We love getting to know our customers and helping people on a day-to-day basis. From supporting charities, including The Silver Line and Breast Cancer Now, through to offering advice and tips on our blog, we like to offer a helping hand throughout the year.
With that in mind, after carrying out research on how the older generations are saving and coping financially throughout the Christmas seasons, we’ve decided to put together a guide for saving in December.
For those looking to save money on the lead up to this year’s festive season, there are a range of steps that can be taken to ensure that Christmas is both comfortable and enjoyable:
Work out a Budget
The first step you can take is to make a list of all the people you are buying for and allocate a set amount of funds for each person.
If you happen to be hosting a get-together or a dinner party, try setting a budget for this on a per-head basis to ensure that you don’t overspend.
It might also be worth agreeing to only buy presents for children this year, which is a great tactic for those with (increasingly) large families.
Use those vouchers
Whether from club cards or newspapers, hunt around the home to find as many vouchers as you can, as it is thought that £240 million a year is left unspent from vouchers alone.
It’s also worth remembering that points cards offer better value when they are converted into vouchers rather than cash.
Don’t borrow for Christmas… but get a 0% card if you do
At the end of the day, no one should have to borrow to be able to afford Christmas presents.
That said, there are credit cards out there with 0% interest for up to 31 months if you really need to buy basic purchases.
It also has a 0% credit card guide that is updated daily.
Get cashback online
If you’re looking to buy online, check out some cashback sites that can help you sort out a few purchases here and there.
With that in mind however, do not use cashback sites just for the sake of it. Purchase only what you need, or intended to buy, and take time searching out the cheapest deal.
You can find a great explanation of cashback with Which?
Consider switching supermarkets
No matter where you shop, it’s important to remember that it’s a supermarket’s role in life to make us spend money.
With that in mind, it’s worth finding your favourite brands and seeing if you can find them cheaper in other supermarkets.
Another trick, is of course to search for high quality own-brands that are made in the same factories as big names, as most of the time, you’ll never be able to taste the difference.
If you buy a turkey, choose wisely
A turkey is a staple choice of food at the Christmas table, and it’s likely that it will also be one of the most expensive foods there.
Depending on where you shop, you could buy a turkey from as little as £3 per kilo, right through to £20. The trick is not to fall into a false economy, as the average turkey will weigh around 5kg, which will cost around £20-£30 for a medium range bird.
At the end of the day however, the best advice is to get simply what you can afford and enjoy to ensure that you get the best deal.
Remember to allow a minimum of 500g on-the-bone- weight per person. You can also replace some of that weight with some sort of stuffing however.
Find little savings
You can also search out little savings that make big differences.
For example, if you plan to send out a lot of Christmas cards this year, switching from a first-class stamp (65p) to a second-class stamp (56p) can help save a lot of money.
Create a present cupboard
Let’s face it, we all get presents that we don’t necessarily want or have used.
With that in mind, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with creating a present stash or cupboard for when next year comes around.
By simply marking off who got you what (so you don’t accidentally return the same gift), you can ensure that you can give these gifts to people who might really appreciate them.
Make your own presents
If you’re a little crafty, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with buying some materials and getting out and about with handmade presents.
From homemade cakes and buns, right through to wooden necklaces and other kinds of jewellery, the world really is your oyster when you want to get out and make your own gifts and trinkets.
Look to save next year
Once that we’re into the new year, it’s definitely worth shopping around for Christmas related bargains such as crackers, decorations, and other such festive treats that you can put away for 2018.
Check out your local discount stores come January, as these are usually loaded with festive items that haven’t sold over the festive season and you’ll probably be able to find them at much cheaper prices.