My savvy tips will help you save £2k by Christmas – and yes, you still get presents, Santa visits & a slap-up dinnerNovember 1, 2021
IT’S less than two months until the big day, and many of us will be feeling the pinch after a difficult year thanks to rising energy prices and food costs.
But there’s no need to fret, according to Fabulous columnist, Money Saving Mum Gemma Bird – you could still save over £2,000 before December 25.
The 40-year-old super-saver, who has never earned more than £25,000 a year, reveals how YOU could leave your savings account more stuffed than a turkey with a few simple changes.
Gemma, who lives in Billericay, Essex, with husband Adam and their kids, son Brody, eight, and two-year-old daughter Bronte, says: “You do not need to spend masses of money and get yourself into debt in order to have a magical Christmas.
“I never spend more than £180 all-in, when I've been struggling I've only spent £20 on my kids’ presents – and I never bother buying Adam anything.
“At the end of the day Christmas is one day, and with my money-saving tips you could end up richer than ever this festive season.”
Pick up a seasonal shift – save £1,280
A really easy way to pick up a bit of extra cash in the winter is to find yourself some seasonal work.
With everyone ordering online these days delivery services like Hermes and Amazon are always short staffed around this time of year.
Supermarkets such as Morrisons are crying out for the extra help during what will be its busiest period of the year.
And Royal Mail is currently advertising for mail sorters over the season, they offer flexible shifts so you can easily squeeze them into your schedule.
On average seasonal work offers around £10 an hour according to Total Jobs, meaning you’d have to work just two eight hour shifts a week to bag yourself a cool £1,280 by Christmas Day.
Even if it means dressing up as an Elf or flogging firs as a Christmas tree seller – make sure you get yourself on a temp agency like Reed to pick up some extra cash.
Sell the old stuff to pay for the new – save £95
We all have a box of Christmas decorations we no longer use, so rather than letting it spend another year in the attic why not make some money?
This is the only time of year that they’ll be in such high demand meaning you’ll make a much larger profit.
We got a small fortune for a box of old decorations that we popped on Facebook Marketplace last year.
In our house, anything that’s not going up is going up for sale.
A decent artificial tree that’s in good condition can fetch you around £50 on Facebook Marketplace, a box of assorted baubles will normally bring in around £15, while outdoor lights in good working order can sell for up to £30.
Visit Santa for free – save up £250
Anyone who has kids like me will know that going to see Santa Claus is an unmissable tradition – but I could certainly give the cost a miss!
Over the years the price of seeing the man in red has become enough to land you in the red with some places charging £250 per family for a two-hour visit.
However, you don’t need to spend a penny.
There are plenty of fetes and church halls that offer kids the chance to visit Father Christmas for free and I’m telling you now your kids will never notice the difference.
Pay for the food shop with loyalty points – save £100
Remember that loyalty card that you’ve been carrying around in your purse all year? Well now is the time to use it.
Tesco Clubcard in particular offers vouchers to spend in store with each Clubcard point equivalent to 1p.
So if you’ve been very very good this year you might have accumulated 10,000 or more which is worth £100 in shopping vouchers.
And with an annual study by American Express revealing that the average family spends £100 on their Christmas dinner you’ve just saved yourself one eye-watering expense.
Don’t buy expensive toys – save £219.58
I can’t reiterate this more, kids do not care how much you spend on them, they just want something to open.
And yet, according to Money.co.uk, the average child in the UK has £129.79 each spent on them every year.
When I was struggling, I never spent more than £20 on my kids. I would shop in charity shops and look for decent toys I can clean up and wrap up.
Brody is eight now and I swear he still doesn’t know the difference.
Cut down on who you buy for – save £116.68
Obviously presents are the biggest expense when it comes to Christmas.
While I know not everyone would be happy to skip their partner’s gift like I am, you don’t have to buy every family member a present.
Instead of shopping for all of your aunts and uncles why not organise a Secret Santa among your family so that each individual family only buys for one other family.
Everybody gets a gift but you are spending so much less.
In fact according to Money.co.uk the average spend for an extended family member is £29.17 meaning that if you were buying for two families of four you would be spending £233.36 – but with a Secret Santa you could cut that in half.
Cut back on festive drinks – save £213
If you have been treating yourself to a pumpkin spice latte every day, now is the time to stop.
With the average seasonal coffee costing £3.55, you would be spending £213 before December 25 – that’s more than I spend on the whole of Christmas.
Simply swap your to-go for a flask and add a pinch of cinnamon for an authentic seasonal taste.
Cancel subscriptions – save £52.95
In the run up to Christmas you’ll find more than enough festive specials on terrestrial TV to keep you entertained, so it could be worth axing some of your TV packages.
If you have signed up to monthly subscriptions for Disney+, Netflix, Amazon Prime and Now TV, you’ll be paying up to £52.95 for the most expensive packages.
Use cash-back apps – save £140
Cashback websites essentially give you money back for shopping on purchases that you’d be making anyway.
Two of the most well-known are TopCashback and Quidco. One cashback user made £1,200 across the year by using Quidco. Over the next six weeks, this works out at around £140.
For more tips from our Money Saving Mum, Gemma revealed how you can halve your supermarket shop with these simple tips.
And Gemma revealed how you can look a million bucks on a budget.
Plus she revealed how she got her home looking like a boutique hotel without spending a fortune.
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