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8 Tips to Save Money at Christmas

8 Tips to Save Money at Christmas
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Looking to save money this Christmas? With the rising cost of living, cutting costs is more important than ever. We’ve therefore looked at eight easy ways to save money when you’re shopping for presents or buying any other festive items! 

1. Make a List (and Check it Twice)

If you go shopping without a clear plan in mind, you may well end up overspending. For instance, you could find you’ve bought too much for one person, and then feel obligated to buy more for everyone else, to make it fair. You might also buy items for more money than necessary – if you research first, you can find out which shop sells them cheapest.

It’s also important to know how much you can afford to spend overall. You don’t want to be left short come January. And then when you know your total budget, you can plan how much of this can be put towards gifts, decorations, food and drink, as well as any miscellaneous things you wish to purchase. 

2. Agree On Price Limits

If you think that someone has spent a lot of money on you (they might have told you what present they’ve bought), you may feel like you have to reciprocate. But if you agree on a spending limit with friends and family, this issue won’t crop up.

If you do go down this road, it’s important to be transparent about how much you can afford to spend on each person. Don’t just agree to a large limit because everyone else seems on board! Perhaps you have a larger family, and therefore more people to buy for. You have to be realistic, and set a low spending limit if needed.

3. Save on Postage

Not all families live locally, and you may still exchange gifts with old friends who moved away. In these cases, delivery costs can really add up. You may therefore wish to look into online retailers that don’t charge for postage, or have reduced rates.

For example, if you sign up to ASOS Premier, which at the time of writing costs £9.95 for the year, you’ll get free next day delivery on all your orders. Amazon Prime is also a good option – you may be able to get a free 30 day trial which includes free delivery, or sign up for around £7.99 a month. 

4. Use Loyalty Points

Most of us have loyalty cards of some description, even if they’re only for supermarkets. And with a lot of these cards, we tend to forget we even have the option of cashing these points in. What better time to spend your loyalty points than just before Christmas?

There are limitations with a lot of these loyalty cards of course – the points can sometimes only be spent in the store you earned them at. But with others, like Tesco Clubcard points, you can get more for your money if you spend them on experiences and other items.

5. Make Presents

There are loads of things you can make as presents, even if you’re not that artistic. From making a photo scrapbook calendar to handmade candles, you’re bound to save money by crafting presents by hand. And if you’re stuck for ideas, Pinterest is always a good place to start.

Baking is also a great option in terms of making gifts. Whipping up a huge batch of gingerbread, shortbread, brownies, truffles, or just about any delicious treat is an easy way of making presents for everyone on your Christmas list.

6. Give an IOU

While we like getting presents at Christmas, who wouldn’t rather waiting a few days so they’ll get a better (and cheaper) gift? Retailers have Boxing Day and January sales for a reason – they’re trying to get you to spend even more money after Christmas, in return for bargain prices. They wouldn’t offer such great deals before the holiday.

A great way to get around this is to promise your friends and family presents after Christmas. On the big day, put an IOU in the card, and then buy all your gifts in the January sales. That way, your loved ones can get exactly what they want for Christmas, and you get to save money! Plus, there’s no chance of duplicate gifts that need to be returned.

7. Do a Secret Santa

With big groups of friends or work colleagues, if you had to buy everyone a present it would get very expensive very quickly. So why not suggest doing a Secret Santa instead? This is essentially where everyone puts their name into a hat, and you only have to buy a gift for the individual whose name you drew.

This method of present buying not only means you have to purchase less gifts, there is also usually a set price limit. This is typically around £10 to £20, but can be adjusted depending on the group of people. 

8. Be Honest

If you’re struggling to buy presents for all your loved ones, it’s probably best to simply be honest with them. There’s a good chance that you won’t be the only one, and at least some of your friends and family will agree not to exchange gifts this year. Or if you’re just looking to scale back in terms of food and drink, perhaps suggest others bring something with them, to help spread the cost.

We’ve previously looked at the idea of Christmas presents being a zero-sum game. This means you’re likely to spend roughly the same amount of money on a present as the recipient will on your gift. So rather than spending £20 on them, you might as well have spent £20 on yourself. That way, the money could go towards something more necessary. Making an agreement to not buy presents this year can therefore be a sensible option.

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