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Top tips to save money on Christmas shopping 2023

Top tips to save money on Christmas shopping 2023

Follow these tips to save money on Christmas shopping this year.

Christmas is always an expensive time of year — and Christmas shopping in 2023 is likely to be even more expensive than usual given the cost of living crisis.

With that in mind, we’ve put together some tips to help you save money on Christmas shopping. These are tried and tested ways to help you save money at Christmas. This could be by cutting back your Christmas spend on presents and food, or finding other ways to keep more money in your pocket.

Let’s explore our top tips to save money at Christmas.

Use a cashback site

Bring down the cost of your Christmas shopping by using a cashback website, such as Topcashback or Quidco. Cashback sites are essentially affiliate websites that share the cut of the money they earn when you click through to a retailer’s online store from the cashback platform.

Before buying a Christmas present, check to see if the retailer is listed on Topcashback or Quidco. If they are, you’ll be able to see the cashback terms on offer. Click through to make your purchase and earn some of the money you’ve spent back.

Look at your finance provider, too. Many banks and credit cards offer cashback on qualifying purchases, so choose a payment method that will indirectly push the price down a bit lower.

Check for discount codes

Retailers are competing for orders at this time of year and there are likely to be discount codes or promo codes available. Some will be available directly from the retailer — often in exchange for joining their mailing list — but it’s also worth checking some of the sites dedicated to collating discount codes from various retailers.

These can be hit-and-miss and the large number of sites offering this service vary dramatically in quality. But it’s worth checking in to see if you can save 10, 15 or 20% on your purchase.

Don’t rule out eBay for Christmas shopping

Retailers might want us to think of Christmas as being about shiny, brand new presents, but there are enormous savings to be made if you’re willing to consider shopping second-hand. This is particularly true of toys and other children’s gifts. With little ones growing fast and families preparing for a fresh influx from Santa Claus, many households will be having a pre-Christmas clear-out.

The result is some bargains available on eBay, often for toys that have barely been used or are in excellent condition. Once they’re wrapped, they’ll be every bit as magical for the kids… just at a fraction of the cost to you.

This works both ways. You can also add to you Christmas shopping budget by selling your household’s unwanted toys on eBay. If the film, TV series or toy collection that dominated last year’s Santa list is no longer flavour of the month, group up all the related items into a job lot and auction them off to people who’s kids are currently into whatever it happens to be.

Ask people what they really want before you start Christmas shopping

Let’s be honest: from what we receive and, in truth, what we give, we all know that a lot of money is wasted on unwanted, unneeded and unnecessary gifts on Christmas shopping. Don’t be afraid to ask people what they’d like — explain that you’ll be getting them something anyway and you’d rather it was something useful or wanted.

If you’re not prepared to have that conversation, perhaps consider gifting experiences rather than presents. This might immediately conjure thoughts of track days and driving experience (and those sort of Red Letter Days ideas are an option, especially if combined with a discount code and cashback). But it could be as simple as a Starbucks gift card or a voucher for your local coffee shop — that’s probably going to be appreciated more than novelty socks or another bath set.

Would the gift of a nice coffee help you to save money on Christmas shopping?

Embrace Secret Santa and the like

Once only a workplace favourite, Secret Santa increasingly makes sense for larger friendship groups and extended families. It doesn’t have to big a big downgrade — with some careful rule and budget-setting you could create a situation where everybody gets one decent present rather than lots of useless bits and bobs.

If Secret Santa isn’t for you, how about a get-together? Would putting some of the money that would have gone on Christmas shopping towards a gathering or group experience bring more joy (and less expense) than large-scale present-swapping?

Check your local butcher

Food can be a major Christmas shopping expense. Don’t just stick to the supermarkets. Many high street butchers have Christmas hamper offers that will give you a great deal on all your Christmas food essentials.

Not only does this often stack up very well financially, many butchers will also prepare or in some cases even — should you wish — cook

Post Christmas presents cheaper

If you’re sending Christmas presents to loved ones in different parts of the country or overseas, get smarter with your postage. You could opt to send your present directly to the recipient from the retailer.

If you’d rather send something hand-wrapped and with a more personal touch, weigh your parcel at home and do a bit of research. Turning up at the Post Office will probably not be the cheapest way of posting the present. Royal Mail offers services such as Tracked 24 and Tracked 48, which are often much cheaper than comparable services available at the Post Office. You can also arrange for your postman to collect your parcel and bring your labels during the online booking process.

You could also explore other couriers, such as Evri, which are cheaper than Royal Mail for some types of delivery. Use a comparison platform, like Parcel Monkey, to price different couriers for your parcel.

That concludes our Christmas shopping tips

We’d also urge you to keep your Christmas shopping costs within what’s comfortably affordable for you, especially this year.

Avoid going overboard — you’re expectations of others are probably lower than what you think they expect from you. As we’ve suggested above, have conversations because you’ll be saving money for other people money as well as yourself.

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