5 Christmas Shopping Hacks on a Student Budget

Christmas is a little over a week away, and the pressure to buy gifts for those close to you is probably mounting! Unfortunately, your budget is more than likely stretched to the max already and at this point and you’re probably questioning how you’ll make another 3 days’ worth of meals out of a Bombay Bad Boy Pot Noodle, half a loaf of questionably stale bread, a pot of thyme seasoning and the single frozen Yorkshire pudding you found at the back of the freezer!

Worry not, we have some advice to help you give a little something back this Christmas while saving a few quid along the way.

Suggest a Secret Santa

University is a steep learning curve. Not only is the work hard but so is learning to be a grown up! Fortunately you won’t be doing it alone, and you’ll more than likely be living in a House or Halls with a load of your best mates. They will have helped you out on more occasions than you care to count, and you will have forged friendships that will last a life time. Now Christmas is here you’ll probably want to treat them all to something to say thanks for being awesome, but buying gifts for all your friends can soon get costly.

Organising a Secret Santa with your house mates and setting a financial cap means you only have to get one gift and it’ll will stop you from over spending. Secret Santas also mean you can all enjoy opening the joke and novelty gifts you inevitably buy one another before the Christmas Holidays and everyone gets something they can enjoy.

Write out a bunch of IOUs

You may think an IOU seems cheap, and you’d be right to think that, because it is! But this is exactly what you need right now! As long as you know you can follow up on it later down the line, a bunch of IOUs for your friends and family is a good way of saying you were thinking about them this Christmas.

The IOU could be for something small like a drink in the local when you come back to Uni in the New Year, through to something a bit more meaningful, like an IOU for a family member to redeem in the January Sales.

Don’t just write them out on scraps of paper though, I know we’re on a budget here but try to spend some time making them look nice! Spend an afternoon in Hobbycraft and get cutting, sticking and rolling them in glitter. Failing that, buy a pack of Christmas cards and write the IOU in each one!

Give them a gift card

There is always that one person who is impossible to buy for. They either buy themselves everything leaving you with nothing left to surprise them with or leave no hints and tips and tell you “don’t worry about me” every year when you ask what they’d like!

This is where gift cards come into their own. You can set a budget to put on the card and the recipient gets to pick their own present with it, and it also means they are forced to spend it on something relatively fun and frivolous rather than something sensible. 

Flash your discount card

Your student discount card gets you more than a free cheese burger when you order a meal at McDonalds you know! There are a whole host of shops and websites that offer discounts.

Signing up to websites like UniDays with your university email address will get you a whole host of online discounts, alternatively you can get an NUS card and use it in store. This doesn’t just apply to your Christmas Shopping either! Using your discount card will save you loads of money across the year.

Get Creative

If you are really struggling for ideas that don’t break the bank, why not make something instead? Handmade gifts are often much more personal and mean more to the recipient than a gift set picked off the shelf in Debenhams! There are loads of ideas out there on the likes of Pinterest that can give you inspiration and that are easy to replicate. 

Want to know more?

For those of you who have not yet started your Chester Story, you have all this to look forward to! If you’d like to know more about our courses and university life in Chester, email us on enquiries@chester.ac.uk or call one of the team on 01244 512800

Visit Us

Alternatively, if you have applied for a place or are thinking of doing so for the next academic year, why not come and spend a day with us at one of our up and coming Applicant Days?

You’ll spend the day visiting your academic departments, taking a student lead campus tour and seeing accommodation options amongst other activities.

If you are yet to apply, please call us on: 01244 512800 to talk about our Applicant Days, or email us on visitus@chester.ac.uk to get more information.

And if you’ve already applied, feel free to book on to one of our Applicant Days via our website here.

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