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Dare I say it, the C-word? It may seem like a long way off, but Christmas isn’t that far away at all. In terms of pay days, there are potentially only three of them left before the big day. And with things like Christmas parties all happening in the lead up to the day, there are many things that you need to be spending on in the build up. Which is why now, even though it is September, you need to start thinking about what you can be doing to get your Christmas shopping done, and looking for the best ways to save. Here are some top tips to help; have you started Christmas shopping yet?
Slim Down Your Gift List
In order to save money it can be a really clear idea of who you are buying for and what kind of budget there needs to be for each person. For starters, who did you buy for last year; will you need to buy for them again? If there are people that don’t really need a gift from you, then just take them off your list. It can lead to unnecessary spend, and also lead them to having something that they don’t really need anyway. So slim your list down to start. From there you can look at the budget and how much you will realistically need for each person (that, or you assign an amount to each person. Just make sure that you stick to it)!
Shopping online is a really great way to go if you are looking to save. You can quite easily check prices of things on other sites to make sure that you are getting the must-have item at the cheapest price, for instance. Not to mention that there are sites like NetVoucherCodes.co.uk that you can check before a purchase to see what money you could get off a certain site before buying. There also tends to be discounts offered for first-time shoppers or newsletter sign ups. So they can be worth taking advantage of too.
Little and Often
If you have to buy all of your gifts in one day, then it can take a massive chunk out of your bank balance all at once. And not many of us will have a huge amount spare unless you saved and put it away. Which is why it can be a good idea to start you gift list now. Then you can look to buy one or two things a week until Christmas, for example. It doesn’t have to be gifts either; popping an extra bottle of prosecco in your supermarket trolley, or boxes of chocolates or biscuits can mean you have a supply built up ready for the season, with all of the cost spread a little bit.
Taking advantage of loyalty schemes can be a good way to get something for pretty much nothing. With posts like https://www.dcrstrategies.com/2018-loyalty-program-stats-trucash-2/ telling us that one fifth of people with loyalty scheme cards not claiming their rewards, you need to make sure that you are not one of them! The points do add up and can be used in many ways. If you have things like a Boots card or a Tesco Clubcard, check what points you have on them. Tesco Clubcard points especially can be converted into other kinds of rewards or vouchers. So look at what you have and what you could be claiming or using towards the Christmas shop.
In the run up to Christmas, although there won’t be a loyalty card programme, have you thought about switching the supermarket that you use? It allows you to save quite a chunk of money, as there really can be some value when switching to shops like Lidl and Aldi (not to mention that they get some great seasonal items in, particularly for things like Christmas sweet treats). If you then think about the money that you can save on your grocery shop, the difference could be pocketed and put towards your Christmas gift list.
Plan Food Well
If you are hosting a party or Christmas dinner itself, then it can be a good idea to look at realistically how much you need to get. It can sound silly, but sitting down to figure out exactly what each person will need (right down to the number of roast potatoes on each plate), can be a massive help. Not only does it eliminate waste, but it can cut your food bill down. Plus, there are so many other things to enjoy like puddings and chocolates, that everyone doesn’t need to leave the table feeling stuffed.