With the current cost-of-living crisis, we’re all watching our pennies in the run-up to Christmas. Thankfully, Northbank money-saving expert Charlotte Jessop has some top tips to help us all cut back on costs – and still have a very merry time.
Typically, Christmas is the time of year when you don’t mind splashing the cash. But after a year of rising prices and falling wages, festivities on a budget are a must.
Thankfully, this is my speciality. I was doing Christmas for less even when the economy was booming. So I am thrilled to share some of my top tips for cutting costs on and around the big day.
Hoorah for the Internet, eh? I cannot imagine trudging around the high street looking for the latest must-have toy that my kids spotted on a YouTube ad.
Not only can I now shop from the comfort of my bed and PJs, but I can also access a wealth of tools that help me get the best prices.
Google shopping is a great one. Search for what you want and enjoy the best prices appearing before your eyes.
Alternatively, if you are an Amazon fan, you can use CamelCamelCamel.com to alert you when the items that you have been watching drop to the right price.
Switch to chicken
Food is one of the most important parts of Christmas. I’d even argue that it is better than the presents. But it can also be a significant cost.
One of my favourite tips is chicken. Yep! You don’t need a whole turkey if it’s just you and the kids for Christmas lunch. Save yourself some cash!
Many supermarkets will drop the price of classic veggies around Xmas too, so make sure you look out for those bargain sprouts.
If you are the sort of person that likes to think ahead, then why not start buying your seasonal treats now. You can buy the Quality Street this week, the Christmas pud next week, the mince pies the week after. Just make sure you’ve got the willpower to leave them until the 25th.
Start a conversation
If ever there was a year to stop buying your estranged cousin a Lynx Africa deodorant set from Boots, it’s this year!
Most of us are in this cost-of-living boat together, so if you make the suggestion to ‘just buy for the kids’ or ‘not buy for each other this year’ chances are it will be welcomed with open arms.
Sometimes it takes someone like you to be brave enough to come out and say it. Plus, where’s the shame in that?
Why just save money when you could save the environment too? I call 2022 the year of the second-hand gift.
I’m not saying you have a rummage through your cupboard and wrap the first thing you find, but instead, look for preloved or upcycled presents.
Not only will this help your bank balance go further, but you might help a small business owner or a charity shop that would benefit greatly from your money this year.
Get your hustle on
Whilst I love saving money, I think I like making it more. With this in mind, there are several ways that you could make some extra cash between now and Christmas.
You could try applying for some market research opportunities. Share your insights or give feedback and earn up to £200 for the privilege.
Alternatively, you could look into switching your current account. There are a few fantastic offers out there that could pay up to £150. Plus, the Current Account Switch Guarantee will make the whole process easy.
Or what about a good old-fashioned declutter? You could try to sell your old stuff on Facebook Marketplace, Vinted or eBay. It’ll free up space for anything that Father Christmas might bring too.