Survive January And Prepare For Christmas 2016
With the Christmas hype all over for another year, our bank balances tend to look a little depressing to say the least! With the average household spending £429 on Christmas in 2015 and many working adults being paid early in December this means a 5 week wait until the next payday. This can leave most of us really struggling to keep our heads above water in January.
To make January a little less daunting, there are quite a few ways you can save and even make some extra cash too! I have put together a list of 10 ways to save in January and even how to prepare for Christmas 2016.
Hit The Sales
Most importantly, don’t be fooled by brands offering huge sales and money off. This can lead to buying things you don’t need just because it seems like a good deal. So be very careful not to be tricked into impulse spending. Do however look for reduced Christmas items to put away for Christmas 2016.
Most shops will be wanting to clear out their old stock. I myself have picked up rolls of wrapping paper for as little as 10p and gift tags for only 5p! Another great tip is to always check the yellow sticker section of supermarkets. With most people stocking up with food before Christmas and not buying much in January, I have noticed supermarkets having a lot more overstock and therefore reduced items.
Most things in the reduced sections of supermarkets can be frozen, so if you notice some bargains it’s worth stocking up your freezer. I picked up 4 pizzas for only 30p each the other day so that’s 4 meals for just £1.20! It is also worth waiting until the final reductions at the end of the day.
Save Your Christmas Cards
If you have a creative side then it’s worth saving up your Christmas cards and cutting out the pictures to make new cards with. Not only will this save you the costs of buying new cards it’s also a great rainy day activity to do with the kids. In my experience people tend to prefer something that’s homemade rather than shop bought.
Free Things To Do With The Kids
With money being tight, taking the kids out on expensive day trips is out of the question. However there are a few things you can do outdoors without spending a penny such as:
- Welly Walks
- Nature Trails
- Geocaching (Free Treasure Hunting)
- Bike rides
Sell Your Unwanted Gifts
We all get things we don’t really want or need for Christmas and we smile politely and say thank you. But just because it’s not your cup of tea doesn’t mean someone else won’t love it. So why not sell it on! You could use the money towards paying off some debts or treat yourself to something you actually want.
Coupons & Cash back
This has got to be my favorite way to save money. Seeing the price drop at the till as the coupons are scanned gives me a huge buzz! You can find coupons on many websites such as supersavvyme.com (P&G Products) and caringeveryday ( Johnson’s Products) We also have a huge list HERE. Be sure to research the best prices in supermarkets before using your coupons and also print out their coupon policy and take it with you.
Cash Back apps are becoming more and more popular. You can use them for items you have also used a coupon with and sometimes even make a profit! For example if you have a £1 off coupon and the product is £1 you can get it for free. If you then log onto your cash back app and the same product has 50p cash back you can claim it by scanning your receipt. You have then not only got a free product but you have also made 50p!
The most popular cash back apps are:
Create A Meal Planner
Spend an evening with the family creating a meal plan for the week ahead. Use the mysupermarket website to source the best prices on the ingredients that you are going to use. Think about a certain order to do your meals that will save you the most money. For example if you have roast chicken on Tuesday you can use the leftover chicken for a curry on Wednesday. Stick to your plan and don’t be tempted to splash out on takeaways.
Recycle Your Old Mobile Phones
If you have old mobile phones lying around in the junk drawer, you can make a pretty penny with websites such as mazuma mobile and music magpie. They also accept old C.D’s, DVD’s and consoles so it’s well worth having a rummage around the house.
Swap To Own Brand Foods
I’m the first person to admit not everything you buy cheap tastes the same as branded products. Baked beans for example, you can’t beat Heinz. However there are hundreds of other foods that you honestly can’t taste the difference. It’s definitely worth trying the supermarkets own brands as it could save you a lot of money on your shopping total.
Save On Your Phone & Broadband
If you are nearing the end of your phone and broadband contract, it’s well worth giving them a ring and threatening to leave. 9 times outta 10 they will give you a better deal. I did this with sky and ended up with 6 months half price!
Get Fit For FREE
January is the time when a lot of people spend money on gym memberships. Most people (me included) feel a little overweight after putting away a few too many mince pies over Christmas. But what if I told you that you can get fit for free! YouTube is amazing for fitness videos, there are hundreds of them on there from 5 min abs videos to full cardio workouts and you don’t need to spend a penny!
This post has been kindly sponsored by The Money Advice Service if you would like to visit them to learn more information and for impartial financial advice you can do so HERE.