Christmas may be over a month away, but that doesn't mean you can't start thinking about how to save money over this fun-filled period. To help you make better decisions about how to spend and manage your money, here at Money Dashboard we've pulled together a handy list of 50 money saving tips that can help get your Christmas finances in shape.
1. Start saving early to spread the cost.
2. Declutter and sell unwanted items via eBay or sites like MusicMagpie.
3. Stick to a shopping list to avoid overspending.
4. Avoid present pressure by leaving the children at home when you shop.
5. Ask people what they want for Christmas early to avoid panic buying.
6. Make a no-present pact with frugal friends.
7. Organise a Secret Santa.
8. Make your own gifts.
9. Source holly and mistletoe locally to help you decorate for free.
10. For designer gifts at budget prices, get to an outlet village.
11. Upcycle old furniture to spruce things up.
12. Frame/reprint old photos for a sentimental gift.
13. Take advantage of early offers in-store.
14. Use lovefoodhatewaste.com to calculate portion sizes.
15. Fill stockings with useful items like batteries.
16. Send a free letter from Santa.
17. Make the most of comparison sites like our Amazon Price Beater.
18. Get paid to shop with Quidco.
19. Try an Amazon and eBay discount finder.
20. Search for voucher codes and offers before committing.
21. Compare supermarket prices using mySupermarket.
22. Buy own-brand products.
23. Buy your vegetables loose instead of in packets.
24. Try local markets for seasonal goods.
25. Team up with neighbours to buy from wholesalers like CostCo.
26. Barter over live chat when shopping online to save on electronics.
27. Make the most of credit card cashback.
28. Be careful when shopping online - avoid credit card fraud by resisting the prompts to store your details.
29. Bake cookies or cakes for family as gifts.
30. Seeing anyone after Christmas? Buy their gift in Boxing Day sales.
31. For everyone else: write a Christmas IOU. They'll understand (if you deliver!).
32. Save on wrapping by using leftover wallpaper or cheap florist supplies.
33. Use last year's cards to make gift labels.
34. Buy an artificial tree: it's cheaper and lasts longer.
35. Make your own decorations.
36. Create a Christmassy scent by sticking cloves into oranges and hanging with ribbon.
37. Book holiday travel well in advance.
38. Share a car or taxi with friends and family to save on petrol.
39. Post Christmas cards by hand.
40. Save on Air Mail. Meet the 20th November surface mail deadline for post to Western Europe.
41. On pension credit, employment and support allowance, or incapacity benefit? Buy up to 36 first and second-class stamps at 2011 prices.
42. Go cardless: send free e-cards.
43. Ask party guests to bring drinks or snacks.
44. Make your own biscuits and truffles.
45. Hosting a Christmas bash? Cruise to a Calais hypermarket for cheaper supplies.
46. Buy alternative meats for Christmas dinner.
47. Leave the oven open after cooking it'll save on heating.
48. Maximise value from roast meats with soups, stews and curries.
49. Freeze leftovers and enjoy them into the New Year.
50. Keep on top of your Christmas spending by using our free budget planner. We use the same level of security as the high street banks, meaning your details are 100% safe and secure.