Have A NoWaste Christ­mas

Do you splash out too much ev­ery Christ­mas? Here’s how to save both your bank bal­ance and your bin with Sue Hay­ward’s guide to cel­e­brat­ing wisely and well

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Bud­get ahead. Sort out your Christ­mas spend­ing bud­get be­fore go­ing shop­ping. This way you’ll know how much you can af­ford to spend. Put it away. If your bud­get needs a boost, stash some cash in su­per­mar­ket stamp sav­ings schemes. Ice­land, Asda and Tesco all run them, with some pay­ing bonuses of up to 6% – and you don’t need to save all year with them to bag this! Boost the power of your pound. No need to cut back – look for ways to get more for your money, such as swap­ping Tesco points for lux­ury gifts. You can get three times their value trad­ing them for tick­ets for days out or cinema or res­tau­rant vouch­ers. Be a cash­back queen. Shop through cash­back sites like TopCash­back to earn as you spend. Use cash­back credit cards to earn 5% on present shop­ping, too. Just make sure that you can clear the bill first – or any sav­ings you make will be wiped out by in­ter­est charges. Cash in gift cards to buy presents. Most of us have some kick­ing around in the lin­ing of our purses. Even if there’s only a cou­ple of quid left on them, ever y penny counts! Save as you spend. Check voucher code sites like WWW.VOUCHERCODES.CO.UK for dis­count codes you can pop in at the on­line check­out – or down­load Pouch, WWW.JOINPOUCH.COM, a handy tool that searches for any pro­mo­tion codes for the web­sites you’re on. Gim­micky gifts can be a waste of money. Think about some­thing that is likely to be used – like a bean­bag lap tray for some­one who en­joys a TV din­ner. You can buy a range of cheer ful de­signs and they’re fun as well as use­ful! Check out this one for £25. WWW.DCTHOMSONSHOP.CO.UK/ FEED­ING-THE-DUCKS-LAP-TRAY Don’t be afraid to ask. Check with friends or fam­ily on what they’d like for Christ­mas. This way they’ll get a gift they want and like, and it won’t be wasted. Ham­per your­self! Lots of com­pa­nies sell Christ­mas ham­pers, but chances are that some of the stuff gets wasted. So why not make our own? It saves money and you can per­son­alise it – you could pack­age up a DVD, pack of pop­corn and mini bot­tle of fizz for a movie lover or se­lec­tion of bis­cuits, cakes and jams rather than pay­ing over the odds for a pre-packed ver­sion! Give and regift. I bet we’ve all got a few un­wanted pressies in the back of our cup­boards. So dust them off and regift to some­one else, or sell them on eBay to add a few pounds to your Christ­mas shop­ping fund.

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