How to Save Money on Your Christmas Shopping
Christmas is the most magical time of the year. But with presents, party food, travel costs, party outfits and Christmas dinner to pay for, it’s also the most expensive time of the year.
Don’t let money worries ruin things for you and the kids, though. With careful planning, you’d be surprised by how much money you can actually save.
Retailers have sophisticated ways of seducing shoppers into buying more than they need. From the smell of freshly baked bread pumped into supermarkets to lighting designed to make you impulse buy, they know all the tricks.
But if you simply make a list (based on your budget) of everything you intend to buy and don’t deviate from it, you won’t be as likely to come back with armfuls of things you don’t need. And never shop for food on an empty stomach: you’ll be no match for the onslaught of festive treats being pushed in front of you.
Banks and supermarkets are offering consumers lots of opportunities to earn points or cashback on their purchases, so take advantage of the best deals.
Taking advantage of the rewards offered by cashback credit cards is a good way of making savings on Christmas purchases. Against the spending you’re making anyway on food and presents, cashback schemes allow you to save a percentage. Over the whole of a year, the savings made could be considerable.
Make Do and Mend
You don’t have to spend lots of money buying presents. Handmade gifts are far more personal. Christmas cards, wreaths and candles made from old tins or jam jars are all easy craft projects to start with.
They may take time to make, but don’t worry if you’re not naturally crafty: there are lots of craft bloggers out there to provide guidance and inspiration.
There’s been a lot of scrutiny of misleading BOGOF (buy one get one free) deals recently. But there are some offers which could save you money. Just take a bit of time to read the terms.
And where are you shopping? Consider clearance retail outlets: you’ll find cut price clothes, toys and gift ideas — all brand new. Checking an online price comparison or review website before you set off is always a good idea too.
Get Into the Kitchen
Baking cookies and cakes is far cheaper than buying an expensive shop-bought one, and much easier than you think.
Once you’ve mastered a few recipes for gingerbread cookies, jams or chocolate truffles, you’ll save money on food and you can even give them away as presents. If nothing else, all that baking will help you beat stress and the kids will love getting involved.