For most of us Christmas ends up being the most expensive time of the year. However, there are many ways to keep the cost of Christmas down.
Here are some tips and tricks to cut the cost:
1. Work out a budget and stick to it. Learn to work within it rather than stretching it to the limit.
2. It’s a little late to put into practice now but make your purchases throughout the year, starting in the January sales if you can. With so many bargains throughout the year you can grab one or two gifts every week or two to build up your own little stash of gifts by the time December comes around.
3. Children don’t need expensive gifts to have a good Christmas. Go through their list and wheedle out anything they don’t particularly care for or aren’t familiar with, and are just asking for because of the advertisement/because their friend has it/because it looks pretty/nice/fun.
4. Use cashback sites such as Quidco or Top Cashback to receive a percentage back on purchases you’ll be making anyway. Both offer a wide range of stores and Quidco also include some high street shops too.
5. Become a discount code hunter. We’ve done a lot of legwork for you and bring you a glut of new discounts every day that you can use for a wide range of stores online. Bookmark our forum and visit daily to make sure you don’t miss a deal.
6. Look out for bargains – but only for things you know you need or for gifts that you know particular people will love. Don’t buy something ‘just in case’ with no idea who or what it’s for. It could end up languishing in the back of the wardrobe, and when that happens you won’t have grabbed a bargain but wasted your money instead.
7. Compare food prices for your Christmas groceries by using a supermarket price comparison site. Put items in your basket as normal and the site will compare prices on your shop between the main supermarkets to find out which charges the least for the same items.
8. Don’t go overboard. Work out your gift list carefully. Do you really need to buy gifts for those friends and relatives you never see or hear from the rest of the year? Don’t be afraid to cut your list down to the most nearest and dearest to you.
9. Consider homemade gifts instead of expensive, shop-bought stuff. It’s personal and there’s nothing else quite like it. You could create a confectionery hamper with homemade cookies, shortbread, and fudge, or if you’re feeling a little more creative how about a patchwork quilt?
10. Don’t rely on credit cards and loans to see you through this Christmas. You may have every intention of paying it off as soon as you can but it’s often the case that the best laid plans don’t always work out like they should. You could find yourself still paying off this year’s gifts whilst you’re buying next year’s. The interest you’ll have paid will very likely outdo any bargains you thought you found and the compound interest adds up without you even realising. Keep to your budget and stay within your means to break the cycle once and for all.
What are your tips for keeping down the costs of Christmas? Share them with us in the comments below!