OK – So I realise that I promised this blog last year, but time just flies by and I’ve only just got round to publishing it for you. BUT – there are some good ideas here which could help you save some money this Christmas.
As you probably already know, I like to start my Christmas shopping nice and early. I already have my list of people I’m buying for in the free app I use called ‘Manage Christmas’ where I make a log of what I’ve bought for who, so that I can keep a track on it all. There are lots of similar free apps available – have a browse and find one that suits!
One thing that I do every year is to save vouchers I have acquired and spend them just before Christmas. Tesco Clubcard is a great way to do this. I have a Tesco Clubcard credit card which I use all the time in order to collect points. I’ve got to be honest, I don’t tend to do my weekly food shopping there anymore, but this is the easiest way to collect points. They have also recently introduced a new Tesco Pay+ app which allows you to pay for your shopping or petrol, and as a special offer whilst the app is new, you can earn an extra 25% on your spending until 14 January 2018. Basically, it means you’ll get five points for every £4 spent. If you have a Tesco Bank current account you can collect points that way too – whilst it’s not the best bank account to have, in terms of interest, if collecting points is your thing you might want to consider it. Tesco Bank mortgage repayments earn points too, but I’d certainly recommend that you do your homework to work out if moving over is good for your personal circumstances. If you have a Tesco Mobile contact or pay as you go SIM you can receive points that way too… So, once you’ve collected your points, you can then spend them on the Clubcard website, where you can get up to 4 times their value with their partners – Far better than spending your hard earned coupons on food! One of my favourite ones is the Goldsmiths jewellers where you get 3 times the value of your voucher. Gifts from this jeweller can make lovely Christmas presents and keepsakes!
Another thing I’ve started doing in recent years is to make a “No Presents Pact” with some of our friends. As we’ve got older, and families have expanded, the list of people to buy for can certainly spiral, so to make a pact with our friends can save any embarrassment… Having said that – have an emergency gift ready! This can be something as simple as some homemade biscuits or fudge, so it doesn’t have to cost very much, but then you’re covered if you get an unexpected visitor bearing gifts!
Why not swap your skills! I recently started a Facebook page for people in and around Barton upon Humber to swap their expertise. It could be a great source of free presents if you have a skill or hobby that is swappable! Why not have a look around your area for a similar group, or even set one up yourself!
I always do some online research so that I can be sure I’m getting the best price, especially if I’m making any big purchases. I always buy online using my credit card, for extra protection, which also helps me collect Tesco Clubcard points towards Christmas the following year! #bonus
The most important thing is to remember not to let the cost of Christmas run away with you. Keep a track of your spending, budget, spread the cost etc. In my opinion, there is no need to get into debt because you’re being generous – there are lots of ways to show you care without it converting into pounds spent.