How to save cash this Christmas

Christmas is always an expensive time of year but many are feeling the pinch more than ever this winter. If you are already fretting about how to avoid debt and get your Xmas shopping done, here are a few tips to help you save a few pennies during the festive season.

save cash this christmas

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Flog it
While you're busy searching out the perfect gifts for your loved ones, don't forget that everyone else is doing the same. If you've got items that are simply cluttering up the home, or even unwanted gifts from last Crimbo, why not kill two birds with one stone by selling them on eBay. The site will, of course, take commission on any money you make, but you'll not only be decluttering, you could make some extra cash that will help pay for your own pressies.

Sacrifice the little things
If you're one of those who likes to leave their Christmas shopping late (and there are often bargains to be had if you do), start squirreling a little away each day to boost your spending potential. Ditch the bus and walk to work if you can, or skip the pricey high street coffee and head for the kettle when you hit the office. After all, £2 a day might not seem like much in the big scheme of things, but you'd be surprised how quickly it adds up.

Get cashback
Cashback sites have long been giving consumers money back in return for driving traffic to specific sites. While you shouldn't base your Christmas list on the products or sites listed on these sites, always check to see whether cashback is available on any of the items on your list.

If, on the other hand, you plan on using a credit card for your shopping, apply for one that gives you cashback, some of which give new customers 5 per cent cashback on their purchases. But DO be sure to set up a direct debit to repay the full amount or you'll be faced with the inevitably high interest rate charges.

Supermarket rewards
Tesco's strapline 'every little helps' has never been more true than at this time of year, and now is the time to make the most of all those Clubcard points you've built up. Thanks to the supermarket's Clubcard Exchange scheme, you can turn every £5 worth of vouchers into £10 to spend in various departments. Don't just assume it's all about seasonal groceries either - there are toys, gifts and electricals to be had, so visit the website to check what's available.

Downshift or delay
Ever feel as though Christmas has become one, long commercialised nightmare? You're not alone. So if money is seriously tight this winter, consider downshifting your seasonal fare or delaying the gift-giving. It's heartbreaking to see so many of the presents we buy each year on sale at half the price after the big day, so you can make great savings by waiting. Explain to friends and extended family members that you are tightening the purse strings, and make it clear that they shouldn't feel obliged to give gifts to you and your family.

As for the hundreds of pounds most families spend on all that festive food, consider whether you really need a week's worth of cold turkey. Opt for a cheaper roast like pork or chicken, and either choose value range products or head to the budget supermarkets for all those added extras.

Are you tightening the purse strings this Christmas? What are your money-saving tips for the festive season? Leave your comments below...