How to do Christmas Shopping cheaper

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Well one thing everyone seems to moan about at Christmas is the cost ,,, yes, thats right the cost of things that seem to shoot up more and more each year or is it the fact that more and more people just want more or better than the year before, whichever way I am sure this season time to be jolly comes with misery for some for quite a while after.  Credit cards stacking up, more red letter days, and no I don't mean the nice day experience type either.

One good way to making this not quite a big issue (the cost I mean here) is to shop early in the sales and put a few little stocking fillers away, bath products don't go out of date for a long long time, neither do cuddly christmas santas and such like.  Sometimes these items can be reduced by as much as 75% quite a saving I am sure you will agree.

Christmas party crackers and cards also get reduced just after Christmas, so stock up on these as they are not perishable. (Just remember where you have put them, put a little note in your diary if needs be).

It is also worth looking at Amazon earlier in the year (June/July) time when they seem to do a huge clearance section, there could be something there for kitchen loving people (even good old Alessi appears in there sales at times, thereby enabling you to buy a good designer product at a fraction of the price).  Usually they do free postage (delivery) on items, orders over £15.00 so it can even be cheaper than filling the car with fuel and purchasing a car park ticket.

Also Ebay can be a great little treasure, sometimes you can find a matching piece of lost china for a present for someone who broken a piece of their favourite set, or better still cheap dressing up outfits for kids and adults alike, and all without having to move from the comfort of your home, a must when the weather is horrid.

Another great idea is the 'buy one get one free' offers, it could be worth looking at the dates and using the earliest first, and keeping back the later one until Christmas this is especially good on tinned biscuits both assorted, chocolate and shortbread selections  and such like (keep your eyes open for the later dates usually stashed right at the back of the aisles) great as one could also be used as a spare present (you know the one , just in case someone buys you something and hell you haven't bought them anything, well don't panic the spare present comes into force).   The three for two offers at most department stores and supermarkets are also good you can kill two birds with one stone with these, bubble bath stocking fillers, something for teacher and present for school friend.  Just not too much bubble bath, I am sure that companies must think that children only bathe at Christmas looking at the amount of different variations of bubble bath.  (Children will remain clean only at this time of year, notice the grubby ones after the festive season,  then you can tell when their bubble bath has run out!)   Better still wait until the sales after Christmas and put some of these goodies away for birthdays and such like in the next year, as they then go even cheaper then the 3 for 2's. (Just check the dates)

M&S also do a brilliant range of chocs, £2.99 half price (usually go on offer from end of Sept) and they look good as well as tasting devine, another great pressie, perfect for teachers and such like. Or just as a present to yourself, well someone has to treat the present wrapper, they do deserve it you know !

The other main thing NOT to do is to go shopping for those nice Christmas nibbles when you are hungry, you know the way it goes, you finish work and go late night shopping, sounds like a great idea (maybe half way already there in distance to shopping centre, so saving on fuel) but you will end up eating the freebies on taste, get bored and just end up putting anything in the basket to get home.  So not only do you end up not getting much nibble/tasty treat shopping done, but you put on a few extra calories (alright they didn't cost anything in money but they do in calories!) then feel hungry on the way back home, cann't be bothered to cook and thus end up spending more money on a takeaway or fish and chip tea  Everything always looks appetising when you are hungry, can you remember those things you bought last year on the spur of the moment as they looked good enough to eat, (well they have probably been given away to a bring and buy or thrown by now).

This year have noticed that good old M&S are doing three boxes of chocs for £5.00.  They are the Cherry liquer chocs, turkish delight, operatte and a few more, well worth looking at.  Also worth looking at is the web.  some retailers are actually doing 10% off prices now in September on some of their goods, also some are just stocking up with christmas items, so some of their non-christmas gifts are reduced (Tesco for example are reducing all their outdoor toys, water pistols are always played with come rain or shine, so they could be bought for stocking fillers, as can badmington and ball sets).  We do sometimes get nice weather in December/January and a great idea to get the kids outside in the fresh air, rather than huddled up all over the holidays.   Bottles of bubbles (blow ones) are great ideas for putting on any child's place setting at Christmas, it stops them from getting bored and asking if the food is ready yet, these again are a remnant from the summer sales, a lot cheaper than buying those little imitation champagne bottles that are full of bubbles but are vastly overpriced.

If you shop at Whittards the coffee and tea shop, when you buy coffee/tea you receive a point per bag, these could be saved up and when reaching 10 you receive a free bag of coffee or tea, it doesn't sound much, but when priced against a McDonalds coffee and also the quality, you  get a fair few more than just one cup and at only a slighty higher price.  Plus a free bag every couple of months, dependant on how many you buy.  The price you save from having all those coffees out will buy either yourself or someone else a very nice present.
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