Mum-of-16 shares her top Christmas tips including sticking to your budget and why you should make gifts – The Sun

WE don't know about you, but we struggle to tick everyone off our Christmas list every year.

With that in mind, we're astounded how big families manage to prepare for the big day.

And now Australian mum of 16 kids Jeni Bonnell has revealed how she gets ready for the festive season.

Supermum Jeni, 51, and her husband Ray, 52, are the proud parents of 16 children, aged between six and 30.

The pair have Jesse, 30, Brooke, 29, Claire, 26, Natalie, 25, Karl, 23, Sam, 22, Cameron, 20, Sabrina, 19, Tim, 17, Brandon, 15, Eve, 14, Nate, 13, Rachel, 11, Eric, 10, Damian, 9, and Katie, 6.

In a YouTube video, Jeni explains she starts by creating a strict budget based on what you can actually afford.

"You're going to want to write down exactly how much money you have to spend on Christmas," she says. "So work out exactly how many people you're buying for, how many you're feeding.

"Then work out a realistic budget that fits in with your normal spending."

Jeni advises that you skip the credit cards to avoid racking up debt.
She aadds: "Don't spend what you don't have. You don't want to be hit by a Christmas credit crash afterwards."

When it comes to choosing gifts, Jeni sticks to a spreadsheet to make sure every one of her brood has a fair share of prezzies.

She makes a table of gifts for the kids, with one column for Santa and another from mum and dad. In a third column, Jeni keeps a total of how much money has been spent on each kid. The fourth column has the total number of gifts per person.
Jeni says: "Don't forget that a simple homemade gift is sometimes the most beautiful gift you can give. Give from your heart and that's all that matters."

"You don't have to spend a lot of money. There are bargains everywhere!"

As for feeding her enormous brood, Jeni says she trawls the supermarket shelves to find items on special offer.

She stocks up on Christmas food – from ham to puddings – when she sees them on offer in store.

In other news, a mum shares 11-year-old’s Christmas list complete with ‘ballpark’ prices and a VERY detailed ranking system.

And as we told you previously, thrifty mums share their tips for a cut-price Christmas including how to save thousands on presents & get food for cheap.

And Christmas obsessives including Stacey Solomon are bonkers for gonks – here’s where to buy the best.

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