of the sofa so you can get a few written at a time over the coming weeks. Also, each night wrap a few presents after the kids have gone to bed.


3. Detangling the Christmas lights
Unfortunately there’s no quick fix for this one. You can save yourself from this task for next year, though. When you’re packing them away come January, wrap them around a piece of card and tuck the ends into a slit on each side. That way you can simply unravel them next year – your future self will thank you.

Until then, we suggest setting your husband or older children on the task – you can sell it as being a festive puzzle!


4. Get the chores done in record time

In the quieter first week of December, take some time out to do one big clean: wash the duvet covers and towels, hoover all the rooms, dust, and clean the bathroom and kitchen. That way, you’ll be starting with a clean slate and can just tidy after yourself as you go and do sporadic ‘top-up’ cleans throughout December.

Laundry, of course, is the chore you can’t avoid, especially with extra guests and the kids home from school. For this, then, use Bold 2 in 1 Pearls, which combine a powerful detergent and Lenor Fabric Conditioner in one. Simply pop one in the drum with your laundry load, press the button and it’ll do all the hard work for you, dissolving stains and leaving clothes with a long-lasting freshness.


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5. Get the family to help out

Mums often feel pressured to do everything, from cleaning and cooking to costume making and Christmas shopping. But it’s not all down to you. Give your husband a clear to do list and get your kids to help out where they can (see our article on Christmas tasks the kids can do for ideas).

Also, remember not to say “yes” all the time. You don’t have to bake Christmas cookies for your kids’ class, host the world and his wife for dinner or make an authentic-looking costume for the school nativity. A tea towel on the head never did us any harm.


6. Order your food online

Why go to the shops when you can get your food delivered to your door? It’ll save you a lot of time and the dreaded supermarket shop with kids in tow once they’re off school.

Bag a delivery slot early on and add to the list as the big day nears and you remember that Auntie Sarah is a vegan and cousin Peter is gluten intolerant. Also buy in multi-packs of snack foods, such as crisps, nuts and dried fruits to keep on hand in emergencies and to keep “hangry” family members at bay.


7. Prepare food in advance

If you are hosting this Christmas, prep as much food as you can in advance. The freezer is your friend, and you’d be surprised how much you can pop in there and then retrieve on Christmas Eve to let it thaw out overnight.

Here’s a list of what you can prepare early and freeze:

Potatoes, carrots, Brussels sprouts and parsnips (par boil then freeze and roast on the day)

Cranberry and/or bread sauce

Sausage meat


Also, just because you’re hosting it doesn’t mean you have to do ALL the cooking. Ask guests to bring a starter, side or dessert – then you can focus your efforts on making the turkey and veggies perfect.


Do you have any time-saving tips for the festive season? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Buy & freeze what food you can in plenty of time before Xmas. This leaves you more time o decorate the house & then take some time out to pamper yourself. BE PREPAID in plenty of time for "ME TIME"

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