Wednesday, 9 November 2011

How I paid for Christmas

For the last few years SM and I have done a few things to save some extra money for Christmas. These have enabled us to save quite a bit of cash on gifts come Christmas shopping time.

1. We always use Top Cash Back when shopping on line. We never buy anything without first checking whether we can get cash back on the item. 

This year we have started taking our 'cash back' in Amazon vouchers as you can boost your credit by taking vouchers instead of having it credited to your account. We did this as we knew there were a few items we would definitely be buying via Amazon this year.

2. We do some shopping at Tesco and nearly always buy fuel from there too. We save our Clubcard vouchers up all year and use them in the Clubcard Exchange Scheme.

The only credit card we have is a Tesco Clubcard credit card which we use for virtually all of our purchases to boost our points throughout the year. These can add up with regular grocery shopping and any large purchases. i.e holiday, car insurance etc.The only exception is where a store doesn't accept credit cards, i.e. Lidl / Aldi etc and/or where there is a charge for using a credit card.
I ALWAYS pay the balance off in full each month however.

I never spend my Clubcard vouchers on general grocery shopping, the best value for money is to take advantage of the 'Rewards' or 'Exchange' offers which can be up to 4 x the value of the vouchers.

4. Save a little each month in a separate account.

SM and I never 'hit the shops' to do our Christmas shopping. Neither of us enjoy the shopping experience in town much and prefer to order what we can on line. We started doing this a few years ago when we were living in a more remote location but have stuck with ordering on line because;
  • no spending on travel costs or parking charges
  • no trawling around shop after shop when it's busy with masses of other folk doing the same
  • no extra spending on coffees, lunches, snacks etc
  • no impulse buying just because something caught your eye in the shop

We have almost finished our Christmas shopping for this year and thanks to Top Cash Back we had £157.00 to spend at Amazon and £201.00 in Tesco Club Card vouchers. We had also saved a little each month and had £500.00 in a savings account.

All of the kids gifts have been bought and within budget. Gifts for our three neices have also been ordered. Only our parents to get now and these will unfortunately require a quick trip to the 'big smoke' but this can be done one quiet Monday morning before the December madness descends.

SM and I don't usually buy each other gifts at Christmas as we have pretty much everything we need. However I have been hankering after a Kenwood Chef mixer for a long, long time and just keep putting it off due to the price. I  had hoped to perhaps get one next year but SM noticed that mixers were included in the Tesco Exchange Scheme this year and worked out that we had nearly enough vouchers to pay for one.

So my Christmas is coming early and I only had to fork out about £90.00 of my own cash to get one, thanks to being able to double up the Tesco vouchers! (Oh, and I got Club Card points and Top Cash Back on the purchase too).

Woo hoo! It is on it's way and I cannot wait to start baking with it.

Anyone else started or finished their Christmas Shopping yet?

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