We all love Christmas. Even deep down, those that claim they don’t like it, secretly love it too! There’s nothing quite like the anticipation of Christmas day, knowing you’re going to be surrounded by friends and family without a care in the world. It’s the one time of the year that we really get to show people how much we care by giving our loved ones thoughtful and silly presents. However, it’s unfortunately a time of the year where we all begin to start worrying about money. Now it’s important to remember that Christmas does not have to be expensive. It’s like any other time of the year, shop smart and find those bargains. The person you are buying for will not care about the price of a present; it’s all about the thought! However price will affect you if you pay over the odds, so take a look at 10 of the best ways to shop smart and save money this Christmas.
1: Shop Online Early
Let’s face it, we should all know by now that for the majority of gifts can be bought online at far cheaper prices than the high street stores. So why wait? Get online now before the best gifts the Christmas go up in price. Also, if you go shopping online to find your gifts now, you won’t have to worry about the busy Christmas delivery period.
2: Look for Discount Codes
When shopping online, ALWAYS look for discount codes before making a purchase. Not only will you get a great price online, you’ll then be able to get additional money off. There are plenty of discount voucher websites out there and some websites also offer discounts for new customers. Don’t make a purchase without finding one. You can even find a discount coupon to make your own website.
3: Agree Budgets
I’m sure plenty of you have tried this one already, and if you haven’t, why not?! You’ll find that the majority of your friends and family are in a similar financial position to you around Christmas time, so agreeing a budget spend on presents for each other is the sensible thing to do. It can also be quite fun as you then have to shop within a budget and find the best value for your money. Get creative!
4: Hit eBay
As well as shopping online, you should always check prices for items you’re looking for on eBay. If you’ve put off using eBay until now, well now is a great time to start! You can potentially find amazing deals on eBay that you won’t find anywhere else on or offline. A great tip in finding eBay items for rock bottom prices is to search for misspelled items or items with no bids.
5: Agree To Buy After Christmas
There’s nothing worse than buying an item for Christmas day and then seeing that same item on sale for 75% the price it was when you bought it. Again, communicate with friends and family and maybe agree to only buying one small present to open on Christmas day and the rest you can buy in the January sales. Boots for example, often offer their products at vastly marked down prices towards the end of January.
6: Organise Your Finances
If you’re worried about money in the run up to Christmas, then it’s probably a great time to start looking at your finances in more detail and set yourself up to be comfortable for the new year. See it as a positive opportunity to sit down and organise all those things you haven’t got around to doing. Fill in that credit card application form, research adverse credit cards information or call your bank and get the most of your account features. You’ll probably shop at lot more at ease and find the better deals once you’ve got your own financial position sorted.
7: Shop For Food On Christmas Eve
This might not be for everyone, but if you want to take a big risk and save lots of money in the process, shopping for groceries on Christmas Eve is when you’ll find the best prices. This is because a lot of shops and stores close for the Christmas period and want to make the most of their stock. Yes it will be busy, but if you prepare yourself, it’ll be worth the long queues and frantic barging out of the way.
8: Use Price Comparison Online For Food Shopping
Food shopping online can also be a great way to save money, as you will be able to use several of the prices comparison websites which allow you to find the best deals. Even if you don’t want to shop online, you can still figure out which store is best to buy from and then go and visit those stores yourself. Always go for store-brand and carefully consider whether you really need to buy into things like three for two offers.
9: Send E-Cards
Sending e-cards this Christmas, particularly if you have a large social circle or family is a great way to save money. There are plenty of websites which offer the opportunity to make and send e-cards for free and offer personalisation options for just a very small cost. It’s time efficient and you won’t have to worry about anybody not receiving their card. Pretty much everyone has email now, take advantage of it!
10: Buy A Fake Christmas Tree
Fake trees are generally cheaper than real ones and can be used year after year. You should be able to find a good quality fake Christmas tree for around £20.00 and can even find some pre-prepared with decorations. It will save you a hell of a lot of time hovering up those pines as well!
Scott is a writer who would happily receive an e-card this year instead of feeling obliged to keep cards from years gone by.