We have reached the middle of
October now so it is perhaps safe to start to use the C word? Combing the C word and the P word often
strikes fear and terror into the eyes of people you talk to at this time of
year, but I am going to say the words. Christmas
Christmas is a time of year that I love. Finding the right gift for people is something that I enjoy and I take as much pleasure in locating the perfect gift (hopefully) as when it is received. But presents take planning, not just the planning of what to buy for your loved ones, but also making sure that you can afford them and not break your budget.
With food costs and energy prices soaring in the last year(s), it is more important that ever to plan ahead for Christmas. There are various ways that I plan for Christmas presents and making sure that I can afford to buy what I want. So here are my tips for things that I do throughout the year:
Getting Your Cash, Back
It is something that can be easy to forget, but one thing that I do year round is use a cashback site. As this is not a sponsored post, I won’t give you a link, but the one that I use is Topcashback.
I use this site as much as possible for my spending as well as searching out the best deals for home insurance, car insurance, vehicle insurance, travel insurance etc etc. You can easy use it for things like food delivery, Ebay, there is much more on there that you realise and even the smaller amounts add up. By doing this I usually manage to get £200 in my account by the end of the year.
It should be noted that you need to do this intelligently. If you are using a discount code on the website you are buying from, then you generally will not also be given cashback. So clothes shopping etc will generally not track for me as I usually only buy when I have a discount code that I can use.
Keep Your Receipts
I also use a receipt scanning app where you scan in your receipts for points. It only takes a couple of minutes to scan your receipts in for the day and by the end of the year I usually have £40-45 which can be transferred to my bank account, used as an Amazon voucher to buy gifts with etc.
Save Your Points
One thing that most people have is a Boots card. But there are definitely ways that you can use your Boots card intelligently in order to stack up points. I keep an eye on the offers and try to buy in bulk when there are offers on for a few hundred points when you spend X amount. I also buy my lunch there and all my beauty and hair products. By the end of the year I usually have around £50 - £60 worth of points, which comes in handy for gifts and stocking fillers.
Double up on Rewards
Although this one only applies for people who are with EE, not many people seem to know about this (or use it), but EE have a rewards programme.
I have linked my current account and my credit card to the Rewards programme which gives you a percentage of what you spend. Greggs at the moment for example gives you 10% back on what you spend there, places like Boots generally gives you 5%.
So by using this programme, I not only gain Boots points and points back on uploading my receipt (as discussed), but I also get cashback which turns into money that I can knock off my phone bill.
I have been using the rewards programme since January and I have been knocking £10 from my bill every other money, which equates to £50 - £60 per year which I save towards my Christmas shopping.
By using the above and integratiing them into my daily life, overall by the end of the year, I have managed to save around £350, simply by making some small changes to the way that I shop and scanning receipts.
What ways do you save for Christmas throughout the year?