CHRISTMAS: Do your research and make most of savings to avoid festive pinch

Last minute Christmas shoppers in Nottingham brave heavy rain today on Christmas Eve.
Last minute Christmas shoppers in Nottingham brave heavy rain today on Christmas Eve.
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It’s three days before Christmas and you still haven’t gotten around to sending out, writing, or possible even buying your Christmas cards?

Before you panic and start frantically searching Royal Mail’s website for the ‘last delivery’ times, consider some festive E-greetings cards. They’re a great choice as an alternative to traditional greeting cards as they’re better for the environment - since they don’t need to be manufactured, transported or disposed of - they’re delivered instantly, and there’s so many varieties available now that can all be personalised and animated.

Best of all - they’re usually free, which is something we could all use a little of at this time of year.

The pinch of the pennies is often the most difficult part of Christmas, with many of us feeling the strain on our wallets thanks to a combination of gifts, food and drink and socialising. According to recent figures, people typically spend around £506 on Christmas - and it’s a figure that grows a little every year.

Here are a few ways to avoid carrying a financial hangover into the new year:

- Do research to make sure savings on ‘tempting’ special offers are not exaggerated. Always check out reviews before making a big purchase and consider where the best places are likely to be to buy certain items. Compare prices and look for deals online.

- Watch for hidden costs, such as postage, which could reduce the discount.

- Be quick. Some online deals sell out in seconds, so when you’ve done your research, be prepared to make your move.

- Look out for codes for free shipping and discounts on purchase price.

- Be a VIP. Some retailers release details of special offers to their VIP members first, so it may be worth signing up to receive their emails. If you’re worried about your inbox overflowing, set up an email account specifically for these types of offers.

- Don’t necessarily wait until discount days like Black Friday, as some offers start earlier.