9 Ways to keep costs low on Christmas gifts

10o November 2022

Christmas is coming up fast, but don't worry - there are still ways to save money during the holiday season.

The holidays are a great time for families to spend quality time together, but they also come with added expenses. Here are some tips on how to keep costs down this year.

Start early

If you’re not one of those who finished their Christmas shopping at the start of summer, you might be wondering why we’re writing about Christmas shopping in November. Well, starting early spreads the cost further, meaning you’re less likely to overspend in December. Plus, you’ll have more time to seek out the best deals that make your money go further.

Speak with your family & friends

We’re all feeling the squeeze this year, many more than ever. Communicate with your family and friends and agree on a gift budget. You may even agree to only give gifts to the children in your family or no Christmas gifts at all this year, but plan some quality time like a board game night, tapas evening, movie night, or a walk with hot chocolate and good company.

Decide on a Christmas gift budget

Once you've spoken to your friends and family and created a list of who you’re giving gifts to this year, take some time to consider how much you’re willing to spend or able to afford on each gift. Always prioritise paying your monthly bills and debt before any Christmas-related spending. Try to estimate how much you’ll be spending on additional Christmas food and events and include this in your overall Christmas budget. Remember to also consider any monthly savings goals if you have this.

Once you have this filled out, go back to your Christmas gift list and allocate an overall budget and individual budget for each separate gift.

Pay with your credit card

Paying for Christmas gifts with your credit card isn’t going to save you money - it could cost you more if you’re not on a 0% interest rate or cannot clear the balance in full at the end of the month. However, paying with a credit card can give you additional protection under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

UK credit card companies, like our own Wave, are just as responsible for protecting your single-item purchases from £100 to £30,000 as retailers and service providers. This means that if you make a purchase of a single item Christmas gift over £100, let's say a £200 bicycle, and the company goes bust before you receive it, your credit card provider is legally obligated to reimburse you for your purchase.

Use price trackers to decide when to buy gifts

Christmas sales are all the rage the closer we get to December. However, it’s not uncommon for retailers to increase their prices right before the sale to make it seem like you’re getting a better deal at the discounted price. Avoid falling into this trap by using price tracking apps such as Pricerunner, Kelkoo, and Price Spy, to help you decide if the sale is as good as it claims. You can also use these to compare prices on items across retailers.

Buy second hand

If you're looking for something unique, consider buying used items instead of new ones. Buying used items means you'll save money while making your Christmas shopping a little more sustainable. Have a browse through the various websites such as eBay, Vinted, Depopand Facebook Marketplace - many of these sell unused items with tags at discounted prices as well.

Save money with online shopping

Sometimes, the blasting Christmas music, endless people, and stocked shelves can be overwhelming and make it difficult to make considered purchases. If you find it challenging, consider shopping online. Online shopping lets you consider and compare purchases across multiple retailers, which makes you more likely to find and choose the best deals. You may also find additional discounts with Voucher sites such as VoucherCloud, VoucherCodes, Honey, and MyVoucherCodes.

And don’t forget to investigate any membership perks for the retailers you’re shopping with or existing perks you already have through other memberships, older accounts, and even employee schemes your workplace might offer.

Shop local

If you're looking for unique gifts, consider going local. You may find more options and unique items at stores near you instead of spending money on something generic. Plus, you’ll support small businesses and your community.

Make homemade gifts

Scarves, jewellery, scrapbooks, and biscuits - homemade gifts are a wonderful alternative to store-bought items. They can also be much more personal and meaningful, which means the price doesn’t have to be steep. Have a look at Pinterest, HobbyCraft, Prima, Everything Art and Craft, and Country Living for homemade gifts to make this holiday season.

Christmas shopping can be stressful and expensive, but it doesn't have to be! By remembering these tips, you're setting yourself up for a relaxing and money-savvy December.