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Top tips for saving money at Christmas

Saving Money At Christmas

From sourcing the must-have toy this season to grabbing a bargain for the festive food spread, saving money at Christmas is a focus for many of us. With the rising cost of living, it’s no wonder that Christmas budgeting is higher up on our agendas than ever before. With that in mind, we’ve compiled this list of handy tips and tricks to achieve a cheaper Christmas that you can be proud of. 

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Don’t strive for perfection – work with your budget 

Work With Your Budget

Before you panic buy, first consider your budget. It’s tempting to list off all the gifts, edible treats and stocking fillers you think will make the perfect festive experience – but that’s often a recipe for disaster. 

Instead, start with your budget and work backwards. Calculate your regular outgoings with our free budgeting tool and then establish what your Christmas fund is. From there, you can divvy up your money to cover each of your required Christmas expenses. 

Shorten your gift-giving list  

Shorten Your Gift Giving List

This next one might seem a little bah humbug, but it’s worth considering. If the purse strings are a little tight this Christmas, it might be wise to opt out of giving during the festive period. We’re not talking about gifts for parents, partners, or children – but rather the long list of extended family and friends you feel obliged to buy something for. 

Remember – Christmas isn’t a retail festival! Time with your friends and family should be enough of a gift to see you through the festivities.

Pounce on discounts when you see them 

Pounce On Discounts

Make a list of who you need to buy for, and whenever you see items for a reasonable price, grab them, wrap them, and stick them in your Christmas cupboard.  

Sites like Money Saving Expert, Wowcher, and Groupon are excellent sources for discounts and deals. It’s well worth hunting around these websites for bargains on your shopping list. 

Save your money with a cheaper turkey or turkey alternative 

Cheaper Turkey

It’s easy to get caught up in the festive hysteria and equate Christmas with a higher standard of food than you would usually buy. With that said, it’s not guaranteed that you’ll enjoy a more premium brand’s products more than your usual pick, so don't be quick to swap out your trusted kitchen faithful. 

Book your train tickets in advance 

Book Your Train Tickets

If you need to make the journey home for Christmas, it’s easy to pay over the odds for your tickets if you’re unprepared. Rail operators usually launch tickets 10-12 weeks before the travel date, and the cheaper tickets vanish quickly. However, you can get ahead of the game by signing up to get free alerts when your tickets go on sale. 

Use search engines to find your gifts for the cheapest price  

Use Search Engines

Typically, the web beats the high street on price. To help you get the most bang for your buck, comparison sites, like Google Shopping, search the net to find the cheapest games, books, clothes, and much more. 

These sites search a wide range of retailers, including big hitters like Amazon, John Lewis, and Tesco, to find your best deal – so it’s well worth a search. 

Collect cashback on your pressies 

Collect Cashback On Pressies

With cashback sites like Top Cash Back, you sign up for free and then click through to buy the item you were planning on purchasing anyway, but with one big benefit. The site gets paid for bringing traffic to the retailer’s site, and in return, they give some of this money back to you. 

It can potentially save you hundreds of pounds over a year on items that you would have bought regardless. 

Snatch a bargain through online outlet stores 

Snatch A Bargain

Remember those annoying trips to the outlet villages in hopes of grabbing a bargain? Yeah, that’s now a thing of the past. Lots of high street and high-end brands now have online outlet stores where you can bag a deal from the comfort of your home. You can usually find them on eBay or through their own specialist websites.


Money Saving Expert has a fantastic outlet index to take the hardship of hunting for your discounts out of the equation.

Be wary of gift cards

Be Wary Of Gift Card

Gift cards or vouchers seem like the perfect Christmas gift for those who are just too hard to buy things for. However, there are some things you should keep in mind if you're considering purchasing a festive gift card:

Expiry dates – Most gift cards and vouchers must be redeemed within an agreed timeframe. So, if you're thinking of buying either of these items as a Christmas gift, make sure the recipient is aware of the expiry date to ensure your money doesn't go to waste.

Admin fees – Some companies will begin reducing the balance on your gift card if it isn't used within a specific time, so it's worth checking before you part with your hard-earned money.

Sometimes retailers go bust – We've seen a host of big retailers go into liquidation over recent years, so it's worth keeping that in mind when purchasing a gift card this Christmas. When brands go bust, they usually stop accepting cards and vouchers, and there's very little you can do to get your money back.

Don't give your online return rights away this Christmas

Online Return Rights

When you order goods online, the majority of retailers give you a 14-day cooling-off period after the item arrives to send the order back and ask for a refund. 

This is fantastic news if you change your mind, need a different size or want the item in a different colour. However, if you're ordering a Christmas present online, there's a chance that this period of time will have expired by the time they unwrap their gift. 

To avoid this awkward experience, make sure you're happy with your purchase before you wrap it up so you don't lose your legal returns rights. 

Of course, some stores may be in the Christmas spirit and offer an extended returns policy during the festive period, but they don't have to, so remember to check.