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Save This Christmas and Enjoy a Happy New Year

Christmas is supposed to be a time of joy, however for many people a great Christmas can result in the New Year quickly turn into a financial nightmare.  Many people don’t think about what they actually need to do to achieve the ideal Christmas (it’s not just about expensive items!) and end up with a pricey list of luxuries items including designer trees, costly presents and a posh turkey in order to give their family their idea of a wonderful Christmas.  This can result in people getting themselves into debt and suffering from the aptly named January blues.

As boring as it may sound when purchasing gifts and Christmas related items we should be thinking about the amount of money we can afford to spend on Christmas.  Once that has been addressed and budgets made for the various areas, ie. food and drink, decorations, gifts etc. you can then plan accordingly and do the fun part – go shopping!  By following this simple advice not only can you have a merry Christmas but also have a happy New Year.

Stacks of gold and silver coins dressed in Santa's hats
Stacks of gold and silver coins dressed in Santa’s hats

In the Spirit of Christmas and because I’m nice like that I thought I would help point you in the right direction to make some great savings and help prevent your ho, ho, ho from turning into a boo, hoo, hoo:

  1. Letter From Santa – Free of Charge

There are firms that charge as much as £10 for a child to receive a return letter from Santa impersonators.  But if your child writes to:

Santa/Father Christmas,
Santa’s Grotto,

With help from his pals at the Post Office, Santa will write back for free.  Make sure you write Santa’s address carefully on a stamped envelope and send it by the 9th of December so he has time to respond, don’t forget it’s a busy time of year for Santa.

  1. Exchange your Tesco Club Points for Rewards Vouchers for your Christmas Shopping

By trading in your points for Tesco´s Clubcard Rewards, you can get up to four times the value of your points, this can be done at www.tesco.com/clubcard/deals. For example at Ask restaurants £10 will become £40 and at Goldsmiths Jewellers it would become £30.  If none of those are a fit, up until now Tesco has been running their Christmas exchange, allowing for doubling of Clubcard vouchers in selected stores.

Downsize Your Turkey

Many times people hit the market looking for the biggest and best turkey they can find.  The most expensive isn’t always the best and in reality we should be looking from a different perspective how many people will be eating and do I want enough leftovers to feed the whole neighbourhood?  I quite like getting turkey crowns and allow for 2-3 extra people than are coming over as it keeps everyone happy and we get very little waste.

Find Bargains on Ebay

Ebay is stocked full of goodies, the problems is that since the site is now so  large the number of bidders cause the prices to be driven up sometimes excessively.  There are however tricks to find the auctions that are hidden and not bid on as much.  Look out for items that have to be collected in person this means less bidders and smaller costs.

  1. Make Sure That You Write “it’s a gift” On Till Receipts

Legally the only person who has the rights if a product is faulty is the person who purchased it, so the receiver is in many instances unable to exchange it.  There are however shops that do allow it, use a gift certificate or have the shop write that it is a gift and for whom on your receipt and their own copy as well.

  1. Be Prepared to Pounce On the Biggest Discounts

Make your Christmas list ahead of time and keep your eye out for vouchers, codes and sales.  You can find great offer posted on sites like www.moneysavingexpert.com https://www.myvouchercodes.co.uk/ and http://www.hotukdeals.com/ .  It’s always best to buy items when you find them on offer and stash them in a cupboard for Christmas and Birthdays.

  1. Start your Christmas Planning in January

This the last thing that you probably want to hear however preparation is key to a stress free Christmas .  January is the best time for your Christmas shopping, this is when the sales come out so grab your baubles, Christmas cards, decoration, gift wrap and even your winter clothes to give as gifts the following Christmas.

It’s also an idea to squirrel away a little of your earnings each month for Christmas, many people try to fit Christmas from their December salary, that on its own is generally not affordable.  So if each month you save around £30, come next Christmas you will have some cash already ready for any items you still need.

Good luck with the Christmas preparations guys x

This Post Has 55 Comments

  1. Every year I always wonder where the money is going to come from for Christmas. Next year I am going to start saving in January so it is easier come the festive time x

    1. Good luck Tanya 😉

  2. Every year I plan to send the letter to Santa for the free reply and forget – thanks for the reminder. We stopped getting a turkey a few years ago and got individual steaks – sounds more extravagant but actually stopped wastage and ensured that we were eating exactly what we wanted. Takes shorter time to cook too which cuts down on costs.

    1. That’s great, glad I was able to help remind you.

  3. These are very good tips. I especially like looking out for vouchers when buying gifts.

    1. You would be amazed at what you can find x

  4. eBay is the best but it is hard to bid. I am not so eager to pick up an item but I will consider your suggestion so I can save on shipping fees.

