WITH just nine weeks to go, this year’s Christmas is shaping up a little differently.
And our budgets are set to be stretched even more than usual.
But if you are canny and organised you can pick up early bargains. Follow our guide and you could save up to £1,020.
On average, families spend around £700 on their Christmas shopping, but a third of us are planning to shell out less than normal this year due to financial concerns caused by Covid.
Sun Savers Editor Giselle Wainwright says: “Everything has changed this year and we’re all a bit more worried about spending too much. But I refuse to let that ruin Christmas.
“Really get stuck into planning the details now. Mark these dates in your diary and, even on a budget, you can have the Christmas Day you and the family deserve.”
The British Retail Consortium is also encouraging us to start shopping now to avoid the last-minute dash, so everyone from delivery drivers to supermarket workers can stay safe.
Here, Giselle shows you how to plan ahead…
Wednesday October 21
Mid-season toy sale time. At Tesco, I like the Harry Potter invisibility cloak, was £30 now £15.
Get 50 per cent off soft toys at shopdisney.co.uk – I like the Mickey Mouse, now £20 down from £40.
Use code TREE20 to get 20 per cent off the rainbow tree at wilko.com, making it £24 instead of £30.
Use TEN Sun Savers codes (page 24) for two free tickets to Madame Tussauds, worth over £70.
Monday October 26
Thinking of gift cards as presents? Nab a £5 bonus when you buy a £20 Costa Coffee gift card before November 2. See gifting.costa.co.uk.
Buy big presents now and you’re spreading that cost and ensuring you get delivery for Christmas.
One of the big ones is a bike but stock is going fast.
Last year, Halfords cut the price of kids’ bikes by 20 per cent, with savings of up to £50 per bike.
Sunday November 1
Halloween treats will be slashed in price as there aren’t many parties to attend.
Expect up to 50 per cent off Haribo, Swizzels and the like. Save them for stockings or Christmas Eve boxes (from £1 at The Works).
Many stores are ditching Black Friday for Black November, with both B&Q and Boots already committing.
Get the Boots Yankee candle winter bundle for £25, down from £52.
Friday November 6
Sort wrapping paper. Average price is around £2, but you can get creative with newspaper or hit DIY stores for free wallpaper samples.
Snap up 50 cards for £1.99 versus the usual price of around £5 from cardfactory.co.uk.
Get outdoor decorations up, too. The inflatable dinosaur, £49.99 from studio.co.uk, is popular. Get 14 per cent cashback via quidco.com too and save nearly £7.
Wednesday November 11
Cash in on deals for fireworks left over from Bonfire Night to use for New Year.
Aldi usually has some for around £20 per box compared with £60 online.
Morrisons’ gold party pack, £23, will get you straws, plates, balloons and banners cheaper than when bought individually at partydelights.co.uk, £50.
Add a pro cocktail shaker kit, RRP £75.99, for £11.99 at onbuy.com.
Friday November 20
A great time to get in your favourite festive tipples as supermarkets usually cut the price of Champagne from £25 to around £15 and offer 25 per cent off six bottles of wine.
I have seen Mionetto Prosecco DOC Treviso at Tesco for £7.50, down from £11.
Last year I saw tubs of Celebrations for £3 instead of £6. This is the week most supermarkets launch delivery slots, too.
Friday November 27
It’s Black Friday, which means prices are slashed in High Street shops and online, on everything from clothes to cosmetics to tech to toys.
Last year, Amazon had some fab deals on TVs, including the Samsung Dynamic Crystal Colour HDR Smart 4K TV for £388, saving £120.99.
Get your non-perishable food items in the trolley, too. Mince pie prices usually drop now.
Monday November 30
Cyber Monday is when eBay usually starts running daily deals – great if you still need a bargain.
Lidl launches its Christmas trees this week and last year’s £17.99 real tree was a top seller. Artificial alternatives can cost around £79.
Plus, save even more by keeping your eyes peeled for voucher offers such as Ikea’s £20 credit to spend in store when buying one of its £29 trees.
Tuesday December 1
If you are sending parcels abroad then try to have them posted by this date to make sure they arrive in time.
The Royal Mail cut-off isn’t until December 18, but if your parcel is over 2kg it usually works out cheaper to use a courier.
Check Parcelhero.com for your individual cost, but it is around £10 less for me every time and it claims it is up to 60 per cent cheaper than other alternatives.
Monday December 7
Last year, Boots slashed the price of electricals at this point.
The Braun Series 9 Electric Shaver was down from £449.99 to £179.99!
Expect more big savings like that.
If you are planning ahead for 2021, you can switch accounts and save with Natwest and get £125 (T&Cs apply) but remember, you won’t get the money until February.
SAVING: £270 (and £125 in 2021)
Friday December 18
Send parcels second class now or you’ll have to use first class, costing around £6 extra on a medium-sized parcel.
Advent calendars are usually slashed, so buy them as stocking fillers.
Christmas veg is set to be slashed. Last year Lidl had carrots, parsnips, spuds and sprouts at just 15p a bag.
Last year Aldi’s turkeys were cheapest, at £9 for a small one, com-pared with £14 at Waitrose.
Saturday December 19
Price history comparison site idealo.co.uk says this date last year was the day to get a games console at the best average price of £227, compared to around £251.
Use cashback sites such as topcashback, quidco or mymoneypocket for big buys.
Last year at this time, topcashback was offering £15 back for Currys/PC World buys and three per cent back at Game (around £2 per top game).
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