Christmas is a few short weeks away, and I’ve only just started to think about it! I know that there are some out there who have been planning for months – stocking up their food cupboards, buying presents back in the summer months, and putting away a little money each week to pay for extras. I am not one of those people! My mindset can’t get around doing Christmassy things until at least the end of November or early December.
If you are a last minute person like me, then read on, because I’ve come up with 5 Christmas money saving tips that means you can still save money this close to Christmas.
5 Christmas Money Saving Tips
1. Make Lists (And Check Them Twice!)
It can be easy to impulse buy at the best of times, but at Christmas, there seems to be added pressure. I’m sure many people overspend, and think to themselves – I’ll worry about it in the new year. STOP! Before you buy anything – online or in shops – write a list. Then check it twice to make sure you absolutely need to buy everything on it. My guess is probably not. Have those lists with you, and stick to them! My Voucher Codes has some handy money saving tools that you can use for your Christmas food shopping, and for present buying lists.
2. Shop Online
I started doing my Christmas shopping online many years ago – mainly because I couldn’t face the manic crowds at this time of year – but along the way, I know I have saved money. It stops me from impulse buying, because I’m able to check my shopping cart and decide if I really need to buy it – I especially do this with groceries. I can compare prices easily across several retailers and get the best bang for my buck. I always shop through cashback sites, so that means a little extra cash to spend elsewhere, (and it soon mounts up!). And finally, I use voucher codes wherever possible, to get a discount on a product, or to get free shipping. Using cashback and a voucher code together is even more of a win in my book! When it comes to saving money when shopping, buying online is where it is at!
3. Check Your Drawers
A side note before I start – I’m not too much of a fan of gift cards these days, mainly because of retailers going bust. Gift cards are the first thing that stores stop accepting when they go into administration. Gift cards also have got an expiry date on them – they’re the sort of thing that can be tucked away and forgotten about. In both cases, the giver and the receiver have lost out. I have had also had both situations happen to me, so tend to stay away if I can.
Okay, back to this tip – check your drawers for old gift cards. I recently discovered a few of them during a declutter, and luckily they are still in date. You can often check the balance of the cards online, so if there is money to be spent – spend it… on gifts for others. Now, I know you probably received the gift card as a present from someone, but see it as an additional ripple to your pool of money. If it’s stuck at the bottom of the drawer somewhere, then it’s quite likely you didn’t actually want/need anything from the shop the card was for anyway. Or, if it is for a store you want to shop in – use it to buy something for Christmas that you would have otherwise spent money on. As I always say, it’s swings and roundabouts!
Also check for unused supermarket reward point vouchers – either on paper or online. Make use of them for the Christmas food shop, which is what we will be doing. I know with some of them you can double them up and get better value, but that’s a whole other set of money saving tips!
4. Budget Treats
Supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl sell a great range of continental Christmas treats at this time of year like stollen, lebkuchen, and panatone. I have found them to be so much better value than the big supermarkets, and many of their ranges actually fare better in taste tests too! They also sell non-branded booze – think Irish cream liqueurs, and snowballs – which is so much cheaper than the named brands.
The Christmas food shop is often the big one for many of us – but it’s also a time when we tend to over buy. As a nation we throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink every year from home, costing us £12.5bn a year. Avoid waste and buy only what you need. Make a meal plan for the festive period, use up leftovers, donate any unused tinned and boxed food to a local food bank.
5. Trim Your Gift Buying List
Have a chat with friends and family about Christmas presents to help save money for everyone. My siblings (and their spouses) and I sometimes do a Secret Santa between us, or we set a price limit to help keep everyone’s spending under control. My friends and I don’t swap presents anymore – we just buy for the kids. We don’t see it as a miserly thing to do, but as good sense when money is tight. For many this probably is too last minute, as I know people do buy gifts way in advance – but it’s tip to think about for next year?!
Before you go, check out this Christmas money saving tips video which has loads of great ideas!
Create Christmas is a month long series on The Purple Pumpkin Blog where I share 31 days of ideas for Christmas and Winter. It could be a craft, recipe, printable, gift guide, roundup, fashion, or something else(!) relating to the festive season. I always hope that these give you inspiration to create Christmas! Here are the previous years in this series: 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015
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