How to cut the cost of your Christmas shopping
how to cut the cost of Christmas shopping
how to cut the cost of Christmas shopping

The big Christmas shop can be an expensive outing. Here's a few ways to cut down the cost of your shop and ease the pressure on your wallet in January.

Tesco Christmas Clubcard Boost

Tesco will be doubling up its Clubcard rewards for Christmas. Every £5 worth of Clubcard vouchers will get you £10 to spend in selected departments, either in-store or online.

One good way of giving your Tesco points a bump and get more for your money this Christmas is to use the Tesco Clubcard credit card for purchases – you'll get five points for every £4 you spend in Tesco stores or on Tesco fuel. You'll also receive one bonus point for every £4 you spend on the card at other shops.

What's more, the card doesn't charge interest on purchases for 19 months, so if your Christmas spending is a little bigger than you planned, you can at least pay it off in stages without worrying about interest charges on top.

Sainsbury's Nectar Rewards Double Up

A Nectar Rewards Double Up event will run from 19-25th November. Normally, 500 points would equal £2.50 to spend in Sainsbury's, but during the event you can turn 500 points into £5 vouchers for selected categories. You must spend your voucher(s) before 25th November though.

One way to boost your Nectar points collection is to make use of the American Express Nectar Credit Card, which gives you two points for almost every £1 spent, and four points for each £1 spent at Nectar partners.

You get a whopping 20,000 Nectar points when you spend £2,000 in the first three months too. The card is now also fee-free for the first year.

Alternatively, the Sainsbury's Purchase and Balance Transfer credit card entitles you to double Nectar points on your Sainsbury's shopping. It comes with a 16-month 0% period on purchases and 18 months on balance transfers.

Asda Christmas Savings Card

This Asda card lets you put money away in preparation for Christmas across the year. You can put money onto it online or at the till, and you are rewarded with bonuses.

Save £49 or more on the card, and you earn an extra pound on your balance. Once you have £97 stashed away, you get £3. And finally, once you have £144 on the card (the maximum allowed), Asda will round that up to £150. Though there's a cap on each card's value, you can hold as many cards as you like.

Realistically, this is something that you might consider picking up this year with a view to using next year, as the bonus for 2014 is due to be paid out on 16th November – so you won't have long to earn a bonus if you haven't already got a card.

However, this isn't a bank account and you won't be paid interest on your deposit in the same way as one. So you might consider using either a current account (top accounts are paying 5% AER right now) or a savings account as a longer-term arrangement to keep your Christmas money in. It might turn out more profitable, particularly if you can take advantage of a switch incentive.

Morrisons Match & More

Morrisons Match & More card is being rolled out nationwide, which will price match your shop with Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's, Lidl or Aldi. If you could've saved money elsewhere, Morrisons automatically assigns points to your card. 1p is equal to 10 points, and when you have 5,000, you can exchange them for a £5 voucher.

You'll get a bonus 10 points for every litre of fuel you buy at Morrisons petrol stations too.

For more, read Morrisons takes on the budget players.

Morrisons has also launched its Christmas Bonus scheme. It starts on Monday 3rd November and runs for six weeks. Every time you spend £40 or more in store, and present your Match & More card, you'll get a Christmas coupon. If you collect six coupons before 14th December, you'll get £25 off your Christmas shop.

The discounters

As Lidl pointed out in its cheeky response to Morrisons' price guarantee scheme, you could just shop in its stores in the first place and save yourself the hassle of signing up to the Morrisons card, accumulating points, and so on.

Aldi and Lidl both saw strong growth in their market share this year, luring people in with plenty of low prices. Over Christmas, they might be a quick way of saving quite a few bob, but you won't be rewarded with points for loyalty schemes from either. Although if you can save more money than such schemes would pay out, you're still onto a winner.

Selfridges First to Start This Years' Christmas Shopping
Selfridges First to Start This Years' Christmas Shopping

Have you got any other money-saving tips for Christmas? Share your ideas in the comments below.

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