Yes I just said the C word. And I make no apologies for that. Thanks to having a baby on Christmas Day, Christmas is never far from my mind. Luckily I’ve always loved Christmas. My little Christmas Day baby just made it all the more magical. But with Christmas comes presents and they don’t pay for themselves. Throw in the added expense of a birthday and it can get really expensive.
So how do I save money in the run-up to Christmas? Here’s my top tips for getting more bang for your buck at this costly time of year.
When we moved back to the UK a year ago I signed up to a cashback website and since then I’ve earned £200 in cashback. Just from shopping online. You simply shop as you normally would, but instead of going straight to the company’s website of your choice, you go via the cashback website. And you get rewarded every time you shop. I won’t lie, sometimes you might get 30p, but it soon adds up. There are some bigger rewards to be earned too – I got £50 just from buying an AA membership for example. Plus when you withdraw your cashback you can choose to take the cash or get an extra percentage on top if you take your cashback in vouchers, stretching your money even further.
Another way to make big savings online is to look for discount codes before you make a purchase. Sites like Sello help you to track down the best deals online while shopping with exciting independent stores. Perfect for those Christmas presents and year round. Remember the more you save throughout the year, the more you will have to put away for Christmas.
Do you remember to use your loyalty card every time you shop? Supermarkets in particular are great for making the most of your points, allowing you to gain points for shopping online and instore, and even at the petrol pump. Some offer double points events just before Christmas which is a fab way of stocking up on store cupboard essentials before the big day.
Never commit to buying something after seeing it in just one shop. Use price comparison websites, or just good old fashioned google. I often stand in the sale aisle of the supermarket during their big toy sales frantically googling the latest toys to see if I can get it cheaper elsewhere. I’ve saved an absolute fortune doing this. I even had people asking me to check what they wanted to buy for them when they worked out what I was doing.
It’s never too late to start saving. By shopping around and using discount codes you’ll soon start making a saving on everything you buy. Put that saving straight into a savings account. It adds up quicker than you might expect and if you were going to pay full price anyway, you won’t miss it. Perhaps transfer £10 a week into your savings account, even £5 or £1 will help towards your Christmas savings. And put down that gingerbread/pumpkin/Bonfire Spice latte. Buy yourself a bottle of syrup and make a coffee at home, you’ll save a small fortune in the run up to Christmas.
Remember it’s not all about scrimping and saving. You can still save while you spend, I certainly do. Just maybe don’t keep checking ASOS for new arrivals as often as you do your social media account, which I’m definitely guilty of.