Christmas 2022: Shoppers urged to start early amid recession fears

piggy bank with santa hat

People are already worried about the cost of Christmas this year (Image: Getty Images)

“It’s the season…soon,” says Tesco, on its website. The supermarket is just one of many retailers warning shoppers to plan ahead for this year’s festive season. As the website explains, “It’s never too early to prepare for festive fun. Split the cost of Christmas 2022 by planning ahead.”

Urging shoppers to “stock up for your stockings”, Tesco issued advice on how best to capitalize on savings for the next few months. The advice comes amid warnings from the Bank of England that the UK economy is set to experience another recession later this year – just in time for Christmas.

The worsening cost of living crisis, rising prices for gasoline, energy and other household bills have all had major impacts on the country’s economy. In fact, people across the UK have been warned they face a “very tough winter”, with some having to choose between food and heating when cold weather sets in.

Needless to say, the usual expense of a Merry Christmas is not on the cards for many households this year. A recent study by product design specialist Quantum Metric found that the majority of people said they would spend less than £500 this year, due to “pressure from the cost of living crisis”.

So to try and cut the cost of Christmas, we’ve put together some tips to help you plan ahead for the holiday season.

A few practical tips for Christmas – Superscrimpers

Set a budget

Make a list of what you think you really need for the season. Listing things ahead of time will allow you to gauge whether you really need certain items, as well as how much you’d be willing to spend on them.

Once you’ve decided that, you can start to get an overview of what the holiday season will cost you and how to plan for it. For example, can you set aside money each month? How many? Are there other areas you can narrow down to save a few pennies?

It also helps reduce last-minute panic buying, which can be costly.

To show creativity

Another way to save money is to consider where you can get creative, especially when it comes to decorations. Rather than buying new balls, garlands and other ornaments, why not make your own? It can be a great party activity, especially if you have younger children, and will save you money on your overall costs.

An added benefit is that it can also save you money on your electric bill if you choose to use ornaments, rather than lights that need to be plugged in.

chop down the tree

When it comes to decorations, buying reusable items like fake trees can be a great investment. A natural tree must be replaced every year and can be expensive. While a fake tree can be reused year after year – (they also do less damage which is also a big plus!)

Most supermarkets and garden centers sell fake trees, in a variety of colors, styles and sizes. So why not mix it up and go for a golden tree? Or a cover of fake snow?

Stagger purchases

This is the big tip that most places are focusing on this year. Major brands as John Lewis have already released their festive range of products in store. From decorations to toys, the shop has already stocked items so people can buy things in advance and put them away for the big day, in a bid to help spread the costs over the next few months.

A recent study found that nearly three in 10 (30%) are already shopping for items ahead of the holiday season. As a result, many stores have released guides, detailing when certain items will be available in the coming months. This also includes festive food and decorations, not just gifts.

Three pairs of children's feet in brightly patterned Christmas socks.

Making a plan for this year could help you cut costs (Image: Getty Images)

Compare the prices

There are a variety of places to buy different items, and it may be worth delaying impulse purchases so you can compare prices from other places. For example, different stores will have different offers throughout the season, and you may be able to find the same item for a fraction of the price. Shopping in person and online will allow you to compare prices.

Going beyond mainstream brands can also be beneficial. Why not visit charity shops or independent shops? These often have wonderful items that would make great gifts and are cheaper – and you’ll be helping others too.

Websites like MoneySavingExpert are also great tools for finding discounts, as well as ways to generate additional income.

Reduce your gift list

Last year, MoneySavingExpert gave advice to people worried about the cost of Christmas, asking them to consider who they were planning to give gifts to. “Consider not giving this Christmas. We’re not talking about gifts from parents or grandparents, but the ever-increasing glut of friends, extended family members and colleagues,” he said. declared.

You can also agree limits with the people you plan to buy for, setting caps on how much either of you will spend on festive gifts. You might also be able to agree to collectively contribute to a gift for someone.

Homemade gifts are also a great alternative here, because who doesn’t love pastries or other homemade delicacies? Sometimes time and effort can be just as valuable as money.

Loyalty programs

Many places will have loyalty programs, which will allow you to accumulate points or vouchers that can be used to save you money on future purchases. Most supermarkets, for example, will offer this and other perks and rewards (double points, item discounts, or even cash vouchers) during the holiday season.

Earn extra money

While this may not be a possibility for everyone, it may be worth considering if there are other ways to earn money that you can spend on the season. A good way to do this would be to sell any old or unwanted items such as clothes, toys or old gadgets. There are a variety of websites (eg Ebay, Facebook) as well as various apps (eg Vinted), which will allow you to sell these items and possibly earn some much needed cash to add to the Christmas pot.

A gift held by a woman

People have already started shopping for Christmas this year (Image: Getty Images)

Plan the trip in advance

Many people plan to travel during the holiday season, hoping to visit friends and family. Are you planning to travel by train? If so, it’s a good idea to try and buy your tickets early.

Tickets are usually available 12 weeks before the travel date and prices are usually lowest on first outing. Using resources such as the Trainline app to book your tickets will allow you to compare prices, showing you the day, time and route that will allow you to travel at the best price. You can also benefit from group discounts if you are not traveling alone, as well as other discounts depending on age and where you want to go.

If you are driving, rather than taking the train, it may also be a good idea to discuss carpooling. It’s a great way to save money on gas if other people are also planning to visit.

Reduce shipping costs online

It should be remembered that there are different ways to send gifts to people. Royal Mail is not always the cheapest way to send your package, especially if it weighs over 2kg. You can get better rates by using an online parcel courier site like DPD.

Sending parcels and letters earlier will also allow you to use 2nd class stamps, rather than 1st, which can save you a few extra pennies.

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