BRACE YOUR­SELVES, HERE’S... Your 100 day count­down to

Sunday Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - Saira Khan - BY WAR­REN SHUTE

Write a plan to in­clude meals out, meals in and par­ties. Talk to fam­ily and friends and com­mit to dates. Set a bud­get. Start with fam­ily. Don’t for­get work’s Se­cret Santa and teach­ers. Sign up for store sales alerts – it can save £100s. Get the fam­ily to join in. Put lose change into a jar to go to­wards Christ­mas din­ner. A fam­ily of four could save £150. Start a sep­a­rate bank ac­count and put in a reg­u­lar amount. Don’t touch it un­less it is for tick­ing things off your fes­tive list. Cut out the booze and raise cash for Macmil­lan cancer sup­port. It could save you up to £200. Buy­ing train tick­ets 12 weeks in ad­vance can save up to 51 per cent. See tick­et­ and train­ Search for dis­counts on presents with Voucher­ and Search dis­count stores or on­line for bar­gains. Or send free eCards – 100 free eCards could save you over £100. Gather fam­ily and friends to make a Christ­mas pud­ding. To­day is the day to make your pud so it’s per­fectly matured for the big day. Wishes are said to come true on this day, so get stir­ring! Don’t get caught up in the hype. Work your way through your list. If it’s not avail­able and you don’t see some­thing sim­i­lar, walk away. To­day is the per­fect day to buy a real tree that will still look­ing sprightly by Christ­mas. Try to hold off un­til now to avoid the nee­dles drop­ping be­fore the 25th. Spray branches with wa­ter from an old clean­ing bot­tle to keep them fresh and wa­ter it from the base too. Royal Mail says De­cem­ber 18 is the last post­ing day for Christ­mas. Send­ing 100 cards 2nd class, rather than 1st class would save you £9, enough for a few stock­ing fillers! Noth­ing gets you in the mood for Christ­mas like a good film. To­day a high bud­get re­make of Mary Pop­pins star­ring Emily Blunt hits cin­e­mas. Do­ing your food shop­ping on De­cem­ber 23 means you won’t be fight­ing crowds on Christ­mas Eve. Shops are only closed on Christ­mas Day, so don’t buy too much. Stick to your list. You should by now be or­gan­ised enough that there is no rea­son to leave the house. Put on some Christ­mas mu­sic, wrap the pressies and peel the spuds if you’re feel­ing en­er­getic.

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