This week, I’ve been juggling work, present buying and Christmas admin with zipping down to London for the Vuelio blog awards, held in a suitably glittery circus big top. Ho yes. I even spent £8 on earrings, to liven up my ‘older than my children’ long dress.
Further to my plea for a little less Christmas, I’ve been looking at ways to cut the cost, so here are my five festive frugal things this week.
For further festive activities, wish me luck this weekend. I’ll be cooking Christmas dinner from a Muscle Food recipe box sent for review. Looking at the mahoosive turkey, I suspect it could last a little longer than Sunday…
Nabbed some baubles from the charity shop
Charity shops are a brilliant source of Christmas decorations, should you need anything new. Our old decorations are still going strong, but I’m keen to liven up a wreath I was given when I visited Poundland for the Christmas in July festival. So I was glad to snap up a box of little baubles in the EACH shop for just £1. Now to grab some greenery.
Saved with a scooter trade in at Halfords
My son was keen to replace his elderly 3 wheeled scooter with a dashing 2 wheeled stunt version. My husband took him along to Halfords, because they were offering selling a whole range of scooters for Christmas with 20% off*, plus another 15% off if you traded in a scooter before 2 December. This meant we could get rid of an even older scooter knocking around in the cellar. I’m chalking that up as a win:win for both money saving and decluttering.
Claimed cashback vouchers for Christmas shopping
I rack up cash back during the year, by clicking through from websites like TopCashback* and Quidco whenever I shop online. I earn a little bit back on spending I’d do anyway. The money tends to build up until we have a particular purchase in mind – such as replacing our printer, or crucially at this time of year, buying Christmas presents.
You can ask for cash back to be transferred straight into your bank account. However, if take your payout as gift vouchers instead, you earn a bit extra on top. Recently, I withdrew £47.26 in cash back, rounded up an extra 2.5% to £48.44, because I opted for Amazon vouchers. You can get a bigger boost by swapping your cash back for vouchers from other companies, such as 25% extra on Virgin Experience Days, 15% at Debenhams and 10% at Xbox and The Entertainer.
Used cashback to cut the cost of Christmas food
I’m still keen to continue earning cashback. So I took advantage of the current Snap & Save offers* from TopCashback to claim 15p off a £1 box of mince pies. You just have to buy a product as normal, then submit a picture of your receipt via your computer or mobile phone.
There are several other festive Snap & Save offers running until 19 December – 20p off any 454g Christmas pudding, 15p off a ‘confectionery’ selection box and 15p off a 500g carton of Bird’s brandy or rum flavoured sauce. One advantage of Snap & Save is that you can claim on any brand of mince pies, selection box or Christmas pudding, so it works from any shop. Just check if it only applies to a specific pack size.
There’s zero chance a box of mince pies will last until Christmas in our house, but we’ll enjoy eating them beforehand.
Finished my reverse advent calendar for #FoodBankAdvent
During November, I collected food and toiletries for our local food bank, Families in Need (FIND) in Ipswich, as part of the UK Money Bloggers’ #FoodBankAdvent campaign.
Previous post: what does your food bank actually need?
This week, I finished adding my last items, including a hefty tub of Cadbury’s Heroes as a treat. We took everything along when my son went to Cubs, as Hadleigh Sea Scouts are also collecting for FIND, and will be delivering all the donations tomorrow.
I’m counting my #FoodBankAdvent reverse advent calendar as a frugal thing, because although I donated food and toiletries that would normally cost just over £33, they only actually cost me £17.59 thanks to multi buy offers, cash back and referral credits from the Shopmium app.
Last chance to win a ‘Design Your Own Perfume Experience’!
Head on over to my post about designing my own scent, thanks to Buyagift and The Perfume Studio, if you’d like to win a similar experience for yourself. The giveaway is due to end at midnight on Saturday (8 December), so get cracking if you’d like to enter!
Now – over to you. What’s your favourite tip for cutting the cost of Christmas? Do share in the comments, I’d love to hear.
*indicates an affiliate link, so anything you buy through it will help support the blog, as I will get a small commission at no cost to you. Many thanks!