Top tips to save money at Christmas
On the back of recent research showing that one in ten people are still paying off last year’s Christmas spending, it may be worth planning this year’s festivities a little more carefully. Here are some tips for doing so:
1) Make a budget and stick to it
Working to a plan instils discipline and ensures that there are no Christmas Eve panics and impulse buying. Christmas should be fun, but paying off debt for the remainder of the year leaves a nasty taste long after the Brussel sprouts have gone.
2) Bulk buy the basics
Buying higher quality meat can make a real difference, but the same can’t be said of potatoes. Equally, family may be impressed by posh crackers, but probably won’t care too much about sprouts. Get what you can from cheaper stories, such as Lidl or Aldi, or even from warehouse ‘clubs’ such as Costco (http://www.costco.co.uk/).
3) Put it on the right credit card
If your credit card is not paying you cashback or vouchers, it is time to switch. Use price comparison sites to work out the best cards for your needs (http://www.moneysupermarket.com/credit-cards/).
4) Make the most of vouchers, discounts and early sales
The High Street is competitive and plenty of retailers will be competing for your Christmas pound. Makes sure you make the most of cashback sites such as QuidCo (http://www.quidco.com/), vouchers in newspapers or other discount deals such as those through your workplace. If you are feeling brave, most sales now start well ahead of Christmas.
5) Quality brands at cheaper prices
Impress your relatives with designer presents, but pick them up from sites such as The Outnet (http://www.theoutnet.com/), BrandAlley (http://www.brandalley.co.uk/) or Achicha (www.achica.com).
6) Mop up the alcohol deals
Alcohol can be one of Christmas’s biggest expenses. Make sure that you mop up all available deals. MoneySavingExpert even has a calculator to help – http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/deals/cheap-wine-deals.
7) Be ruthless on presents
Don’t like them? Take them back rather than allowing them to fester in the back of a cupboard. Failing that, (carefully) recycle them to other people. This is fraught with potential embarrassment, but can save money over time. Equally, if you receive a Christmas jumper for the third year in a row, make sure you recycle the first two.