How to cut the cost of Christmas

Jennifer Newton / 30 November 2016

From the big food shop to bargain gifts, we’ve got seasonal savings wrapped up.

Feast for less… 

Nearly half of Brits (49%) are shopping online this Christmas according to research by YouGov. But whether you buy your groceries online or in-store, check first on for the best value. 

For example, Morrisons Whole British Turkey is £4 per kg compared with Waitrose Free Range Turkey at £8.49 per kg. A turkey crown may cost more per kilo but it may be better value as there’s no waste – Tesco Finest Free Range Bronze Basted Turkey Crown is £14 per kg.

Eight ways to reduce your food spend

Bulk buy wine… 

Online as it will save £££s and you won’t have to lug it home. 

Tesco has free delivery on orders over £60, Sainsbury’s on orders over £100. Aldi too has launched an online wine store – look for its highly recommended wines, such as Estevez Pinot Noir, £28.74 for six.

Saga has teamed up with Laithwaite’s Wine to offer you something special...

Use your smartphone...

Connect with family and friends abroad this Christmas without racking up the costs:


Free messaging and calls via the web. The app shows from your contact list who’s on WhatsApp too. Tap a contact to call.


With this app you can make free calls over the web on all of your devices – desk-top computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones.


Use this if you can’t rely on Wi-Fi for international calls. Phoning an Australian landline from the UK is 0.8p a minute, 2.5p a minute to a mobile.

What’s up with WhatsApp?

Save online but check…

... cost of postage and returns. Charges can often wipe out the saving of buying online.

... what the returns policy is. You have 14 days by law to return items bought online but at Christmas many retailers give more time to return gifts. Amazon allows returns until January 31 on most items bought from November 1; Marks & Spencer 35 days, or until January 15 for items bought from September; John Lewis allows 90 days from purchase.

... the delivery date, to ensure your gifts arrive before Christmas.

... Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. When paying with plastic for goods over £100, you can get a refund through your credit-card provider if you can’t get one from the retailer.

Six worrying things about online shopping

Pretty clever...

Plain brown paper with colourful ribbon or twine and tags is austerity chic. The Post Office sells rolls of brown parcel paper for less than £2. 

Rymans has Reinforced Strung Tags at £4.99 for 100 or 12 Gold Luggage Tags for £1.99. 

For gold and silver paper, get Poundland’s Luxury Range – £1 for a 3m roll or pack of two gift bags. 

Christmas present wrapping ideas

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The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.