    1. Have fun shopping 😉

  5. What fantastic tips! I will be sure to follow these 🙂

    1. Have a great Christmas x

  6. Some good tips here and always say I will start planning earlier everywhere and never ever do!

    1. I am planning on doing it this year 😉

  7. I love the advice of buying things in january, I’ve heard about that, but never tried it. Might this year x 🙂

    1. Have fun shopping x

  8. WOW! Some really useful tips there thank-you!!!
    Never knew about the “Make Sure That You Write “it’s a gift” On Till Receipts” – thank-you

    1. It needs to be the staff that do this as otherwise anyone can do it x

  9. I always start shopping early for presents, it helps to spread the cost.

    1. Me too 😉

  10. Some brilliant tips here. I often pick up a few bargains in the January sales, it takes a bit of pressure of the following Christmas. Jo x

    1. Great to hear, I find that really helps.

  11. useful to know about the Tesco points

  12. we have to watch the money especially at christmas so some great tips here

    1. Thanks Sandy x

  13. Some great ideas to have a smooth and hassle free Christmas .

  14. I hate paying full price for anything so always try searching out the best deals around at Christmas time! xxx

    1. I don’t blame you. I do the same.

  15. Some brilliant tips here, can’t believe some companies charge £10 for a letter from Santa, its great that the post office do it for free though

    1. I know , I think it’s a great idea x

  16. I love money saving tips and me and my wife try and be very scrimpy with presents by making it a challenge. We always buy gifts for each other in the year so at Christmas we are only allowed to get a limited amount of gifts all, £1 each, to see who can come up with the most original. It’s fun to do but also doesn’t cost the earth! x

    1. It would be interesting to see what you would find 😉

  17. Great tips! I definitely try and start planning as early as possible so I don’t have money worries over Christmas!

  18. We haven’t purchased a turkey in a good few years mostly because there was so much left over and now we just opt to having a lot more caribbean food. These are some great ideas to save at Christmas as we know it can be very expensive xo

    1. I don’t blame you, I’m not much of a turkey fan it’s a shame the rest of the family like it.

  19. Am definitely going to use the free letter service, think this is such a lovely idea.

  20. some great ideas, i have been selling on ebay to fund christmas this year

    1. That’s a great idea!

  21. Great advice, especially the last one where you put aside a small amount of cash each month to save for the next Christmas! I need to be that organised!

    1. It’s not always easy to remember to do. I sometimes skip a month or 2.

  22. Great tips these! It’s so easy to overspend at Christmas so every suggestion of how to save pennies is very helpful.

    1. It sure is, I budget but sometimes still over spend 😉

  23. Great tips here – I try to not spend too much on Christmas either x

  24. Love this, is very helpful! Especially to exchange the tesco points, I’m thinking about doing it with every loyalty card I own, specially the Boots one 🙂

    1. I need to remember to look and see if I have boots points to use this year, thanks for the reminder.

  25. It is so easy to get over-excited and over-spend at Christmas! There are plenty of ways of saving up some extra pennies/buying cheaper but equally lovely gifts!

    1. That’s true we need to be a little more creative with our gifts sometimes.

  26. Woweeee! We never knew about the free letter from Santa! Thanks for the tip. We usually budget extra carefully over the Christmas period but still manage to go over!!

    1. It is really hard if you don’t start budgeting in advance.

  27. Some great tips – we all need to save as much as we can in the run up to Xmas!

  28. This is a great post! It is very smart to start the shopping in January, I can’t wait to Januar sales actually hehe 🙂 great tips that can help many towards a better and not so expensive Christmas 🙂 x

  29. I loved. loved, loved this post. In fact, I could have written it myself (but you had more ideas he he!). I agree 100%. Christmas is not about splashing out more than your neighbours. It’s not about the biggest, most expensive presents. It’s about family time, board game, rubbish TV and comfort food.

    In fact, I only get a teeny present for each of my children because they get lots of pressies from family and friends, who quite often ask me what they want so they do get items from their wish list on D-day (or shall I say C-day?). I also make sure my children lower their expectations in terms of what one gets for Christmas. No, you will not get an iPad, nor will you get a TV for your bedroom, because 1) you are 6 years old, and 2) we send the money to Father Christmas so let’s go back to the drawing board!

    We also send our letters to the address you mentioned. It’s common sense, isn’t it? We also use the free PNP video maker where Father Christmas addresses the children. Best surprise at the start of Advent for my kiddos.

  30. Great post, I love these ideas. I’m an eBay addict all year round, not just at Christmas haha! And I love starting my Christmas shopping in January too, nothing better than grabbing a bargain. 😊
    Ashton x

  31. I try to ‘think outside the box’ for presents for our family and start collecting points, vouchers, sale buys, etc in January each year. Also I like to enter competitions and keep the winnings for the family Christmas/birthday present. We’re pensioners so I have time to mooch around for bargains.

  32. We need all the help we can get to ensure we do not go into the new year with a lot of debt because of Christmas

  33. forward planning and trying to say no to the kids! We are renting our house out at New year so we can get away

  34. This was hashtag genius, thanks for the help

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