Christmas Presents

DON'T panic and overspend this Christmas. The average household spent £821 on Christmas in 2014 and millions of families are STILL struggling to pay this off!

You CAN still cut the cost of your Christmas Presents WITHOUT feeling like the Grinch...

There are some great bargains to be had if you shop at the right time, in the right place

AND Say no to Christmas tat! Our lovely (easy) homemade gift ideas are better and CHEAPER!

 

Need to know

  • Keep your Christmas spending under control. Make yourself a budget, allocating a certain amount for gifts and stick to it. Overspending and impulse buying leads to parents spending an average of £100 on presents per child!
  • Think tactically when buying for kids, if you start buying them expensive, advanced, electrical pressies from a young age, you'll have nowhere to go when they get older
  • Use comparison sites like pricerunner and theranktank when you're shopping online to find the gifts for the best price. Remember to factor in delivery cost
  • You can get branded gifts like watches, clothes and even toys with up to 70% off from Secret sales sites. BUT some sellers can be VERY slow to dispatch-  an estimated delivery date should be given at checkout but it’s safer to expect them to be late, if it’s getting close to the big day you may want to shop elsewhere
  • In mid-December shops will start cutting prices, Black Friday which has MASSIVE online discounts is Friday 27th November 2015. For the BIGGEST discounts shop from Boxing Day to catch the January Sales. If you’re meeting up with family after Christmas wait and grab their pressies then
  • cashback site like Topcashback or Quidco will give you money back as you shop, you can get as much as 42% back on certain food and drink labels! Confident credit card users should consider a cashback credit card, the Amex Platinum card gives you 5% back for 3 months (you need a good credit rating, there is a £25 annual fee)
  • Buy any gift cards at Morrisons and save on petrol! Morrison's Fuel Saver scheme gives discount coupons for Morrisons petrol when you buy a gift card (selection includes Toys'r'us, Topshop and iTunes).  A £10 gift card will give you 1p off every litre of fuel, £30 gets you 3p off a litre and £60 gets you 6p off etc
 

Homemade gift ideas

  • Well presented homemade gifts need never look cheap. Check out Amazon for ribbons and cellophane wraps and get creative!

    • Infused Olive oil or Vodka is SUPER easy, check out BBC Good Food for recipes and ebay and Ikea for posh bottles to decant into (around £2.50 each)
    • Christmas Cake Pops and Gingerbread men will go down a storm with kids and foodies. Make your cake pops ahead of time and freeze them (with or without dipping.  We’ve found thawing them in the fridge prevents them from ‘sweating’)
    • 52 Reasons why I love you set of playing cards is a lovely gift. Just stick a reason on the back of every card of a pack. You can get custom made sets (or more ideas) at personalisedplayingcards.com
    • GREAT Retro gift could be buying a pretty jar (again try eBay and Ikea) and filling it with the recipient’s favourite penny sweets
    • Cut an offshoot of any veg, flowers or herbs you grow, put it in water and after it has grown its own roots, transfer it to a personalised pot – great gift for kids as it turns into a project. Or, use a few pots and shoots to create a small indoor garden for adults!
    • Here's a REALLY easy reciepe for a GREAT body scrub

    1. Buy a pretty jar (or EVEN CHEAPER decorate a jam jar)

    2. Fill it with granulated sugar

    3. Fill the jar with rice bran oil (great for your skin), you can infuse this oil first with a couple of drops of essential oils (you can get these on the high street where you can smell before you buy, or we found some for just £1.99 on Amazon)

    4. Let the oil settle and then top up

    5. Present with a ribbon and a label

 

Use points and get rewards

Points saved throughout the year can help slash the cost of your festive buying and some savvy spending can save you some extra points to spend the rest of the year

Tesco


Why we like it:

  • competitively priced toys from a range of sellers
  • multi deal buys with christmas confectionary and cosmetics
  • exchange £5 of Clubcard vouchers to £10 of Boost vouchers to spend in selected departments including toys

Watch out:

  • delivery costs apply if you buy online

Boots


Why we like it:

  • earn double points in the run up to Christmas (and spend them immediately if needed)
  • STAR GIFT OF THE WEEK each week a great present will be half price or less
  • 3 for 2 on Christmas gifts

Watch out:

