A money-saving YouTuber has revealed how she makes Christmas incredible – without it costing a fortune every year.
Rebecca Millership, from Walsall, makes videos on how to save money with DIY tips, handy apps, discount websites and where to find the best freebies.
The mum-of-two, who works in a local school part-time, said she loves saving money where possible – especially at Christmas.
Rebecca, who shares her tips and tricks on YouTube under the name Becca Boo said: “When it comes to buying gifts, I like to think outside the box.
“I recently found online pharmacies, like Lloyds Pharmacy, doing loads of gift sets for half price and even cheaper.
“You can get full body hot water bottles that were £15 reduced to £4.50 so I got some of them for my boys recently.
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“They have gift sets at half price as well so I got a bath and body butter set that looks really presentable with lovely ribbon wrapping for just £3.
“I’ve bought so many gifts off the website because they're cheap and you can click and collect in store.”
Rebecca, who’s mum to a seven-year-old son and a four-year-old son, said she also uses apps to find the best price when searching for a particular present.
But she pointed out that you always have to be thinking about whether you’ll be able to find a discount code for that website to make it worthwhile.
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Or checking to see if you can get any nectar points which in turn is going to give you money because “points equal pounds.”
She also makes Christmas incredible without splurging by using what she has to decorate.
Rebecca said: “Jumpers can be used as cushion covers. If you have a Christmas jumper you no longer use, it's the ideal Christmas cushion cover.
“Or simply, make some decorations. Clay beads are easy to make, cheap and versatile!
“Also look for items around the home that are already the colours of your theme. I had a green cushion with palm leaves over it but palms aren't Christmassy so I turned it over!”
The savvy mum-of-two said she “always” reuses decorations and just adds something every year so slowly over time, they’ll build up a collection of decorations.
And if there’s something she doesn’t want anymore, she’d pass it on to someone else instead of chucking it away.
She sticks to a traditional colour scheme of red, green and gold and doesn’t get a real Christmas tree every year as she doesn’t want to add to the landfill.
Jumpers can be used as cushion covers. If you have a Christmas jumper you no longer use, it's the ideal Christmas cushion cover."
Rebecca said people can use second-hand websites and charity shops to buy presents too.
She said: “Try finding things that are brand new with tags on second-hand websites. Check out the Vinted app but as a number one rule, look at the feedback and check they've been active in the last couple of days at least.
“Top cashback is a good app for online shopping too. Also, don’t rule out charity shops. Sometimes you can find some right gems and items that are brand new with tags.
“They’re also a great place to get Christmas decorations as a lot of people will have a pre-Christmas clear out before putting their decorations up.
“I also recommend going to charity shops after Christmas for decorations for the following year.”
Rebecca said she only has three more presents to buy and then her Christmas shopping list is complete.
But she swears by using the ‘Gift List’ app on her phone to keep track of present buying and costs.
Try finding things that are brand new with tags on second-hand websites. Check out the Vinted app but as a number one rule, look at the feedback and check they've been active in the last couple of days at least."
On the app, you can put a person's name, what your budget is for them and list what you want to buy. You can list each gift individually with prices, links and pictures.
Then once you’ve bought the item, there’s a click icon to say it’s been purchased and another icon to say the present is wrapped.
Rebecca said: “The app is so good, I wouldn't be without it! It’s a free app as well so you can’t go wrong.
“We don't track presents for the boys too much because we get one big present then we'll get little things and the little things will be what they asked for unless the big present is what they've asked for.
“They have briefly mentioned a drum kit which is ideal for a big shared present. They're not cheap, but it's something that will grow with them.
“When it comes to big gifts, I like to get them something that is not going to last them just the one year, I make sure it’s something that is worth the money.”
The savvy money-saving mum also revealed there are ways to have a lovely Christmas dinner without it costing a fortune.
When it comes to big gifts, I like to get them something that is not going to last them just the one year, I make sure it’s something that is worth the money.”
The biggest way she saves money is by avoiding buying a big Turkey. Instead, she searches for a three or four bird roast – it means there is variety, they can try new things and there are leftovers for Boxing Day.
She said: “We don't need to go mad at Christmas. It is just a roast dinner with extra trimmings. I don't see why people get so worried and stressed because that's all it is!
“Turkey is just overpriced chicken in my eyes. We’ve done an online shop and I think some places can charge up to £10 for the three/four bird roast but it is much cheaper than a turkey.
“I’ve found one in Morrisons for £10. I also look out for good deals with biscuits and treats.
“We have a pre-Christmas shop on order from Asda, and then if I find stuff half price in the meantime, like Victoria biscuits, they’re £3 in Aldi for a big box so I take them off my list.”
She keeps her eyes peeled for Victoria biscuits, chocolate fingers, Jacob's crackers and crisps when she’s doing the food shop.
“Turkey is just overpriced chicken in my eyes. We’ve done an online shop and I think some places can charge up to £10 for the three/four bird roast but it is much cheaper than a turkey! "
And if she sees good deals and discounts – with good dates – she will buy them in advance. There are other ways Rebecca makes Christmas incredible on a budget too.
The savvy mum, who also shares her money-saving tips and DIY tricks on her Instagram page too, also has a reusable Christmas Eve box for her little ones.
She said: “It's just a reusable box that I got from B&M years ago. In the run-up to Christmas, it contains all of my Christmas Day decor, dinner plates and chair covers – so it acts as storage for the time being.
“I also made a Christmas Eve plate for Santa’s mince pie and Rudolph's carrot. It is just a plain plate marked with a sharpie. The plate was from Poundland and I already had the pens!
“We generally spend Christmas Eve as our Christmas movie day. So that’s budget-friendly. We'll also decorate a gingerbread house.
“I had to make one last year because we couldn’t get hold of one. I looked for a template online but because we don't have a printer, I zoomed in on the screen, and then I got a piece of paper and traced over it so I had that as my template.
“It came out pretty good and it was the first gingerbread house that stuck together.”
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