Christmas money saving hacks

Find out the best ways to save money for Christmas with our top tips.

Christmas money savings

by Michelle Nightingale |

It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but for many of us it’s the most expensive too!

If you're feeling concerned about your purse this winter, you might be wondering how to save money for Christmas.

Keep your spending in check with our top Christmas money saving hacks for a thriftier festive season.

1. Save on gift cards

Many of us resort to gift vouchers for those tricky-to-buy-for family members, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a good deal. There are a number of websites where you can buy discounted gift cards – either as online vouchers or as actual cards.

For example, Cardyard.co.uk offers big name gift cards for less. At the time of writing you could get a £75 National Book Token for £60 and ten per cent off £5 and £10 M&S e-gift cards. There’s also the option to sell unwanted gift cards, too!

2. Ask for cost-cutting gifts

Most of us want to gift items we know the recipient will make use of. If someone asks you what you’d like for Christmas then why not suggest things that you’d spend on anyway. Good examples include vouchers for a haircut, your favourite moisturiser or a National Trust membership – all things you’d be able to enjoy and might spend money on anyway.

3. Don’t fall for the extras

From fancy skincare gadgets to kitchen aids, if you’re gifting a gadget this Christmas chances are the retailer you’re purchasing from will try convince you to buy product protection for an extra cost.

But such plans aren’t always worthwhile, particularly as you already have some rights under theConsumer Rights Act. Many electrical items come with a year long manufacturers guarantee and some retailers will give an extra guarantee for no additional cost – so it’s worth shopping around.

Christmas-shopping

4. Cash in on loyalty schemes

Supermarket points schemes are an easy way to save money on your Christmas shop. Tesco Clubcard is one of the more generous schemes and due to Covid-19 any vouchers that were due to expire in May, are now valid until November 30. If you have a stash of points you can trade them for up to three times their value through Tesco’s Reward Partners.

Lots of the brands included in the scheme are days out and restaurants, so Reward Partner codes are now valid for 12 months from the order date.

5. Create your own ‘gift vouchers’

The best presents are those that come from the heart. Whether it’s a promise of a visit and a cuppa, a promise to have your grandchildren over for a sleepover or simply the offer of breakfast in bed for your other half. These things will mean a lot, yet cost nothing but your time.

6. Spend less on your turkey

If you’re used to paying through the nose for your Christmas table centre piece, consider a lower cost option. Dare we say it, but a roast chicken is tasty and inexpensive! If that idea makes you recoil in horror, a frozen bird or even a smaller turkey crown could save you quite a bit and doesn’t have to mean compromising on quality. To ensure that your saving isn’t at the expense of your turkey’s welfare, look for one that’s free range or RSPCA-assured.

7. Get crafty

Homemade gifts will not only save you pennies, but offer more of a personal touch. Along with homemade chutneys, jams and sweet treats, one of our favourite gift ideas is a memory jar. Simply write down lots of different memories you have of a loved one and place in a decorated jar. You could include photographs and drawings too.

Include one for every month of the year, or stretch it to 52 and make your loved one smile every single week of the year.

Christmas-crafts

8. Say no to store cards

While the initial incentives may seem good, store cards offering credit tend to have high interest rates. Unless you’ll be paying if off straight away you’re likely to get stung. A better idea is to buy Christmas gifts on a 0% interest credit card, which will allow you to spread the cost without paying over the odds.

9. Sign up to online mailing lists

While those pop-up boxes asking you to join their mailing list can be annoying, if you’re looking to buy your gifts online don’t be too hasty to dismiss them. Many will offer an immediate discount if you join by entering your email address. Those that don’t offer discounts upfront will often try to entice you back by email, so it pays to wait a few days. Don’t forget you can opt out of receiving the emails after using the discount.

10. Bulk buy

At this time of year buying in bulk is a good way to save money on food and drink gifts. Take advantage of buy one get one free supermarket deals, or try a wholesaler such as Costco (www.costco.co.uk) which is great for buying multiple boxes of chocolates or bottles of fizz at reduced cost. Unlike many wholesalers the general public can become a Costco member for a fee. Split the cost with a friend, for extra saving.

11. Gift a magazine subscription

Why not give a gift that lasts the whole year with a Yours magazine subscription – or even better treat yourself! By subscribing you could get Yours delivered to your door for just £2.60 a month. Call 01858 438884, quoting ‘BGAA’ or visit www.greatmagazines.co.uk/yours.

12. Deliver direct to their door

If this year you’re planning to do a lot of your Christmas gift shopping online, then many retailers will deliver straight to the recipient’s door – saving you paying two lots of postage.

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