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Yes, really. The sun might be beating down, but summer can be a great time to start thinking about the most glorious (and expensive) time of year. You can literally save hundreds of pounds if you start some gentle Christmas planning at this time of year. Here, we’ll tell you how…
Let’s start with a few real-life examples, just to prove that you really can save money this way.
As reported in the Mirror, one savvy mum picked up £700 worth of toys for £200 this summer, thanks to a giant summer clearance sale at Argos. Her scoop included a doll’s house, plus monster trucks and cars. The toy haul even managed to set her up for the two birthdays she still had to buy for this year, aside from Christmas.
Another popped to Asda and spent £80, ticking ALL her Christmas gifts off along the way and even starting preparation for her daughter’s 2021 birthday at the same time.
We know – this organisation is pretty astonishing. Bravo, those women.
Clearly, there are big savings to be had here. You need to make sure these are items that you actually want to give, though. Ask yourself whether what you’re buying will still be in fashion and/or will still pique your kids’ interests by the winter. There’s little point getting ahead if you wouldn’t have bought those items anyway, or if you’re going to have to replace them in a few months’ time!
You’ll likely have noticed that sales seem to crop up a lot. Retailers always want to shift stock at the end of a season, before their new ranges come in, which means the late summer (before autumn arrives) is a great time for a Christmas gift haul. Remember mid-season sales too, though – autumn stock will be going cheap in a couple of month’s time, before the Christmas lines take over the shelves. Look at when these sales are likely to be at your favourite retailers, and get it there early before the good stuff gets snapped up.
Due to the pandemic, lots of shops are also running closing down sales. You can nab real bargains here – but make sure it’s something you want, need, and is not faulty or broken. You won’t be able to return it when the shop shuts forever!
One of our favourite ways to spread the cost of Christmas through the year is to buy presents for people when you see them, rather than putting the whole idea of Christmas out of our heads until December.
So, spotted a book that your dad/gran/cousin would love in February? Or the toy your kids have been asking for in June? A scarf that your gran would love, appearing on the rack in August? We’ve perfected the art of snapping these bargains up when we see them, rather than waiting, and stashing them all in a big box. The summer and mid-season sales can be a great time to do this too.
In a similar vein, you could allocate a budget per-person for the annual Christmas spend. Make sure you include the cost of things like Christmas dinner, too! Work out your total Christmas budget this way, then divide it by 11. That’s how much you need to save each month from January to November – so December doesn’t shock your bank account!
Luckily in the UK, discount code websites are ten-a-penny. Use them to save hundreds of pounds on high street retailers, and stash the presents away so prying eyes can’t spy them until you’re good and ready!
Some sites to consider include:
These are just a few of the discount sites that are just waiting to save you hundreds of pounds. Get ahead of the game and Christmas 2020 could end up being your most cost-effective ever…
Different to discount code sites are those that offer you cashback on money spent. There are a few of these, and they can offer you great savings – so it’s a great idea to sign up ahead of an expensive occasion like Christmas.
How do they work? Cashback sites work on an affiliate agreement between the host site and the retailer, meaning a percentage of the amount you pay is returned to you afterwards. All sites have different terms and the time it’ll take for you to be paid back varies, so make sure you do your homework!
In the meantime, here are a couple of our favourites:
No, you won’t find them in the summer – but file this one for later. We’re big fans of snapping up reduced Christmas cards, wrapping paper, crackers and other festive paraphernalia once January rolls around. Once Christmas is over, prices are slashed – often immediately. Throw those discount Christmas hosting essentials into your shopping trolley when the new year rolls around, and you’ll save yourself an absolute bundle. Just stash them under the bed or in a cupboard until Christmas appears again. Don’t forget where you’ve put them, though!
Are you a thrifty shopper who starts preparing for Christmas whilst the sun is still shining? Have you managed to save hundreds of pounds on Christmas shopping, or even thousands? We’d love to hear how you did it. Let us know over on the forums…