This year avoid dashing to the shops on Christmas Eve. Here are some tips for sorting everything you need for the festive season ahead of schedule:
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Buy presents early
Christmas shopping can be stressful, particularly if you leave it until the shops are packed, with little time to buy everything you need. By carefully budgeting your spend, and doing shopping months ahead, you could bag a bargain.
If ordering online, you will also avoid paying extra for faster delivery nearer the time. You will also have time to keep an eye on price movements to choose your most expensive presents when there’s a deal on.
Plus there are particular items that are far cheaper to buy at certain times of year. For example, if you are after a new lawnmower, or garden furniture, October is a great time to look for a deal.
Book travel tickets in advance
Prices rocket if you leave booking over the festive period until December. Planning ahead can dramatically slash the cost.
Train operators release advance tickets from 12 weeks before the date of travel. Typically, the earlier you book, the cheaper the deal. Thetrainline.com has a ticket alert system that emails an alert the moment cheap advance tickets for a specific journey come on sale, and these tend to be the cheapest fares.
Read more about saving money on travel fares.
Plan how you buy presents
Check out the best deals – there will be plenty floating around in the run-up to Christmas.
If you are planning your Christmas shopping schedule, it’s also worth cashing in on “discount days” such as Black Friday, in November. On this day stores cut prices by up to 70%. A few days later on Cyber Monday you can snap up discounts of up to 70%.
Get cashback as you shop
See if you can buy your presents on a cashback site to earn extra money as you shop. These reward shoppers with a percentage of their purchase into their account. Alternatively, pick a cashback credit card and use this for your festive spending.
Check for unused loyalty card points
Millions of us have at least one, or, more typically, a bulging wallet-full of loyalty cards from supermarkets and other retailers. Check out your cards to see if you’ve any unused points to put towards presents – and whether the stores concerned are offering discount Christmas shopping days.
Read our guide to getting the most from your loyalty cards.
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