Brits aren’t going to let shortages and rising prices wreck Christmas. One in four started weeks ago. We are heading for a bumper celebration to make up for last year, with plans to spend an average of £520 each, up £44 on last year, according to new research from value broadband supplier Plusnet.
More than a third of us plan to spend more on going out for meals and drinks, as well as buying more presents, while three in 10 plan to invite extra people over for Christmas dinner.
Mum-of-three Aimee Moore is planning a bumper family Christmas for her three boys Isaac, Dexter and Bertie, and has cut back on her everyday household spending to be sure she can afford it.
Getting better value on household services such as broadband, mobile phone and credit cards as well should help to save her more than £1,500 in total.
Aimee is saving £82 a month by swapping her broadband to Plusnet’s unlimited fibre package costing £22.99, and moving her mobile to a SIM-only deal at £6 a month. These two measures alone will save her £636 a year.
Aimee, who runs Facebook group Extreme Couponing and Cashback UK, has been using cashback apps to build a stockpile of goods and seasonal offers, saving a further £193.
“Some cashback sites reward me with Amazon vouchers. I’ve used them to buy the two older boys gaming chairs and console games, while my youngest gets LEGO and books.”
Having saved up 110 vouchers, Aimee bought £600 of presents for only £120, saving her a total of £480.
As Christmas gets closer, she will be looking out for deals on potatoes, carrots, sprouts and other festive trimmings, saving £142 by using coupons.
Switching to a balance transfer credit card with 18 months interest free will save her a further £85.
READ MORE: Single mother ‘panicking’ about Christmas after Universal Credit cut
Aimee is not so thrifty when it comes to Christmas spending, though, as she expects it to cost around £800. “I’ll more than pay for it with the savings I have made.”
Zainab Kwaw-Swanzy, millennial finance specialist at Barclays, said it isn’t too early to keep an eye out for seasonal deals. “Many of us buy wrapping paper, crackers and other festive staples at the last minute, when demand and cost is highest. Take advantage of deals in the run up to Christmas instead.”
Supermarkets start advertising 2-for-1 Christmas offers months in advance, she said. “This will not only save you money, but spare you the mad pre-Christmas rush.”
Simon Rabin, founder of savings and investments platform Chip, warned against making unnecessary purchases as Black Friday looms on 26 November.
Free NHS prescriptions for over-60s axed. Who now pays – and who WON’T [GUIDE]
Britons turn heating OFF for winter as energy bills hit record highs [REVEAL]
Pensioners who claim this ONE key State benefit get SIX more [ANALYSIS]
Rabin said: “Check if those discounted items really are bargains on price comparison sites like Idealo.co.uk and Amazon price tracker Camelcamelcamel.com, which shows product price history.”
Tafari Smith, head of savings at RCI Bank, suggests working out a complete Christmas budget for gifts, food and entertaining.
Declutter and sell stuff you no longer use or need. “Look for car boot sales in your area, or use Facebook marketplace, Gumtree, Depop, eBay or Etsy.”
When buying new electronic devices like phones, laptops or old gaming consoles what Christmas, see if you can get money off by trading in your old tech, Smith said.