How to save money at Christmas
12 days of Christmas savings
At this expensive time of year, find out how you can save money on your Christmas shopping with our 12 money saving tips.
1. Make a list (and check it twice)
Last-minute impulse buys are often the most costly, so it pays to plan ahead, decide what you’re buying for everyone in advance – and stick to your list.
2. Don’t buy for everyone
While we’re on the subject of lists, can you reduce yours? Try suggesting a kids only present rule or do Secret Santa with your family, where everyone picks a name from a hat and only buys for that one person – that way everyone gets a nice present but it doesn’t cost the earth.
3. Be a discount detective
Don’t even think about buying anything before shopping around for the best deal! From online discount codes to price-comparison websites, there are plenty of ways to track down the lowest price tag for your purchase. Try looking at comparison sites such as Google Shopping or PriceRunner, or Money Saving Expert for deals and vouchers, to see if you can buy it for less.
4. Purse-friendly perfumes
There are easy ways to slash the cost of smellies. Type ‘unboxed perfumes’ into your search engine and you can find retailers that sell perfume and aftershave at knockdown prices – just pop it into a gift box and tie a ribbon round it.
5. Designer brands for discount prices
If you can’t compromise on designer brands, it’s all about where you buy them. Look for outlet or clearance stores online, or visit an out-of-town discount outlet where you can bag big-name bargains for a fraction of the original price – coach operators often offer Christmas shopping excursions to these outlets.
6. Use your points for presents
Have you checked your loyalty cards recently? Now could be the time to use the points you’ve earned, particularly if there are schemes that increase their face value such as Tesco’s ‘Clubcard Boost’ and Sainsbury’s Nectar ‘double-up’ promos.
7. Earn as you spend
If you use a cashback credit card or shop online through a site such as TopCashback or Quidco, you can get cash or vouchers back as you spend. If you choose the cashback credit card option, don’t forget to make sure you pay off the amount in full every month so that you don’t accrue interest on your payments.
8. Swap shop
Hands up, who has unwanted gifts stashed away? Why not organise a get-together with friends to exchange these and put them to good use. The flowery shower collection that isn’t your thing could be perfect for your friend’s aunt!
9. Cut your festive food bill
The cost of food and drink can really mount up if you’re entertaining. Try discounted supermarkets such as Lidl and Aldi for party food and, if you’re doing a big shop, check your list with a supermarket comparison site such as mysupermarket.com first.
Older children and adults may be perfectly happy to open an IOU that promises them something special in the sales – after all, why buy that new games console when it will be much cheaper the day after Christmas?
11. The personal touch
Sometimes it means more to give your time, and it makes for a personal present with a difference. You could make some festive ‘gift cheques’ using coloured card and glitter pens, offering anything from ‘I’ll teach you how to knit’ or ‘I’ll babysit for you’ to fixing a date for a favourite walk together.
12. Start planning for next year
It’s probably the last thing you want to hear, but you can save loads by picking up bargains on cards, wrapping paper and decorations just after Christmas. You could maybe even pick up a few presents for next year…
Plan for the year ahead by creating your own savings strategy. According to the Money Advice Service, you could save an additional £550 per year! Find out more.
This blog is intended to provide information, not financial advice, to help you make an informed decision about savings and investments. We do not offer financial advice. You should contact a financial adviser, who may charge a fee, if you want financial advice.