17 December 2014

Posted by Discount Insurance on Wednesday, December 17, 2014
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Not started your Christmas shopping yet? Don’t panic, you have still got time to get it sorted without blowing a fortune.

Too many people feel the pressure at this time of year to spend money they don’t have, so first of all draw up a budget on how much you can realistically spend without going into the red.

There are plenty of ways to show that you care without splashing out. For instance, think about writing or making a card with your favourite memory of that person. Or why not invite them over to your home for a homemade meal and promise a good catch-up instead?

Here are some other last minute ways to cut costs this year:

Agree a budget

We could be a little bit late in the day for this one but it is worth checking with people who you’re close to.

Simply suggest spend limits among your immediate family and close friends so that you know that you will all be spending the same amount of money on each other – and remember no cheating!

Homemade hampers

This is a great present to give to anyone who likes their food. Just make sure you’ll be able to hand deliver the gift, as it can be expensive to post.

Have a good look at home to see if you already have a suitable box or basket, if not you can order these from Amazon or pick them up from DIY shops. Depending on your budget pick and mix from the items listed below – adding anything you know they like – and decorate with a festive ribbon.

-          Bottle of fizz
-          Bottle of red or white wine
-          Cheese
-          Mince pies
-          Christmas pudding
-          Clementines
-          Crackers
-          Biscuits
-          Chocolate
-          Nuts
-          Marmalade or jam

Framed photograph

Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. With the rise of Facebook and iPhones, fewer people print their photos. So just pick a nice photo of you and the recipient, print and find a frame. It’s a lovely gift to receive and won’t cost you more than £10.

Homemade Christmas

If you’re feeling creative and have some time on your hands, try making your own presents to keep costs down. Here are a few ideas that are quick and easy to make:

-          Cupcakes are always a winner – if your kitchen isn’t very well equipped with the baking essentials, ask friends and families to see if you can borrow what you need

-          Gingerbread biscuits are fun to make and you can easily get hold of a wide range of cutters and decorations to really get creative

-          Chocolate truffles are perfect for the chocoholic in your life, remember to warn them if you use a recipe that uses alcohol especially if children are likely to be around

Secret Santa

Ok, so it might be a little late in the year to put this in place now – but worth checking if you have a disorganised family!

Secret Santa is a great way to keep cost down in large families. All the names simply go into a hat, and one is drawn out by each person – you can also set a price limit such as £10.  This strategy means that everyone still gets a present and is also hugely time-saving as you only have one present to buy and wrap – it’s a win win! 

Shopping Online

If you have specific items to buy, it’s usually the case that they’ll be cheaper somewhere online. Use an online shopping engine, such as Kelkoo, to find the cheapest retailer – just make sure that you check last delivery dates.

You can get free next day Amazon delivery if you sign up for a trial as an Amazon Prime Customer. This means that you can order a number of gifts up until 7pm on the 23rd December and not pay for postage.

Target the sales

If all else fails and you’re hitting the high street, make sure you don’t head into town without a plan, as you’re sure to spend more than you would like and liable to forget people.

Make a list of who you need to buy a gift for and most importantly set an overall budget. Target shops that have already started seasonal sales, and don’t forget charity shops and the discount retailers like TK Maxx and Matalan, which will often throw up a bargain or two!

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