With the average British household spending £753* on Christmas last year, many of us will be looking to save as much as possible on festive expenses this year. Now Halloween is over, the stores will be ramping up their Christmas displays and so the financial outlay begins…
Helping families save money is our whole motivation here at Baby and Children’s Market. With this in mind, we’ve put together some Christmas money saving tips to help you get the most bang from your buck this festive season.
1. Make a list and check it twice
When it comes to saving money, preparation is key. Make a list of everything you’re going to need this Christmas, including gifts, food, drink and accessories. If you stick to the list, you can avoid any unnecessary spending.
You can use your list to work out a budget – so you know how much it’s all going to cost. Keeping a tab on what you buy and how much you spend will really help avoid any nasty surprises with the incoming January bills. The Money advice Service has a handy online budget calculator to help you plan your Christmas spending wisely.
2. Make some extra cash
Selling items your children have outgrown can be a simple way to make some extra cash for Christmas. You could hold a stall at your local Baby and Children’s Market and flog your pre-loved items to other parents. As well as taking home the money, you will clear some precious space for all the new toys Santa is going to bring!
Also use Ebay, Gumtree and Facebook selling sites to sell any other items you don’t need anymore – from clothes and unused toiletries to household and garden items.
Matched betting is another way you could try and make some pre-Christmas cash. Check out this guide for more information.
3. Buy second-hand toys
Children don’t care where their toys come from or if they are brand new. Buying your children preloved gifts will save you a fortune and is also more environmentally friendly.
In the run up to Christmas our Baby and Children’s Markets are often packed to the rafters with toys which you can buy at a fraction of the cost of high street prices. Many charities, churches and community centres host toy sales in November and December. Don’t forget to see what’s on in your area.
4. Find the cheapest deals
Make sure you shop around to find the best deals on all your Christmas shopping. PriceRunner compares the prices of millions of items from hundreds of different retailers to find you the cheapest price. To track prices on Amazon, try CamelCamelCamel and you’ll be alerted when the prices of your desired items drop.
5. Embrace Secret Santa
Secret Santa is a brilliant way to save money on gifts while ensuring nobody misses out. Suggest organising a Secret Santa amongst all your different friendship groups – work colleagues, old school friends, parent friends etc. You can also organise a Secret Santa with your children’s friends too. To make this process super easy, use free Secret Santa website Elfster.
6. Be ready for Black Friday
Utilise the Black Friday sales wisely, by being prepared to spring into action on the day. Know what you want and make sure you get there early to avoid disappointment. This year Black Friday falls on the 24th November.
And don’t forget Cyber Monday! The same principle applies – plan what you want to buy and from where. Get online as early as possible on Monday 27th November to ensure you don’t miss out.
7. Cut down the gift buying
Take a look at your gift list. Are there any extended friends and family members on there that you could strike off? Have a word with them and mutually agree not to buy gifts this year. They’ll probably be as relieved as you to save the pennies!
8. Santa freebies
Your little ones can post a letter to Santa and receive a reply – all for the cost of a stamp. Royal Mail has it covered here. And don’t forget to create your free, personalised video message from Santa at Portable North Pole.
The International Space Station is passing over the UK on the 21st December this year. The flyover can be sold as an opportunity to see Santa’s sleigh as a bright light passing through the sky. For more information on times, check out the NASA website.
9. Book train tickets in advance
If you’re travelling to see friends and family this Christmas, make sure you book your train tickets as soon as possible to save on the ticket price. Check out Trainline to see the best prices.
10. Make your own gifts
Delight your friends and family by creating thoughtful gifts with the personal touch – and save some pennies at the same time. Kids will love getting involved in making Reindeer Poo for their friends or why not try some homemade fudge or bubblebath?
*Figure taken from http://www.gocompare.com/press-office/2016/cost-of-christmas/