  • some gifts, like perfume, will be cheaper online, check out our hair and beauty guide for cheap cosmetic sites
  • £2.95 delivery or free if your shop is over £45

Sainsbury's and Nectar eshops


Why we like it:

  • Sainsbury’s has a great Christmas section on their website full of gifts, toys and festive accessories
  • keep collecting your Nectar points in store throughout November ready to spend at the Nectar eShops come December
  • eshops include Argos, Debenhams and Kiddicare

Watch out:

  • you get FAR MORE value for your points when redeemed at one of the online eShops
  • delivery costs will vary

Great for gifts

Second hand toys, books and clothes make great gifts, especially for stockings. Find your 'Nearly New' bargains on ebay and Preloved

We'll be adding great Christmas offers as they appear

Argos


Why we like it:

  • half price on selected toys
  • half price on selected Christmas trees and decoration
  • FAB today's best deals section
  • can buy and collect until 1pm Christmas Eve

Watch out:

  • stocks at stores may vary

ASDA


Why we like it:

  • 2 for £20 on big toy brands
  • big selection of gifts under £5
  • Christmas selection packs for £1
  • 1 month delivery pass £8 could cover your Christmas groceries and gifts
  • order and collect for free in store

Watch out:

  • you'll have to visit ASDA groceries for booze, sweets and cosmetics and ASDA direct for toys and other gifts
  • last day for standard deliver 19th December

M&S


Why we like it:

  • 3 for 2 on Christmas essentials instore
  • FAB beauty bargains
  • Downton Abbey soaps
  • VERY pretty festive biscuit tins reduced to under £5
  • order and collect for free in store

Watch out:

  • AVOID their hampers- you can put together your own for MUCH less

The inside track


  • Try and avoid borrowing for Christmas if at all possible but If you DO need some extra money PLEASE DO NOT USE A PAY DAY LOAN. If you’ve got a good credit rating, a purchase credit card will let you spread the cost of buys of a long interest free period, the Tesco Clubcard Credit Card gives 16 months interest free and lets you earn Clubcard points
  • Other borrowing options include Credit Unions. These not for profit organisation offer small loans with reasonable interest (check out ABCUL.org). If you think you'll end up in your overdraft make sure it's interest free, First Direct and Nationwide both offer interest free overdraft accounts
  • We love a Christmas FREEBIE! You can get a free reply from Santa via Royal mail and (our favourite) you can get a free personalised video message from Santa!
  • Try haggling in Independent stores for a discount or add-on freebies – go on, what have you got to lose….?
  • SUPER TIP! Join Amazon Prime and get your Amazon presents delivered free over the Christmas period, you can cancel straight away so it won't automatically upgrade you in Manage Prime Account
  • If you buy online Distance Selling Regulations mean you have 7 days to change you mind, although you may have to pay return postage
  • Get a gift receipt when buying in store, you're likely to have a longer cooling off period to return gifts over the festive period but do check. Some big stores (like Next and Debenhams) may not allow returns during their busiest sales period 26th-28th December
  • Use Paypal or a credit card to keep you safe when shopping online. A credit card protects presents costing £100-£30,000 if your purchase is faulty or you fall foul of a scam

Royal Mail last posting dates for Christmas 2014

 

IInternational Standard (formerly Airmail) and all
International Tracking and Signature Services
(formerly Airsure® and International Signed For®)

Wednesday 3 December

Asia, Far East (including Japan), New Zealand

Thursday 4 December

Australia

Friday 5 December

Africa, Caribbean, Central & South America, Middle East

Monday 8 December

Cyprus, Eastern Europe

Tuesday 9 December

Canada, France, Greece, Poland

Friday 12 December

USA

Saturday 13 December

Western Europe (excluding France, Greece, Poland)

HM Forces Mail - British Forces Post Office
  (BFPO)

Friday 28 November

Airmail to Operational BFPOs

Friday 12 December

Airmail to Static BFPOs

UK Services 

Thursday 18 December

2nd Class and Royal Mail Signed For™

Saturday 20 December

1st Class and Royal Mail Signed For™

Tuesday 23 December

Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed™

 

 

Last online order dates (2015)...

These are the last online order dates from 2015 to give you an idea what to expect- we'll be updating these as we get closer to the festive period

 
 
 

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