Money saving tips for Christmas from LoanPig.
Black Friday weekend has arrived, along with all the hype that inevitably accompanies it. Our last article – Get Ready for Black Friday – contains lots of useful advice about how to ensure that you get genuine bargains and only spend money on what you need.
But what if Black Friday doesn’t work for you? Perhaps you simply don’t have money to spend until you get paid at the end of the month. Or you just can’t find what you are looking for. Can you still find bargains once it’s all over?
Well, of course the answer is yes! In fact, according to the consumer group Which? around nine out of ten Black Friday deals may turn out to be cheaper at other times of the year. They tracked the prices of 94 popular products – including televisions, cameras and fitness trackers – from six months before until six months after Black Friday 2017. They found that 87% of the items were cheaper at other times of year than the Black Friday deal price, and nearly half were cheaper in the six months after Black Friday.
So if you don’t manage to buy what you need this Black Friday, all is not lost. Here are some other ways that you can grab a bargain in the run up to Christmas:
The major supermarkets will be competing fiercely against each other to get your business between now and Christmas. Remember that most of them sell not just food and drink, but gifts, clothing and electrical items too.
If you are prepared to put time and effort into researching what you want, then rotating round the various supermarkets to get the best deals, you can save a lot of money.
3 for 2 / Buy One Get One Free offers
There are also excellent deals to be had in other major retailers. For example, Boots has an impressive range of gifts in its “3 for 2” offer range. You can save pounds! For example, if you have twelve gifts to buy you would only pay for eight of them. Definitely worth a look, and many other major retailers have similar offers.
Also look out for offers where you can either Buy One Get One Free, or Buy One Get One Half Price. Even if you don’t need two of whatever the item is, if you team up with a friend and split the cost then you are both getting a bargain.
You will also often find that a free item comes with a gift that you are buying anyway; such as a soft toy with a child’s book, or an mini makeup set with a full price item. These small items can either be used for stocking fillers, Secret Santas or prizes for Christmas parties.
Vouchers and loyalty card points
At Christmas we could all do with a bit more money. Yet many of us have the equivalent of pounds lying around unused! Gather together all your unused gift vouchers, supermarket vouchers and loyalty cards and you may be surprised at how much extra money you can put together.
It has been estimated that in the UK around £300 million is wasted each year in terms of gift vouchers that don’t get used. If you really can’t use them then you can cash them in online, on websites such as Zeek.
Also, the average person in the UK amasses over £100 worth of supermarket loyalty points each year – some as much as £500.
So get checking what hidden resources you may have at your disposal!
Second hand bargains
Online sites such as eBay can save you pounds! In our recent article Extra Cash for Christmas we looked at how to sell on eBay and it is also a great place for buying brand new goods at good prices. If you don’t mind buying second hand you can often pick up an even better bargain on goods that are hardly used.
It is also well worth trawling round local charity shops for all kinds of bargains. Yes it will take more time and effort to hunt around, but you might find just what you are looking for at a brilliant price – and will also have the satisfaction of knowing that you are supporting a great cause.
If you are prepared to hold your nerve and do your Christmas shopping at the last minute, then you could save a lot of money by doing this. Many stores in the UK now start their post-Christmas sales just before Christmas. Which means that many of the gifts that most of us have already bought and wrapped are considerably reduced in price.
This is a bit of a risky strategy, because depending on availability you may not be able to get exactly what you want. But if you are prepared to be flexible – and to save your energy and money for a last minute blitz – this could be the way forward.
One final tip is that it is never too early to think about next Christmas! Yes it’s the last thing we feel like doing immediately after Christmas, but the January sales are an excellent time to stock up with Christmas cards, gifts, wrapping items and decorations. Shops just want to get rid of everything and slash the prices dramatically in order to do so. So if you do have some spare cash and a bit of storage space, why not get ahead of the game and start your Christmas shopping in January? You could then build on that by buying one or two presents a month so that by this time next year you will be pretty much sorted for Christmas 2020!
But coming back to the present! We do hope that the above tips help you to find the bargains you need just in time for Christmas. Check back here soon for more money saving tips from LoanPig.