This week I’ve been trying to work out how to cut the cost of Christmas shopping.
In our house, December involves a car crash of birthdays as well as Christmas, which all adds up. I’m hoping to do some home made presents, but there are always things we need to buy too.
My cunning plan involves making the most of loyalty points and vouchers – find out how I’ve got on so far!
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Claimed a cash back voucher
I always try and click through from cashback websites like TopCashback or Quidco before shopping online, so I can earn cashback. It means I earn a bit of free money back on spending I’d do anyway.
If you then take the money as vouchers for specific websites, rather than a payment to your bank account, you get a bit extra on top.
I’ve been hoarding cashback to help cut the cost of Christmas, and this week claimed an Amazon voucher for just over £100.
If you want to use any cashback towards Black Friday purchases, it’s worth requesting vouchers right now! And do check out my (ad) post on how to use price comparison sites to find the best Black Friday deals.
But if you’ve never used cashback sites before, you can get a £5 Amazon gift card when you sign up for TopCashback and earn £10 cashback (and I’ll get £25). If you sign up for Quidco, we’ll get £10 each once you’ve earned £5 in cashback.
Nabbed a tenner for downloading the Amazon app
I was searching Amazon on my phone, and a promo popped up where you get a £10 voucher for downloading the app and using it to order for the first time.
Worth having, but watch out for the small print: only applies when spending £30+, and only on Amazon purchases, not purchases from other sellers.
I was able to use it towards a board game that my son really wants, so at least that’s one present sorted!
Doubled the value of my Nectar points
Much like cashback, I tend to hoard my Nectar points towards bigger purchases. This week, I decided to cash in a whole load during the Sainsbury’s Double Up promotion, when they’re worth twice as much.
I also tried to pick up extra points beforehand, such as the 500 Nectar point bonus by using the Esso app to buy petrol (sponsored post) and clicking on offers on the Nectar app, where you earn extra points on everyday food.
In the end, I swapped £40 worth of points to get £80 in vouchers. This meant I ended up paying £1 to get £81 worth of stuff from Sainsburys, a mix of things we need (bedding for my son, after a silly putty disaster, underwear for my daughter) and some Christmas presents (DVDs, bath salts, pyjamas, fizz).
Used Co-op dividend vouchers to cut food costs
At the start of November, I decided to try and cut our food costs, to free up more cash towards Christmas.
So when I saw a Co-op vouchers for £5 off a £40 spend, I dug out the £30 Co-op gift vouchers I won in a prize draw when my husband did the Dedham 10K run, and added some dividend vouchers sent out in the summer. I earn dividend vouchers just for scanning my Co-op card at the till every time I shop there.
Net result: I only needed £1.86 in coins to top up my vouchers for the £48.86 food shopping above!
I’m still popping one item a day in my reverse advent calendar for #FoodBankAdvent, ready to donate to our local food bank in December.
I’ve saved money by using cashback and referral credits from Shopmium, the supermarket cashback app. Meant I’ve been able to add some cereal bars, flapjacks, anti-perspirant, dry shampoo, tuna ready meals and biscuits for free.
If you use the code KFKKAMKL when downloading the Shopmium app, you can claim the cashback for a free tub of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, and I’ll get £3 towards more items for the food bank.
So adding up the offers and vouchers I’ve used so far:
- £100 Amazon voucher
- £10 off a £30 spend Amazon voucher for downloading the app
- £80 Sainsbury’s Nectar Double Up vouchers
- £30 Co-op gift vouchers
- £5 off a £40 spend Co-op offer
- £12 Co-op dividend vouchers
- £25.01 in Shopmium cashback and referral credits
Now – over to you. Have you ever used loyalty points and vouchers to cut the cost of Christmas? Do share in the comments, I’d love to hear!
Want more frugal inspiration? Do head over and join the Much More With Less #MoneySavingYear Facebook group, to share thrifty tips and support. It’s a private group so your comments won’t be splashed all over your friends’ Facebook feeds.