Christmas seems to get earlier every year, but this year more than ever, budgeting means that’s probably a good thing as we all start to feel the pinch.
We put our heads together to come up with a few things that might help spread, and lessen, the load this Christmas.
And if you want somewhere to hide things, to store things, or simply to make space for visitors to make Christmas happen, we’re always here with a little extra storage space: you can call our friendly storage specialists until 7 pm most working days (0333 016 4341) or use our online system to obtain a quote: https://book.easystorage.com/. (No obligation or hard sales.)
That fabulous planning tool, the list, is your friend at Christmas!
Here’s just a few of the lists to get you started:
· Who to buy presents for
· Christmas card list
· Christmas at home? Who’ll be coming?
· Christmas away: Who’ll be there and what will you need to take? Will there be guests you’ll need to buy for?
They’ll change, but at least you have a head start on planning.
You’ve made a list of who to buy for, so who would appreciate something homemade? Now’s the time to start thinking about what you’ll need to make that present, and buying things before the prices start to rise even higher.
(If the present is edible, can it be kept, or frozen?)
You have your list of people to buy for – set budgets. And get over it if you spend more on one child/grandchild than another. The value of the gift is the joy it brings, not what you spent on it.
You may be able to save money by keeping an eye out for flash or special sale days:
• Black Friday is November 25.
• Cyber Monday is November 28.
• Keep an eye out too for Singles Day, which takes place on November 11th annually, and is growing in popularity. Many retailers can be expected to cut their prices for one day only.
Mail strikes are looming. Members of Unite at Felixstowe, the UK's biggest container port, have walked out in a dispute over pay. These things could cause shortages on shelves up until Christmas, so the further ahead you plan, the less likely you are to be affected.
We feel we should also mention this: there are many sites now using buy now, pay later (BNPL), services like Klarna to help spread the cost of Christmas. ALWAYS read the terms and conditions to make sure your bargain doesn’t suddenly become the single most expensive gift you ever made and keep an eye on credit limits, which can rise unexpectedly if you’re not paying attention.
Our last tip for presents is pets. It’s easy to get sucked into buying Christmas stockings and new beds and….. The list is endless. And because they are members of the family it’s hard to exclude them.
Include them on your gift list, of course, but you genuinely don’t need to spend. There are cheaper and better ways to include them. Your cat will love the Christmas wrapping rolled into a ball and thrown across the room for them to chase. Or the box that something came in. Your dog will adore his or her own Christmas dinner portion of leftovers – maybe even with a Christmas ribbon, if your hound won’t eat it. (Mine would.) Or a long walk after lunch. You know your pet best, but they need your attention not your gifts. If you’re desperate to spend, could you instead make a donation to one of the many animal shelters around the country?
It’s lovely to get Christmas cards, but with standard costs of 95p for a standard letter (more for bigger cards) and 68p second class, it’s a cost that can soon mount up:
· Who will you be seeing anyway and can give a card to in person, albeit very early?
· Can a group of you share the postage to bring the cost down, for example putting cards in the same envelope?
· Last Christmas posting dates for 2022 (Post Office): second Class, UK, 19th December; first, UK, 21st December. (Special delivery and tracked services are available until the 23rd.) Most of the final dates for posting International Economy have already passed, but International Standard delivery is still possible if you act now.
(Businesses may find that bulk mailing is cheaper.)
Note that the Royal Mail is planning a series of strikes before December 25, so it may be wise to post early and avoid them.
Once your Christmas plans are made, pre-order what you can and keep a note/receipt with those lists.
Turkey is an important one. Turkey breeders have had a difficult year this year with more diseases (bird flu) than usual, so whilst supplies aren’t expected to be affected, it will pay to have your order placed well in advance.
We found a site that has been collating the delivery and last order dates for the supermarkets, which also includes dates to make savings: SupermarketSaver (Note that we have no affiliation with the site. Outwardly it seems fine, but we recommend you check the information before relying on it.)
The seasons have changed and summer ‘stuff’ can be put away until next year.
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