If you and your household are on a tight budget this year, then the thought of Christmas might be filling you with dread. Presents for your nearest and dearest, not to mention keeping the little ones happy and full, can soon mount up. However, the good news is that you don’t need to rack up mountains of debt this year and spend thousands on your festivities. There are a few easy ways that you can tighten the purse strings while still ensuring that everyone has a magical Christmas too. Check out these top tips if you are planning your Christmas celebrations on a budget.
Make a List
You need to set a budget and stick to it, decide what’s right for your family to spend the festivities will be much more enjoyable if you know you’re not going to be paying for them off all next year. Once you know what you want to spend allocate it into the categories you have to spend on food, gifts, decoration etc and see if there’s any unnecessary extras you can cut out – for us this was cards, crackers and a few other bits that started to feel outdated and bad for the environment. Once you have a list, keep it with you and like the song says ‘check it twice’ shops are doing their best to distract you with extra sparkly eye-catching goodies. If it’s not on the list then don’t buy it!
Search for deals
Once you know what you want to buy, start searching for the best online deals, if you’re looking for branded products then consider using a website that allows you to track prices and alerts you when it goes on sale. Talking of sales, be ready for Black Fridayon the last Friday of November when top retailers will run offers on electronics, clothing, footwear and high-end items too such as laptops and televisions. If there is one expensive item on your Christmas gift hit list, then this is the day to purchase it at a lower cost. Do your homework, some stores run the offers from the Thursday night onwards. So if you want to pick up a few products at up to 30 percent less, then make sure you set your alarm.
Small extra gifts and stocking fillers can really add up so make sure they’re all included when you make your list. Don’t forget Advent calendars, Christmas Eve boxes and any other traditions your family may spend extra on during December. The high street and discount stores can be a good place to search for these and online I’ve found The WorksChristmas store to be full of amazing bargains and deals with free delivery on spends over £30.
Whilst you’re shopping online for your gifts, make sure you get money back by using cashback site. Sites such as Quidcowhich I use give you a small percentage back for using their referral link to get connect to the site, it all adds up and I’ve received £100s over the course of a year when using them. They can also be set up to give the money back to your school or favourite charity.
Food and Drink
Most superstores will start running pre-Christmas promotions on alcohol and the all-important turkey, meaning you can stock up before time runs out, spreading the cost as you go and if you’ve been saving up points on your store card all year – now might be the time to check your balance and use them. You may have enough to credit towards the food shop or even towards a night out for the whole family to holidays abroad because after all this work, you deserve one!