Monday, 16 December 2013

Christmas On A Budget

Christmas can be a magical time of year, but it can also be a drain on already struggling finances. More than ever we’re having to watch our shopping bills and budget as much as we can to get by, in view of rising prices and static wages.

But it’s important to remember that whilst we want to celebrate the festive season with our loved ones, it’s not the amount of money that we spend that counts, it’s the time that we actually spend with our family and friends.

Christmas is a very commercial affair, but there are ways to enjoy the celebrations without spending a fortune.

Now is a good time to check your points’ balances on any loyalty cards that you may have, and make use of these if you can. I recently bought a host of Christmas goodies from Sainsburys using my Nectar points to buy items such as crackers, drinks and chocolate, after discovering I had a balance worth almost £30.

If you’re a Tesco Clubcard holder, then you can use their current points boost promotion to double your points’ value. Just exchange your Clubcard vouchers for coupons to spend in specific areas of the store, to get twice their face value. Categories include Finest Wines, toys, clothing and electricals. You can exchange vouchers up until 20th December and redeem the new vouchers until 31st December. I’ve made use of the Finest Wines offer to get a few good bottles in for Christmas dinner – prices in the range start from just £5.99.

You may also have points on cards such as Boots Advantage Card and Superdrug Beautycard that can be exchanged for last minute gifts.

If you don’t own a loyalty card (and why not?) then you can still find some bargain offers around. Here are a few recommended buys:

O’Gradys Irish Cream Liqueur – A great (more creamy, I think) alternative to Baileys at just £5.50 a bottle from Sainsburys.

If you like Archers Peach Schnapps, then a great budget alternative is Peaches, costing just £5.50 at Iceland. You can also find lower cost supermarket versions of other drinks such as ‘Malibu’ as ‘Pimms’.

Love liqueur chocolates? I recommend The Co-Operative Loved By Us Brandy Liqueurs costing just £1 per box! Lovely! Most supermarkets also stock boxes of tasty after dinner mints, that I enjoy much more than the famous After Eights, for just £1 a box.

Enjoy your Christmas without too much expense!

Follow me on Twitter @shoppersjoy

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