A very merry Christmas and a debt-free New Year!
So when do you start planning for Christmas?…. October, November, Christmas eve?
Well if you’re me it’s January. I know you may roll your eyes in despair at the thought of starting it that early but it’s the little things I put into motion in January that mean that this year I will get a lot of my Christmas for free, yep you heard me free.
I’m not talking about buying all the presents and wrapping them in January, but there are some great and easy things you can set in motion that mean that you can reap the benefits later on in the year and take some of the sting out of Christmas.
Currently to date I have
£40 in Boots
£74 in Tesco
£25 in Morrison’s
£32.79 in PayPal
£40 in curries PC world
£21.21 Amazon vouchers
A free Christmas tree
A free turkey
And whatever else the supermarkets and apps release between then and now.
How? I hear you ask, just by a little bit of planning and a lot of patience.
First the boots points, these have been saved on and off throughout the year. The good thing with boots is they give you the points for the pre-coupon total, so you buy £10 worth of stuff and have coupons for £8, they will still give you points for the £10 or x 3 on baby stuff. I so far have £40 saved up, and in the 3 for 2 that equals a lot of presents.
The £74 in Tesco is a combination of points saved up when I joined the Christmas club and the vouchers that the sun are running. The Christmas club is part of their club card scheme, you go online and tick a small box to join, it means that you can save your points vouchers all year instead of having then delivered every 4 months or so. It stops you spending them and means they are worth twice the amount in December when Tesco do the double up. You can also top this up as you go through the year in a sort of saving stamps way, but they double them as well so well worth doing. The sun was also doing an offer where if you collected 10 of the papers coupons they would send you out a £10 Tesco gift card. I’m a member of the sun plus but also collected the paper ones, one will go to my house, the others to my mother in laws so I can get 2. (she’s coming for dinner too)
The same is for £10 worth of Morrison as the sun went straight in and did one for the coupon collection offers as well, the other £5 is a reward point’s coupon I put aside.
The curries PC world come from my NatWest debit card, every time I spend in certain shops I get money back, I can either take that as £20 cash or I can get 4 times that as every £5 can be swapped for £10 worth of vouchers at several places.
The money that will be placed in my PayPal account is from cash back websites that I have used throughout the year, either for snapping pictures of the receipt or for buying things online.
The same is for the Amazon vouchers, Quidco offer the money you have earned as either PayPal, bacs or Amazon Vouchers, they give you extra if you take it as amazon vouchers and they do have some great offers on DVD’s for the nieces and nephews.
All of these will go towards buying some fantastic Christmas presents as well as the trimmings for Christmas dinner, the turkey however is already taken care of. The daily mail this year very kindly ran an offer where if you collected the codes off the back of the paper you can claim a free Turkey or Christmas tree, I have a slight advantage here as a friend of mine works at a local coffee shop where they get the papers bought in everyday, she’s a vegetarian so has no interest in a turkey and is quite happy with her fake tree so is more than happy for me to have the codes, so I have only had to buy one set of the papers.
I do take great advantage of the sales in January, the gift sets, wrapping paper and bows go down quite a lot, and last year I even saved my boots points till the after Christmas sales to stock up for this year’s gifts. Throughout the year if I see a great deal that I can get for free or for a very small cost I put it aside in the present cupboard meaning less pressure and less money in the festive season.
All these savings mean that my Christmas dinner is free, most of the presents I have to buy are free and hopefully my Christmas will be stress-free. These are not massive things that I have done, all year, in fact most of it involves doing nothing just shopping as I normally would and reaping the rewards at the end of the year.
So for next year start thinking how you can do nothing and get rewarded for it, there are ways and means to take the sting out of the festive season, so hopefully you can relax and enjoy the holidays without the stress of paying for it.