How Can You Save Money This Christmas?
With household budgets squeezed, many families are worried about covering the cost of Christmas this year. After all the fun and games are over, many of us are left facing a hefty bill in the New Year. According to a recent survey from Morrisons, the average family spends an extra £165 in December. But it is possible to cut the expense without cutting out the fun. Here are some tips to have a festive and frugal Christmas.
Plan for affordability, not desirability
Before you start planning, consider this: many list every lusted-for item, gifts for all, and a corking meal, then only afterwards consider: “How will I pay for it?” That’s a recipe to be broke.
Instead, calculate your budget and ask: “What can I afford to spend on Christmas?” Christmas is one day – don’t ruin the whole of next year for it.
Make the most of vouchers
Hunt around the home for any elusive gift vouchers. According to the Gift Cars and Vouchers Association, 6% of all gift vouchers go unspent, with £240m a year left languishing in drawers. Make the most of any reward points you’ve got on loyalty cards, such as Tesco Clubcard, Boots Advantage, or Sainsbury’s Nectar. These schemes can be far better value if you convert points into vouchers, rather than cash them in at the till. And most retailers run special promotions in the run-up to Christmas to bump up your points.
Need fast Christmas cash? Get on eBay!
Selling your old things could generate quite a bit of money for the Christmas kitty, but it will require some effort, as you’ll have to photograph the item, list it and ship it. If this sounds like hard work, there are alternatives – Local internet forums are worth a look, as many let you list items for free and the chances are that someone in the local area won’t mind coming to pick them up.
Switch your Supermarket
Buying the festive food can be an expensive business, so make the most of discount supermarkets such as Aldi or Lidl. As well as cut-price party food, these German supermarkets will stock good-quality festive delicacies such as gingerbread treats and stolen. It’s also worth noting that the stores’ Christmas puddings have fared well in taste tests, sometimes beating more expensive brands.
Get designer brands at discount prices
If you know where to look, you don’t have to compromise on your favourite brands when you’re trying to save money. For those who prefer shopping online, there are outlet and clearance stores, often owned by big names such as M&S and Next, where you can buy their products but pay a lot less. If you prefer mooching around the shops yourself, outlet villages such as Cheshire Oaks offer a range of different designer stores with products at a fraction of the price.
For more tips and tricks as to how you can save money this Christmas, click these links: