Save money by planning Christmas early

Harriet Meyer / 26 October 2015 ( 25 October 2017 )

Planning for the festive season early enables you to slash the amount you spend dramatically – and avoid any last minute rush during one of the busiest periods of the year.

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:

Read our guide to paying safely online.

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. 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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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

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.