It’s the most wonderful time of the year but it also is the most stressful. The lead up to Christmas is when we Britons spend the most and also when we borrow the most. Christmas can be incredibly expensive for folk working and living with a tight budget so what can you do to make this Christmas more affordable?
Well you can learn how to blag a deal of course. And these days the best place to do it is online. Here are some of the best sites to keep an eye on in the lead up to Christmas.
Amazon (around) Black Friday
Remember a few years ago when news hit of people going crazy in Asda & Tesco locations up and down the country because the stores decided to copy the American tradition of Black Friday? Well turns out that it wasn’t the best of ideas as people went a little too crazy fighting over cheap TVs and anything with a massive reduced sticker on it. Luckily though we can still get ridiculously good savings on our Christmas presents right from the sofa.
Amazon’s version of Black Friday is the online retailer’s biggest day of the year and there’s a good reason why; they go big time on reducing the kinds of products that are ideal for someone’s big Christmas present, or the stocking stuffer.
Now some other sites like Argos, John Lewis and Currys have felt the need to one-up Amazon in recent years and (at the time of writing) Argos is floating about rumours they’ll be having a £150 PS4 deal if that gives a good indication of how competitive it’s getting. I would highly recommend in the week leading up to Black Friday to follow tech and gadget sites like Techradar and Gizmodo UK as they publish daily stores on what the deals will most likely be.
Detest getting or giving the same old pre-packaged Lynx Africa box that will never get used? Well there is a way to one-up all your family on Christmas by giving them special days out as presents. Sites like Groupon like to have deals for getting your mum or gran a fancy massage in London, your sis a deal on her fake tan for a big night out or your dad a round of golf for cheaper than it would usually cost to go to these places and buy a voucher in store.
This is an underutilised tool in Google that I’ve found to be much better than Skyscanner. If you’re really stuck at a loss for what to do with your family’s Christmas presents, how about flying them all to Dublin for £40?
The Google Flights app is a calendar where you search for flights to destination by location and date. So if for example you wanted to fly to Ireland, you tell Google where and roughly when, and you’ll get emails every time the price of the flights goes down. It’s much easier than just clicking on to EasyJet of Ryanair and hoping there’s a sale on.
The Trainline (or any train site)
Talking of journeys, Christmas is weirdly enough the best time to blag yourself a cheap staycation somewhere in the country, especially if you take a trip by train.
12 weeks. That’s your magic window for getting a cheap train ticket, and it is also roughly the same amount of time between Christmas and Easter. Just like the flights thing, you could always book a day away for the whole family with cheap train tickets that would make for a better experience than having to give someone a pair of socks for the third year in a row.
These are just a few simple tips for getting cheaper (and better!) presents for everyone this Christmas.