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How to save money on Christmas shopping

Which? experts reveal their money-saving tips

Two children with Christmas presents

Follow these expert tips to save money on Christmas presents, travel and food

Which? money experts share their seasonal money-saving tips on getting the most for your money, including on Christmas shopping.

The average family spends £800 on Christmas according to YouGov but with our tips you can cut a sizeable chunk off the cost. 

Whether your biggest festive expense will be food, gifts or a holiday to recover from it all, Which? has got it covered.  

  • Every month, we survey thousands of Which? members to see how they save money on everyday bills, services and purchases. You can see the full range of our members’ money-saving tips by trialling Which? for two months for £1.

Apply early for cash back credit cards

Cash back credit cards let you earn a percentage of your overall spend, paid back onto the card as credit. 

If you’re planning to put your Christmas shopping on plastic and take advantage of any introductory cashback offers, don’t leave your credit card application until the last minute. It could take a fortnight or more to be processed.

The Which? Money Compare credit card tables let you search hundreds of cards from providers large and small to choose a great deal based on quality of service as well as cost and benefits.

Which? Money Compare table: Cash back credit cards – find a great deal  

Don’t stock up on food too early

It doesn’t always pay to stock up early on your festive food. In years past, we’ve found that seasonal food can be on offer in the run-up to Christmas, meaning the higher price has been applied earlier in the season when fewer people are buying. 

The most expensive groceries aren’t necessarily the best either. See which brands offer budget-beating Best Buys in our food and drink reviews

Shopping for a gift for a gardener? Some gardening power tools – such as lawn mowers, strimmers and hedge trimmers – are on offer at this time of year as shops cut prices to clear their shelves of old stock before spring.

Track down the best price

Pricerunner.co.uk lets you compare the price of items at hundreds of shops, while camelcamelcamel.com lets you track an item’s price on Amazon and alerts you if the price drops. 

Some stores have outlets that sell discounted and refurbished stock. Our how to get discounts on products guide has plenty of info on where to find them.  

Find a hot deal in the UK

Hundreds of deals listed on hotukdeals.com are sourced by the public and rated as ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ so you can clearly see the best ones. 

It’s a particularly useful website to find the best prices on laptops, cameras and phones, but you’ll also find everything from washing machines to washing-up liquid.

Find out more: Christmas deals – Which? lists the best bargains on the high street 

Make the most of cashback sites

Cashback sites pay you a cash reward when you click through from them to buy goods or financial products. Topcashback.co.uk and quidco.com dominate the market, featuring around 4,300 firms each. 

Use the ‘notifier’ on both TopCashback and Quidco when you shop online to alert you to any cashback. However, it may not be paid quickly or even at all – it has to be successfully ‘tracked’ from one site to another through your computer’s cookies.

Find out more: Cashback sites – learn more about how cashback sites work

Be flexible with your flights

Airlines develop a split personality in December. Fly out between the 16th and 24th and you will pay some of the highest fares of the year, with airlines capitalising on passenger desire to get home for the holidays. 

If you depart between 1-15 December, or between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, prices to most destinations plummet. 

When we checked flights to Cape Town, South Africa, 15-29 December came in at £701 return, while 23 December to 4 January was £1,073.

Find out more: Best and worst airlines – see our customer reviews

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