Mrs Scrooge’s 10 Christmas hacks
By OVO Energy Tuesday 13 December 2016
Tip #1 Save money on presents
If you’re sending Christmas cards to friends or relations, fold up a couple of pieces of toilet paper and crumple it a bit in the middle, as if it had been wrapping a small precious object. Then ‘forget’ to seal the envelope, or seal it but make a small slit in one corner. Then you can claim that you sent a lovely gift, but someone must have stolen it while it was in the post.
Tip #2 Save more money on presents
Get a used jiffy bag or make up a small package, address it to yourself and take it to the Post Office. Post it and get a ‘proof of posting’ receipt. After Christmas, ask friends and family whether they received your present. When they answer ‘No’, scan the receipt and email it to them to prove that their parcel must have got lost.
Tip #3 Keep the legend of Santa alive
Remember to put mince pies and sherry out for Santa on Christmas night. To make it convincing for the children, drink the sherry, eat the pies and then scatter a few crumbs around to make it more realistic. If the crumbs attract mice, perfect – more wildlife watching to amuse the kids. They’ll particularly enjoy the shrieks of terrified relations.
Tip #4 Santa baby
No kids? Drink the sherry anyway. Maybe your Santa would prefer Prosecco, cocktails or a fine Bordeaux. Cheers!
Tip #5 Have a Christmas tapas party
Between now and the festive season, whenever you have leftover food, bag it up and pop it in the freezer. Once you’ve accumulated enough, defrost it and invite your friends round for a Yuletide tapas party. Fuller freezers use less energy, so it’s a win/win!
Tip #6 How to keep the kids quiet
Order a large trampoline and assemble it in the garden. Tell the children that if they keep extremely quiet and still, they may see foxes and other exciting wildlife bouncing on it. If the kids want to have a go on the trampoline, tell them it’s covered in fox poo and badger droppings. After Christmas, dismantle the trampoline, return it and get your money back.
Tip #7 Earn £250 from your Christmas videos
Tell the family you haven’t got enough dining chairs, and make them sit on cheap plastic garden chairs instead. Prepare for the big day by nearly sawing through a leg on each plastic chair. Seat your guests, serve them dinner with loads of gravy, start filming on your phone, and clean up on You’ve Been Framed with hilarious clips of your family collapsing to the floor.
Tip #8 Best presents ever!
It’s a Christmas cliché that even when you spend a fortune, children spend more time playing with the packaging. So skip the big shopping spree – instead, pick up a few empty cardboard boxes from your local grocer. Wrap them up and you’ll keep the kids (and cats) happy for hours on Christmas Day.
Tip #9 Make friends with vegetarians (or encourage the family to turn veggie)
Vegetarians don’t eat turkey or bacon. They can’t eat most Christmas puddings and mince pies. Invite them round and serve some cheap vegetables. Then offer them non-veggie Christmas pudding and mince pies – they’ll refuse and you can use the food again next day. With a bit of luck they’ll bring an offering of quality vegetarian wine.
Tip #10 Take care of the pence
Christmas is the season of goodwill – but don’t take it too far. Every time you get any pennies or 2p pieces, put them in a separate compartment in your purse, or a different trouser pocket. Each time you’re faced with a carol singer or charity collection, take a handful and drop them in the box. They’ll make a generous jingling sound, and cost you far less than a £1 coin.
Got any Christmas tips of your own?
Share them with us on Twitter: @OVOEnergy. Then we can save energy over the festive season by using your ideas instead of thinking up more of our own.