Having saving diligently all year using the Skint Dad 52 Week Saving Challenge, it's with mild horror that we are finding our Christmas fund really hasn't gone very far at all.
It's difficult to know how much is enough and then we did not factor in the cost of late Autumn birthdays. Caitlin is in November, my nieces in December and January and my nephew in December too!
This is without buying anything for the Husband or anything particularly luxurious for Christmas dinner. I've made the cake this year (thank you Mary Berry) and will be making Jamie's Christmas Pudding next week.
So without going mad, it's time to look at ways to save on our Christmas shopping and voucher codes are a very good way of doing this.
Do you remember to check whether there is a live voucher code every time before you buy online? You should, not least because codes change so quickly and it's easy to miss a great offer.
Caitlin has had some new clothes for her birthday but now Ieuan has announced he wants to look 'cool' so project 'update Mr Ieuan' is in progress. He did ask me for a tattoo yesterday at which I draw the line and I have explained that sunglasses at the school Christmas party might look a bit odd.
Both Caitlin and Ieuan are growing so fast that their wardrobes need a regular sort through. When they were babies I used to bid for clothing bundles on Ebay but now they are older (and more fashion conscious), I can't get away with it like I could.
So I tend to rely on merchant voucher codes for major high street retailers such as Gap at www.myfavouritevouchercodes.co.uk/gap-voucher-codes, making sure I use the link on the vouchercode website to enter the retailer's site.
Here are 7 other ways to maximise your Christmas budget with voucher codes.
* Visit your favourite retailer websites and compile a wish-list of items you would like - that way it's easier to check whether or not they are on sale.
* If possible, make a note of the starting dates of the sales in your diary or Google calendar. There is often plenty of notice.
* If you don't mind filling up your in-box, signing up to newsletters will often give you advance warning of forthcoming sales.
* Have an up-to-date list of the kids' measurements - height, chest, waist, hip, leg length, shoe size etc. I can never remember Caitlin and Ieuan's. Come to that, I'm not entirely sure of the Husband's!
* Keep a list of the size your child takes in each retailer an whether that varies. For example, Caitlin can be a 9-10 for tops and a 7-8 for bottoms in some stores.
* Make sure you've signed up for any loyalty schemes the retailer offers to make the most of any bonus points. Generally you can't use any other discount when you use a voucher code but you could always use them later.
* Lots of retailers allow you to specify a safe place for delivery in case you are not at home when the courier or postman arrives. Make sure you've filled this in and perhaps agree to help out a neighbour on a reciprocal basis.
With a bit of careful research and keeping your eye on those bargains, it's possible to make your Christmas budget go a lot further.