Blogmas #16 Five Tips For Saving Money on Your Christmas Shopping

As much as I love Christmas, there's no denying it can be financial nightmare. Not only have you got to worry about your regular boring monthly bills but there's the added cost of travel, parties, decorations and most expensive of all- Christmas presents. I love nothing more than buying presents that I know people will love (and it's always my first priority when the festive season comes back around!) and so it's important to be able to budget and make savings where possible. Here are my tips for shopping for bargains at Christmas without skimping or cutting corners.

1. Use Vouchers/ Coupons/ Loyalty Points
It can be a bit time consuming checking websites for vouchers, but is often well worth it and you can make some really good savings. If you have any points saved up on your loyalty cards (Boots, Nectar, Superdrug etc) using them could drastically reduce your spending too. Follow your favourite shops and supermarkets on social media, that way you'll know if there are any good vouchers floating about.

2. Use Cashback Sites
I always thought getting cashback on purchases was good to be true, or that there would be more some kind of catch involved. But last year I gave it a go and renewed my Sky contract through Quidco and got £40 cash back simply because I clicked through them first. I now click through them (whenever I remember) before making any online purchases, and while a lot of the time you're only earning a couple of pence a time it quickly adds up if you're doing a lot of shopping. The only downside is that it takes around a month to be able to withdraw your cashback, but if you remember to click through them every time you make an online order this Christmas you could have a nice sum of cash going into your bank at the end of January. 

3. Go to Local Markets
Loads of places have Christmas markets on, not only are they really fun to attend (and well and truly get you in the festive spirit!) but you might be able to pick up a bargain from one of the independent sellers. If you're looking to buy independent this year, Etsy is another great place to look- you can often find gorgeous one off and unique pieces on there too.

4. Compare Prices
Always shop around to find out if you're getting the best deal. Regardless of the size of your budget, why would you pay extra for exactly the same item that's being sold cheaper elsewhere? Never assume anything and always make the time to check, bear in mind things like postage prices and be sure to add them into the overall cost when you're looking around. A quick google search is all it takes, and those few minutes could save you a decent amount of money overall especially if you spot what you're looking for on sale.

5. Scour eBay
eBay really is one of the best places to get stocking fillers. Not only can you find unique pieces that you'd never see on the UK highstreet, but you can also find them at a fraction of the cost. Some of my favourite eBay stocking fillers are things like dress jewellery, keepsakes and beauty tools. The only thing to bear in mind with eBay is if you're buying from a seller in Asia they can take a few weeks to arrive so be sure to check delivery dates.

Have you got any tips for bargain shopping this Christmas?

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