HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON NEXT CHRISTMAS
The best way to save money on Christmas is to start buying early, and I mean early! In the Boxing Day and New Year sales where prices are slashed both instore and online. It is the perfect time to stock up on everything you need and only pay a fraction of the price. How much discount can you get? 50% off? yes but some stores have up to 80% off, yes really! Read on to find out how I save £100’s a year, buying early for Christmas.
Start with a plan
The most important thing is to have a plan of what you need to buy and a rough budget. Everyone usually buys Christmas cards every year for roughly the same people. So make a list of who you need to buy cards for. My list includes family members, children’s class cards and work colleague cards. Make a clear list of everyone so that you can tick them off as you go. Every year I buy most of my Christmas cards for the next year in the sales. However the longer you wait the less stock will be left so sometimes it is a bit of both luck and timing.
Another way to may great savings to make a present list of who you will need to buy a Christmas present for the next year. You could also may a list of birthdays too if you want to be extra organised. From my present list I usually look both online and instore for items on sale. I look to see what I can find that would be great to buy and keep for next Christmas.
I then usually pack items ready for next year away with the Christmas Decorations. When I go to unpack them, hey presto I have most of the things I need early December. Most stores will reduce Christmas wrapping paper, gift bags, and decorations in the Boxing Day/New Year sales. However the discount will increase week by week until the end of January.
The best deals and offers
There could be presents that you may have already seen instore or online and thought they were overpriced. Wait until the sales and they will be more reasonably priced. I usually check priced online for larger purchases in advance, so that I know if I am getting a good deal. Toiletries, toys and novelty gift sets are the prefect items that you can buy and put away in advance for next Christmas. If you have a relative or a friend that has a hobby for example you could find the perfect football themed mug. Gift sets can be reduced to half price, so stocking up on Christmas presents would be a good idea but also great birthdays too.
Boots usually have great deals on their gift sets which are reduced first to 50% off then into January can go to 70% off. Don’t forget you can also collect your boots points too. Supermarkets can have some great reductions on Christmas themed confectionary, alcohol and food gifts too. Please look at the use by or best before dates will not last over a year, however they may be great to by if you are having a New year party.
Yes I have a present cupboard. Weird you may think at first, but how many times have you urgently needed a gift due to either you have forgetting a birthday, or had a late party invite? I was one of those people, I am still not perfect, however I try to plan ahead as much as possible and also look to save money. Children’s party’s are the worst they seem to get sprung on you are there sometimes 2 in one weekend that land together. To save money I look to buy generic toys in the sales with good reductions. Books, crafting items and games seem to be good generic presents to put away for the Children’s Parties my Daughter gets invited too.
I also buy a mix of Children’s birthday cards too, there are usually 10 cards for a £1.00 offers on in the Card Factory, so look out for that deal. If I see reduced generic wrapping paper I always stock up on it too. So when a party is sprung or coming up, open the cupboard usually I can find a gift to use.
It’s not just kids presents you can stash in the cupboard, look to adding giftsets and other generic gifts. These can be used for family and friends birthday gifts and other occasions. Do I need to mention the dreaded teachers gifts that everyone forgets to buy (or is that just me?) With generic gifts you can usually find a gift that is suitable for the occasion. With the present cupboard I keep it topped up with items I find reduced or on offer.
Recycling and re-gifting
In the present cupboard I also keep used gift bags. Every gift that my family receives in a giftbag, I remove the tag and it goes in the present cupboard. The gift bags can easily be reused and a new gift tag added to the handle. This is a marmite kind of topic, re-gifting. I have to admit I do also re-gift unwanted gifts that I receive, if a gift is not my taste, rather than offend my friend or relative and tell them, I thank them for the gift. I then re-gift it to someone else (who has no connection to the person who gave the gift). Some might not agree with this, but it saves money and also re-uses an unwanted item. Sometimes if the unwanted gift is a bit lets say really unsuitable to re-gift, I usually donate as charity raffle prizes.
Whilst I try to plan ahead for Christmas and birthdays to save money, I only spend what I can afford to at the time and also the space to store it. I never purchase any items in advance on credit cards as most of the time the interest charged would then cancel out any financial discount.
Check out my post on HOW TO MAKE MONEY FROM YOUR SHOPPING RECEIPTS where you can scan your shopping receipts and earn vouchers.