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The top money-saving Christmas tips you need to follow

20th November 2020

Christmas can often become an expensive time of year with presents, food and decorations all costing money. Shopping over the festive period is stressful enough but with the recent lockdowns, there is less time to visit the shops and more competition for online delivery slots.

There are, however, a sack full of things you can do to prepare now to reduce the financial stress and avoid breaking the bank and being short in January.

If you feel that your budget might not be enough to create a memorable Christmas this year, then read on as this article looks at some easy and simple ways to save money this festive period.

Set a budget

There are a lot of expenses when it comes to Christmas and according to The Bank of England, the average household in the UK spends more than £800 extra than their normal monthly spend during the festive season.

It is wise to set yourself a budget and to begin this process you can make a list of the family and friends that you will be buying presents for and then allocate a certain amount for each person. By doing this you should be able to work out how much money you need to save up.

If, for example, you put away £50 a month from the start of the year, you will have a budget of £600 to spend at Christmas on not only presents but food and other bits and pieces.

This is something that Esther from the finance blog Money Nuggets recommends you try next Christmas: “It’s a bit late for this tip now, but it’s worth giving it a try next year. Start saving for Christmas in January. You can start saving money by taking on a fun money challenge such as the 1p saving challenge or the 52-week savings challenge. These challenges help make saving exciting and less painful.

Linda Hobbis runs the Mother Distracted blog and she talks about how you can save more money by curbing spending in other areas of your life.

She said: “Another way to tame the gift-giving budget this year is by penny-pinching some other aspect of your life. Worried about money? Give up your takeaway pizza or Chinese this month. Or, find creative ways to make a little money to lavish on family and friends.”

Start your Christmas shopping early

If you are shielding or have mobility problems and need to use aids such as stairlifts at home or a mobility scooter when you’re outside, then shopping online for Christmas presents might be a good choice for you.

With the coronavirus pandemic, it has seen more people shop online with shops closing due to the lockdowns and this has seen high competition for online delivery slots.

Hayley, who runs the family finance blog Miss Many Pennies, recommends starting your Christmas shopping early:

“My top tip for saving money for Christmas would be to start shopping early so you have plenty of time to get what you need and don’t get caught in the Christmas rush or end up paying more last minute. Before shopping, make sure to think about what you’ll actually use to avoid overbuying – how many of us go overboard buying groceries for Christmas and end up with lots of excess food and drink we didn’t need?”

Shop around this Christmas and compare prices

It can be tempting to get sucked in by ‘special offers’ or ‘great deals’, but there might be an even better deal out there which you haven’t seen yet.

It’s therefore important that you shop around to see if the present you are looking to buy is cheaper on another website or in another shop.

Hayley from the Miss Many Pennies blog recommends that you shop around this Christmas: “Given the current situation, lots more of us will probably be shopping online this year, so when buying Christmas presents make sure you shop around and compare prices to make sure you’re actually getting a good deal.

“Price comparison sites and tools such as Camel Camel Camel can help you see how much an item has typically sold for in the past, so you can make sure to find the best price before you shell out. Browser extension Honey is also a great tool for finding online discounts!”

Use cashback sites or enter competitions

Using cashback sites for online shopping has become increasingly popular as cashback websites pay you when you purchase through them. You can make hundreds of pounds a year by clicking through to the retailer via a cashback site and the sums can range from pennies for groceries to more than £100 for mobile contracts.

Anne is the blogger behind Raisie Bay, a family orientated lifestyle blog, and she spoke about how she uses cashback sites for her online shopping.

“As a disabled person I find getting out and about at Christmas difficult, usually because of the crowds, but this year it will be more because of the restrictions imposed. Online shopping is my go-to way to find gifts for people and there are also many ways to save money.

“Join a cashback site and use it every time you shop. As I shop a lot online I get around £900 a year from cashback sites. I save it up to spend at Christmas. Look out for vouchers to save a little extra, a bit of money off your purchase helps.

“Check out competitions, there are a lot around Christmas time, see if you can't win something nice. I have got a lot of BIG Christmas presents by winning them.”

Look at your favourite retailers’ social media

The gateway social media sites providing to the outside world has always been beneficial to people with mobility issues that need to use reconditioned stairlifts and walk-in baths, but it has proven even more important during the current climate for people who are shielding.

Many older adults are now signed up to social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as it provides them with a great way to keep in touch with friends and family.

It is also used by retailers to promote themselves and any offers or competitions that they are running. Esther talks about how being on social media is another great way to save some money this Christmas.

“Before buying presents, have a look and see if your favourite shops are on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Companies often give discounts directly on their social media pages. Who knows, you may just bag yourself a nice little 20% off coupon. I saved over £200 last year doing this last year.”

READ MORE: An older person's guide to the different social media sites

Buy presents and food locally

There is a big campaign to support small, local businesses through the current pandemic and while it will not only help the area you live in, it could also benefit your wallet too.

Many local businesses now have websites so you can purchase their unique gifts online instead of having to visit their shops. These small retailers often run competitions or giveaways so you can pick up an affordable present.

Shopping locally is something Anne from Raisie Bay says can save you money: “Buying local can also save you money. The supermarkets are great for getting everything in one place, but you can find some great bargains in local shops.”

Christmas is always an expensive time of year, but these tips can help you stick to a budget and save you some money. To recap, these are some of the best money-saving tips:

  • Set a budget
  • Start your Christmas shopping early
  • Shop around this Christmas and compare prices
  • Use cashback sites or enter competitions
  • Look at your favourite retailers’ social media
  • Buy presents and food locally

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.