Skint Dad’s Guide to a Thrifty Christmas

Today guest blogger is Ricky Willis, aka Skint Dad. As a stay at home dad Ricky has Skint Dadfound ways to make the family budget go further, which he shares over on his blog Skint Dad.

He is such a savvy shopper he recently bagged himself an award. Here he shares tips on how to save money at Christmas time.


I’ve always worked and tried to provide for my family the best I can. I wasn’t quite sure what I let myself in for when we agreed that I would leave my job to become a stay-at-home-dad. The money we were spending out for childcare and travel amounted to more than my take home pay. We couldn’t carry on like this.

My fiancée had only been back at work a few months and was still the primary carer for Skint Dad and familythe children when we role reversed and I become the No.1 childcare provider. I soon realised that I wasn’t just going to be lounging around the home. I was starting a new career that I didn’t really know too much about – kids, kids and more kids.

With my fiancée working 9-5, I quickly become accustomed to multi-tasking and being clever with our household finances. Well you have to don’t you, if you want a month’s salary to last.

Playtime became more inventive with the children and finding things to do on a budget became second nature. I also started thinking of how to save on other outgoings so we would at least have a little left over at the end of the month.

I got so savvy with my money-saving ideas that I decided to start a blog called and share them with the world. Then, went one step further by going against thousands of other thrifty and money saving contestants and winning Savoo’s UK’s Smartest Shopper competition.

I had to tell them about the ways I saved money on a day to day basis. One of the ways you can cut back on your spending is at Christmas. Here are some of my ideas that can help your money go a little further this festive period.

Nature’s decorationspine cones

Grab your wellies and head outside to hunt for pine cones. If you pick up some cheap paint from the pound shop, give them a quick coat, attach some wool to hang them up and they make an easy Christmas tree decoration that looks really expensive.

Alternative advent calendars

All kids love an Advent Calendar but in our house we try to do something different to adventhaving a chocolate a day. Instead I look for ones I can print out – a bit like this one from Netmums. When the last day is coloured in I let them have a small gift I’d picked and wrapped from the discount store for less than a pound. They are so excited to receive a gift on Christmas Eve.

Hit the January sales and grab a bargain or two for next Christmas

Start planning for next Christmas in the January sales. Last year I picked up rolls of wrapping paper for 5p a go. For every birthday since we’ve all had Christmas paper but none of us mind really and the children think it’s funny. You could even buy some winter clothes for the kids and hold onto them for presents next year, just remember to buy an age size bigger.

Organise a Secret Santasanta

I have a big family but the expectation this time of year to spend money is too much. Instead of buying for everyone why not arrange a Secret Santa. Do you really need to buy for 4 aunts, 12 cousins and Great Uncle Bob who you only see once a year? Draw names, set a spend limit and buy a present for just one person. You can spend Boxing Day trying to work out who got who what.

Get cashback on what you spend

I buy the children’s presents through cashback sites like Quidco and Topcashback. Every spend you make gets tracked and you get paid to shop. Save the money up to use for next year’s Christmas shopping, or maybe something nice for yourself? Additionally, make sure you check out Savoo to see if you can make even more savings with a voucher code.

Ricky Willis (aka, Skint Dad)


Find more ways to save and do Christmas on a budget over at Netmums.chr cookies

Christmas food on a budget.

Christmas on a budget

Chat about all things Christmas – including some great bargain hunting tips, ideas for making presents and decorations, recipe ideas and much much more – New Netmums Christmas Chat

Make handmade gifts and handmade Christmas decorations

About The Netmums Blog

The Netmums Blog brings you a behind the scenes look at Netmums, as well as some fabulous guest bloggers and an up to date look at what's new on our Parent Bloggers Network.
This entry was posted in Christmas, dads, Holidays, Money and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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