I’m sorry. Or am I? It’s November now, so we’re officially allowed to say the ‘C’ word, yes? Christmas of course! Well it is next month… I’m so excited I can finally say that! I’m one of those people who starts shopping for Christmas in January (or maybe even the December before, depending on available bargains). But I know of some people who leave everything right until the last minute. I can’t help it; I think I have a different type of OCD – Obsessive Christmas Disorder!
Christmas can be an expensive time of year, but it doesn’t have to be. If you have an eye for bargain hunting and a bit of spare time (I know, what even is that?) you can quite easily cut down your spending. Here are a few tips which you could put into practice to have a money saving Christmas.
Start shopping in the December/January sales
As I mentioned above, this is something that I always do. Honestly, it isn’t so great for gifts sometimes, especially those for children. We all know that they change their minds monthly as to what they like! But I do use this method for stocking up on items such as reduced gift wrap, cards, and decorations for the following Christmas.
Sign up to freebie, sale alert, and price drop sites
Signing up to the newsletter of a freebie & sale alert site such as Gratisfaction UK can be a super money saving method. You could bag some of the current smaller freebies such as face creams and chocolate, or the flash bargains such as socks and scarves; all great for stocking fillers! Sites such as cheap vinyl let you set your best price for an item you’re wanting to buy, and alert you as soon as it drops.
Don’t buy unnecessary gifts
This is a difficult one for me sometimes as I just love gift giving. This year I am trying to be more conscious of what I buy for others though. For example – do my children really need any more packs of crayons? And I would normally probably buy it just because it’s associated with their favourite characters. Quality, not quantity, is the key here.
Christmas dinner “pool”
If you have a big family get together at Christmas, this is a great way to save money on food. Instead of one person doing all of the cooking, ask each guest to bring a dish. Of course, communication is needed on this one so you don’t end up with five of the same dish!
Supermarket savings schemes
Some supermarkets – and other food stores – often do a savings scheme on the run up to Christmas. By budgeting to pay for example, £5 a week, on a savings card – by the time it comes to your “big” Christmas shop, you’ll barely have noticed adding to it every week, and you’ll have a nice big amount when it gets released! Some schemes give you a bonus back too.
What tips do you have for money saving at Christmas?