People watching their spending this festive period will be heartened to hear £20 still goes a long way in some parts of the country, with one person managing to buy presents, food and drink at one northern Christmas market.
The German-inspired collections of wooden stalls have descended on most city centres across Britain bringing with them Yuletide sights, sounds and smells.
And one reporter for the Manchester Evening News has discovered her local version is still accessible to those who might not have the biggest budgets.
Writing in the paper Caitlin Griffin said it was “no secret that a day at the markets can cost you a pretty penny” but that when she went along with only £20 she “got more than she ever expected and even left on a full stomach”.
Ms Griffin penned: “One of the big attractions each year is, of course the tasty festive treats on offer, as well as the unique stocking fillers that you can pick up from one of the many independent traders.
“And while you can expect some food stalls and gift stands to have hefty price tags, you can conquer the markets on a budget.”
Fancying something to snack on, Ms Griffin said she was tempted by the Dutch pancakes on offer from one of the stalls.
She said: “I nipped down to Dutch Mini Pancakes across from the Exchange Square tram stop. I opted for the delicious pancakes with Nutella, setting me back £6.
“The portion was more than enough and actually ideal for sharing between two as you’re given 10 mini pancakes drizzled in chocolate sauce and dusted in icing sugar.”
On the hunt for presents Ms Griffin said she perused a variety of offerings before settling on a Manchester-themed bauble for her Christmas tree, costing just £6. She also grabbed a tree-shaped ‘bath fizzer’ for a friend for £3.50.
Finally to wash down her food Ms Griffin wanted a winter warming libation and knew exactly what would hit the spot.
She added: “To finish off my trip to the market I had £4.50 left to spend and I knew exactly what I wanted. Having eaten, secured a stocking filler for a friend and found the perfect Manc Christmas decoration, I finished off the day with a nice warm festive drink.
“The Christmas market at King St has a lovely seating area where you can enjoy a range of drinks from mulled wine to hot chocolate. It’s all covered to shelter you from the rain, which on this particular day was particularly miserable and cold.
“I paid £7 for my hot chocolate which sounds absolutely INSANE, however, thanks to the mug scheme I got £3.50 handed back to me when I returned my Christmas cup. If you don’t return the mug, then you’ve just spent £3.50 on a cup perfect for winter.”