The John Lewis Buster the Boxer advert reimagined on a budget

Can you get Christmas for less, or is it worth paying more?

John Lewis Christmas advert

The launch of the John Lewis Christmas advert has become part of the build-up to the festive period. Somehow having a quiet weep to a moving story of giving and receivingpresents has become the official start to Christmas, and this year it opted for unbridled joy and dogs, which turned out to be just what we needed.

The store is prepared to throw serious cash at this festive tradition, and will reap the rewards several times over, as people flock to the stores to buy all the tie-in merchandise: Cuddly boxer dog anyone?

This year it spent a rumoured £6 million and took a reported six months to make, and while it has got plenty for its money, one website decided to use the opportunity to demonstrate that you don't have to splash the cash at Christmas in order to touch people's hearts.

MyVoucherCodes teamed up with students from the London School of Communication Arts to create a discount alternative for £600 in six hours - it follows its efforts to recreate last year's advert for £700 in seven hours.

The advert is certainly a bold effort, although it's hard to imagine it eliciting the same joy as the original - unless you have a particular fondness for pipe cleaners.

The message itself is also a valuable one. There are plenty of ways to buy something for less this Christmas, including our seven saving secrets

1. Start early. The earlier you start the more potential there is to time purchases for flash sales and take advantage of big discounts as you go along.

2. Use voucher codes. Before you buy anything online, search for codes, because some major brands are offering up to 30% off.

3. Sign up for a newsletter. In many cases, in return for your details you'll get a voucher for an impressive discount.

4. Follow on social media. If you have favourite brands, make sure you follow them, as most will reveal details of special offers through social media.

5. Try Flubit. The shopping platform lets you paste in the url of any other online retailer - including Amazon - and it says it can track down a cheaper deal for you. It's certainly worth a try.

6. Don't dismiss Black Friday. If you're prepared to be bit flexible, and do your research before the sales start, there are some big savings to be made.

7. Buy through a cashback website. Admittedly you have to wait for the money to come back into your account - and wait a bit longer to transfer it back into your bank account, but there are some sizeable cashback rates on offer.

But what do you think? Is this advert proof that with some clever shopping around, creativity and a spot of Black Friday cleverness you can get Christmas for less? Or does it just show that you get what you pay for? Let us know in the comments.

Christmas cards with a difference

Christmas cards with a difference