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Christmas big shop top tips

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It’s an event which comes once a year. It’s not Christmas we’re talking about but the Christmas ‘Big Shop’.

Getting all your food and drink ready for the festive period, the big shop involves a tour around the supermarket, stocking up on all the festive treats for the big day.

Buying all your nibbles can be expensive. Remember, you need to buy your usual food along with anything special you might want to buy for Christmas. Be mindful of how much extra you’re spending. Although Christmas is a once-a -year event, you will still need to pay your rent, bills and other expenses as usual. They don’t stop for Christmas.

To get yourself prepared for the dash around the shops, here are our top tips.

Plan ahead

Make a list of your usual weekly shop and then add on what you need to buy extra for Christmas. Will you be cooking Christmas dinner at home? Will you be hosting any family or friends? Think about who will be around your home at Christmas so you know the amount of extra food you need to buy.

Get your fridge and/or freezer ready. Sort out enough room for the extra food you will need to store.

Make sure you don’t waste any unused food. See what you can create with your leftovers with LoveFoodHateWaste.

Get your vouchers ready

Scour the internet for vouchers. The more you can save on your big shop the better. Just like in magazines, there are a range of websites which offer vouchers for discounts on everyday products. Take a look before you go out shopping to see what you can save.

Find out more on vouchers here

Set a budget

It could be tempting to overspend a bit for the festive season but make sure you stick to a limit. Figure out how much you can afford to spend and take this out in cash. This way you will stay within your budget. 

Save on the bubbly

Looking to buy some wine or bubbly to celebrate Christmas? Thanks to Money Saving Expert they have found places you can go to online for deals and discounts on champagne and wine.

Check them out here (go to tip no.33).

Don’t go hungry

Make sure you’ve eaten before you set out to the supermarket. If you go out hungry and see food you could be tempted to buy more. Eat you breakfast, lunch, tea or a snack before you head out.

Get to know 'use by' and 'best before' jargon

Do you know the difference? The 'use by' date means that you should use that item before the date printed. After that, you should throw it away. With 'best before', this is the manufacturer's view of when the item has reached its best quality. You can still use it after this date but it may lose its taste or quality.

Shop in the evening 

Supermarkets tend to reduce items throughout the day. You might find that some items can be reduced by up to 75% after 7pm. The downside to this is that you may lose out on any particular products you were looking to buy as they may have been snapped up.

Buy own brands

Save money by going for own brands rather than high end products. You might not notice the difference compared to a high end product.

Make sure you look out for these own brands. Supermarkets tend to put higher priced goods at eye level to catch you. Look above and below eye level to find the cheaper products. 

Try the local market

It’s not just the supermarket you can go to. Try your local market or smaller shops to see if you can find a better deal on the items you need to buy.

Plan ahead for next year

When all the dust has settled, start to plan for next year. It might seem a long time coming, but it will be with you more quickly then you think.

  • Put away a few pounds each week in a savings account. By the time it rolls around to Christmas again, you could have enough to pay for your Christmas shopping and more for the end of the year.
  • Some supermarkets like Sainsbury’s let you earn points every time you spend. Why not save these points all year round and use them for your Christmas shop? You could slash part of your bill when you come to the till.
  • In the run up to Christmas, buy the odd thing you need every week and store them away in your ‘Christmas cupboard’. Look to buy items which will last a while like crisps, nuts and chocolate.

There you have it. Get prepared for the mad dash and get your big shop sorted. Then get home, relax and enjoy Christmas.

We have a range of money saving tips on shopping down the aisles, saving on your bills, getting the most out of your money and budget planners

To find out more, click here.