10 Steps to Help Cut the Cost of Christmas in Half by Claire Roach @moneysavingcen

Christmas Money Saving Tips

 

How to cut the Cost of Christmas by Half

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, but often, also the most expensive! Here are 10 easy ways to help you cut the costs of your Christmas bill in half.

 

1 – Create an Affordable Christmas Budget

The very first thing you should do when you start thinking about yuletide is to create a budget. Work out your income Vs your outgoings and thrash out how much you can affordably spend at Christmas – then try and save a set amount per week/month.
 

This way you will have cash ready to pick up any bargains throughout the year, rather than leaving everything last minute, meaning you end up paying more. 

 

2 – Make a List (and Check it Twice)

Overspending at Christmas is easily done, and the best way to avoid it is to create an affordable budget – and stick to it!

Write down your income and expenditures and work out what you can afford to spend on Christmas – there are also some good free apps out there to help with this if you prefer.

It’s a good idea to write down a list of gifts and items you’ll need as early in the year as possible so that you can be prepared to snap up any bargains before the rush.

Here’s a great Christmas Gift list tracker that is really useful to get you started.

 

3 – Start Shopping Early

For your gifts, the best way to save money is to start early. Leaving your shopping until late in the year often means stock issues and less choice, which can lead to panic buying items at over-the-odds prices, or even simply their face value – But we want to be getting our listed items at the very best prices, which is why purchasing them throughout the year during sales is the best way.

Claire’s Top Tip: Never buy anything online without checking for a voucher code, and where possible, also go through a cashback website, to get a triple whammy of savings!

 

4 – Choose a Budget Supermarket

Supermarket and Brand Downshifting can save you a fortune on your Christmas grocery shop.

Being a brand snob can put £100s on your food shopping bill a year, and with the Christmas shop being one of the year’s most expensive, it’s well worth trying to downshift to some cheaper alternatives.

As well as downshifting your food, you should also be choosing a cheaper supermarket. Aldi has been voted the cheapest supermarket consistently by the consumer website Which! – so that’s where you should be headed for your Christmas haul.

 

5 – Shop The Sales & Bargains

Bargains won’t just fall into your lap, so it’s a great idea to check out freebie, deal, and bargain websites from time to time. 

Money Saving Central provides Sale Date Predictions which enable customers to be the first in line for any UK sales and most bargain websites have social media accounts which you should follow if you’re active on social media, as it means you’ll be privy to year-round deals.

 

6 – Budget Christmas Lunch

You don’t have to go to the local butchers and spend £50 on a prized fresh turkey when a frozen one will do the job perfectly! 
During the last two weeks of Christmas, the supermarket vegetable price wars will begin, where we see bags of veg reduced down to around 19p per pack.

 

7 – Reduce Your Gift Outlay

Don’t Buy for Everyone. We’re forever buying token Christmas gifts for family members, friends, and colleagues as a courtesy/habit, that we can’t afford and they will likely never use. 

I have found if you approach people and tell them you’d rather not give and receive as you’d rather concentrate on your immediate family, they are usually more than happy to oblige as it saves them money too.

 

8 – Homemade Gifting

You can check out Pinterest and make some fantastic crafted gifts that are perfect for Christmas gifting. Children particularly love showing off their handmade items and will have hours of fun in the process. 

Check out these stunning Christmas Crafts that can be made from every day free items here

 

9 – Purchase Gifts & Decorations out of Season

Come the last week in December, shops will start trying to get rid of their Christmas stock, this includes crackers. tableware, decorations, and more. If you have somewhere to store it for the year you can save as much as 75% on the usual retail cost.

 

10 – Free Christmas Festivities

You don’t have to spend a fortune to have a magical Christmas day out! One of my children’s favourite things to do is drive around the streets ‘Light Spotting’. We blast Heart Christmas on the radio and drive around checking out all the best Christmas light displays in the area. 

You could also have a night in, with Christmas movies, hot chocolate, and maybe even a Family Christmas Quiz. 

 

Hopefully, these tips will help you on your way to slashing the cost of Christmas and saving you money year after year. Please leave a comment below if you have any other great ideas you think should be mentioned.

 

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