How to be a savvy shopper this Christmas

We spend £530 on Christmas including £218 on gifts  - a staggering splurge when you consider it's essentially one day. The glad tidings are you can still have fun over the festivities without spending a fortune with our top thrift tips!

Tips for less stress!

  • Plan ahead It's never too early to think about Christmas - it will be less pressure on you and your purse. Use our online Christmas Money Planner to keep spending on track
  • Spend less "Suggest a Secret Santa with friends rather than buying individual gifts and set a price limit for family presents," says Julie Hutchison at Standard Life
  • Make it yourself  For craft and baking gift-inspiration see Recipients will appreciate the personal touch and you'll save £s compared to shop-bought presents
  • Don't be a retail snob especially when buying for young children. "They won’t know the price, so don't go overboard," says Julie.

How to bag bargains online...

  • Shop on discount days Black Friday (November 25) and Cyber Monday (November 28) when retailers slash prices to tempt us to fill our virtual and real trolleys. "You get discounts on toys and technology to fashion and fragrance, but move fast as stock can be limited," says Anita Naik from
  • Register for email alerts from favourite shops. so you'll get VIP discounts, prior notice of flash sales and tip-offs when sales will start
  • Use Camelcamelcamel to track item prices on Amazon and see the biggest price falls on items over time
  • Sign up to voucher-code websites' newsletters so you don't miss online and in store offers. You can save 15 to 20 per cent using VoucherCloud, MyVoucherCodes and Hotukdeals
  • Log onto Twitter and scan popular phases and hashtags including #deal or #offer - you'll find tweeters sharing links to discount vouchers
  • Follow big brands and retailers on Twitter as many announce offers via their social channels to reward loyal customers. ASOS, M&S and Amazon are great examples.

How to bag bargains on the high street...

  • Download smartphone money-saving apps VoucherCode's app shows offers that are available in stores near you whilst you're out shopping
  • If you're an O2 customer use the Priory Moments app. We found discounts from WHSmith, Body Shop and GAME. Simply show the code in store
  • Haggle! "Ask the manager if they'll do you a deal if you buy several items," says Jasmine Birtle from MoneyMagpie. "If you want something big, research online beforehand and show how you could get it cheaper elsewhere. It's likely they'll want your custom!"

Find out more on bagging bargains on Black Friday here.