With just over six weeks to go until Christmas, it is time to get your ëbargain hatí on and search for the best deals available.
The festive season is an expensive time of year for everyone, heating bills are up and you could probably purchase a Lamborghini with the amount you are likely to spend on Christmas food and drink.
The latest research from HSBC has found that people will spend an average of £560 during the festive season.
The bank found that an average person will spend £378 on gifts for their immediate family. A further £183 will be spent on food, drinks and entertainment.
The research also pointed out that the Welsh are more likely to spend money on gifts and less on food and drink, and the Scots will spend less on both.
Whilst it might be hard to find a bargain prior to Christmas as many retailers increase their prices, it is not impossible. Here are some top tips to ensure that you grab yourself a very merry Christmas bargain.
Over a third of people will turn to vouchers to help them financially during the festive season. The research found that 34% of people will be cashing in retailer reward points to cover the cost of Christmas.
Discount vouchers are a great way of saving money, especially over the Christmas period. Not only is it good for your wallet, but it is also good for your long term attitude to money.
Almost 50% of Brits love to boast about grabbing a bargain. We particularly love to boast about discounted clothing or cheap holidays more than any other purchases.
With the current state of the economy, everyone wants a bargain and there has recently been a surge in voucher websites, which offer up to 70% off holidays, meals out, beauty treatments, experience days and more. Mightydeals.co.uk, for example, is offering 58% off a Christmas retro sweets hamper.
There are thousands of great deals and discount websites you can use to do your Christmas shopping.
Not only does shopping online potentially save you money as you can often find exclusive deals, it will also save you time and the hassle of high streets crammed with Christmas shoppers. One of the many benefits of shopping online is that you can compare the cost of goods or items on other sites to find the best value from the comfort of your own home.
Online auction websites, such as eBay, are also a good place for barging hunting. When trying to bag a bargain on eBay, shop at the last minute as this is often when bidding wars break out. There are also many items which go unnoticed and sites such as lastminute auction search eBay for items under a £1 that are due to end within the next hour.
It is also advisable to check the price of the item you are purchasing.
Time your shop
You can avoid the mad Christmas rush by doing your shopping early. Some people will do their Christmas shopping a year in advance in the January sales. One in 20 shoppers will start their Christmas shopping in the January sales, a full 12 months before Christmas.
However, if you have missed that particular boat you can still grab a Christmas bargain by heading to the shops early. If you start early you can have your pick of the goods first and still have time to return a gift if you believe you have found one which is more suitable.
Alternatively, you could wait until the last minute before doing your Christmas shopping. On Christmas Eve, many retailers will start to drop their prices in preparation for the Boxing Day sales. According to M&S Money though, only 1% of people will leave it to Christmas Eve before hitting the shops.
Christmas credit cards
One way you can save money over Christmas is by earning cash-back on your spending. One particular independent financial research company suggest taking out a credit card to fund the festivities.
ìAlthough Christmas is an expensive time, the right type of credit card can help you earn while you spend,î said David Black, Defaqto’s Insight Analyst for Banking.
Capital Oneís World MasterCard offers the highest cash-back reward at 5.0% on purchases for the first three months. The card has an APR of 19.9% and the cash-back rate falls to 1.25% after the introductory period.
Compare credit cards with Money Expert.