Christmas is among the most expensive time of the year.
From the higher electricity bill to the cost of gifts for the entire family; the festive season can set you back a small fortune.
The best way by far to get through the season and Christmas gift shopping is to set a budget and stick to it. Here are a few easy ways to save on all the essentials this Christmas.
Christmas lights and decorations can cause our utility bills to make a massive jump throughout the holiday season, but it doesn’t have to be that way, as there are a number of ways to cut these costs.
- Use LED Christmas light decorations instead of regular incandescent lights for increased longevity and energy efficiency. They consume 90% less energy than regular lights and they are child friendly too.
- Don’t leave your Christmas lights on for the whole day or night. The recommended amount of hours you should keep them on is around 5-6 hours per evening. Make sure the whole family is aware of this, so that whoever goes to bed last remembers to turn them off. However, if you know there is a chance that this may not happen, then there are electronic time switches online, which will automatically switch off your Christmas lights for you.
Face it; we all want to eat well and lavishly during the Christmas season. Christmas food shopping has got to be done and three course meals will probably be prepared (ambitious, I know). Supermarkets know this and utility companies too, why do you think turkeys are so expensive during the Christmas (notice how much cheaper they are otherwise) and electric and gas prices increase from the autumn season and onward.
- We all know that Christmas is coming, so start planning for it in advance. Pre-book a turkey or buy a frozen one if you have a large amount of storage in your freezer.
- Don’t give to buying impulsive things, but rather make a shopping list and stick to it, you’ll be surprised how much you actually save when you have a goal.
- Above all, be a casual purchaser – if Tesco or Asda has a cheaper version of what you are looking for, then you get it from that store. You are not bound to any specific store, so always explore your alternatives.
- Look for online coupons and get multi-buy deals that you really need, rather than just the ones you think you want. There is no use getting three units of an item, if you don’t really need it, just to save 50p, when you could save £1.50 by not getting it at all.
- Don’t forget to check your local market or green grocer for vegetables, as they may be cheaper than the supermarket.
Christmas gift shopping
The same logic should be applied here; get Christmas gifts throughout the whole year, instead of just in December, because items are priced more at a premium the closer we get to this hectic season.
- Voucher codes – I cannot stress this enough. There are so many sites offering voucher codes where you can make a saving; why not take full advantage of it?
- Buy durable goods and items, not just things which are useful today, only to be thrown out tomorrow. Get things you know are always needed like socks or mens underwear from Figleaves for example, or even a nice novelty gift and/or a gadget for those hard to buy spouses (granted you can try personalising the gift a little).
Buy toys that you know your kids won’t break or gifts that they can grow with like helping them to get started with their favourite hobby (this can be a real investment depending on what it is, but it is a long term gift). Also, depending on your child – you may just want to give them a small gift now and open a savings account for them and put money into the account every-so-often.