Realistic Ways to Save Money for Next Christmasby Charlotte Zealey
Now that Christmas and New Year are over, Sales are finished (almost) and everyone's living off their last few quid before we're paid at the end of the month, I am going to be sharing with you some of the tips which I use to save money for the next Christmas. As we all know, Christmas can be an expensive time and having to worry about money is not fun. This can affect how good Christmas is for you. Whether you're one of those people who start thinking about gifts or even buy gifts for next Christmas in the post-Xmas sales, or whether you don't even think about it until the festive months, today I am going to share how I save for Christmas, way ahead of time, so that we do not have as much stress.
Use Cashback Sites
This is something which we do every time we shop online. After all, this does not cost you anything extra and sometimes you can get up to 10% cashback on things which you were already going to purchase, which is amazing. These can be from all sorts of retailers, such as Argos, Sainsbury's, Tesco, Asda and even Amazon. After all, this is free cash which you can put towards things which you are going to need for the festive period.
This is one which sounds super simple however, this is one which can save you a ton of money. This means that you are less likely to be walking around the shops which can result in you making more impulse purchases than you mean to. These all add up so by only purchasing a thing on your list you could save a lot of money. This is one which does not take that long to see the benefits of either.
Sometimes some of the cheaper supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl do amazing food that's always incredible quality. They have often been voted the best place for mince pies, cheese, beef, wine and Gin in countless awards and of course, are a fraction of the price. Some of the alcohol can be purchased from there and they're the same as the big brands just advertised differently. You may need to purchase some of the bigger items or more 'unique' spices or products from other supermarkets but you can still save money by using cheaper supermarkets for the majority of your shop.
You can spend a lot of money on presents if you have a large circle of friends or a large family. Maybe it is worth suggesting that you do a Secret Santa instead of purchasing a gift for each of them individually. One larger gift each, rather than lots of small cheap gifts. It does mean that you have to focus on fewer presents which can result in less stress as well which is a huge bonus. After all, this reduces the chance of you getting gifts you do not want.
Save on Wrapping Paper
Some of the more expensive paper looks amazing however, in the end, we all end up crumbling it up and recycling it. Instead of spending a fortune on the paper why not head to some of the discount stores where it can be as nice but for a fraction of the price. Of even, if you're able to, take wrapping off presents carefully and you can then reuse it next year. I always keep the gift bags i'm given, so I can then take the tag off, and use it for another gift for someone else, tying a new tag to it. Nobody is going to remember the wrapping paper you used. Another tip is to stock up on rolls. It can be reduced to as little as 10p after Christmas so stock up and put it away for next Christmas.
Sell unwanted items
I know we all have items around our house which we no longer have a need for. They could be the key to making you some money this year. For example, we have found some Xbox One games which we no longer use and this has made us some money on eBay. This money then can be spent on Christmas presents so I do not have to spend as much money. You can use Facebook Marketplace or Amazon as well in order to sell some of your unwanted items. One man's trash is another man's treasure!
Look for discount codes
If you are shopping online, always look for discount codes. Sometimes you will save yourself a lot of money by doing this. There's even browser plug-ins that search for all the best ones for you! I know I regularly find brands are offering between 10-50% off items, you just need to know where to look for them. It is worth taking advantage of some of these offers even throughout the year. Last year I bought my Brother a gift which should have been £30 for £14 in September and put it away for Christmas. This shows you do not have to only take advantage of money off close to Christmas you can do it throughout the year. Black Friday is one which is worth doing a ton of shopping on should you know what gifts you want for people.
Use Gift Vouchers
These can be things which you have collected throughout the year, for example, if you shop at Boots you will gain advantage points. This means that you can trade them in and this then means that you can spend the money on presents. The same with Nectar and Tesco points you could turn them into money to spend on presents or even food which you are going to need over the festive period.
Deliver As Many Cards as You Can
If like me, you start writing your Christmas cards well before the big day, postage costs can be crazy so make sure you hand-deliver as many of the cards as you can, even if it means waiting until you see them at Christmas to see them. Even better have a list of who you need to send a card to and maybe if you do not receive one from them this year don't send one back. We rarely send Christmas Cards now because they are so expensive. Sometimes just saying Merry Christmas even via text or a free digital e-Christmas Card works as well. Of course, this could save you a lot of money as well.
It is easy to go to where you think is going to be the cheapest direct and just ordering from there. However, sometimes there may be an offer on somewhere else and you could save money. Shopping around and making sure you are getting the best deal is something which I would recommend doing. I have often found gifts at a fraction of the price on sites such as Fragrance Direct compared to Boots and Superdrug. It is always worth having a look.
Order Stocking Fillers From China
Usually, you would run out to Home Bargains or Poundland in order to get gifts for the stocking. A lot of them are actually shipped over from China. Save yourself a little bit of money and cut the middle man out why not just go and order them from China yourself. There are so many companies such as Wish and AliExpress which will allow you to ship to the UK. Sometimes you can save up to 50% on stocking fillers and of course this all adds up.
How do you save money for the festive period?