Do you find that you’re still paying for Christmas, long after it’s finished? See how this year, I paid nothing and you could too.
Although I consider myself fairly frugal when it comes to the majority of my life, I still like to splash out at Christmas. I always loved it as a kid and want the same for my children.
The fact is, it’s not cheap. I try to budget for £200 each for my three children, but that can be easier said than done. One PS4 game can set me back £50, which means that a large part of the budget is gone in one fell swoop.
With my budget blown out of the water every year, I often find myself having to resort to my credit card to cover the cost of gifts.
However, this year I promised myself that I would not spend a single penny from my credit card. So from a mixture of earning and saving, and (more importantly) not too much effort, Christmas was covered.
But, how did I get there?
Amazon vouchers are everywhere, it’s just a matter of knowing where to look.
Over £200 came just from scanning my old receipts. Simply download the receipt app, take a photo and earn. A few apps that I use regularly – Shoppix, HuYu and Shopprize. Once you get the hang of these apps, it won’t take you much more than a couple of minutes each day.
Car insurance. I earned a £50 Amazon voucher when I took out my insurance through Quote Me Happy. Ok, so they were £20 more expensive compared to my cheapest quote, but it still left me £30 better off. I could then refer my wife and we both earned another £50 each!
Surveys are the biggest earner when it comes to Amazon vouchers. There are several sites that reward you for your opinions. These sites won’t pay quite as much by the hour as a full-time job, but then I’m sure most employers wouldn’t pay you to sit on the sofa.
My final count
In total, I had £752.25 in vouchers. I would have had far more if it hadn’t been for my kids having birthdays throughout the year too.
If I’m completely honest, I’m not the biggest fan of vouchers because they are restrictive when it comes to spending. However, Amazon is generally very competitive when it comes to pricing and they stock almost anything.
And the benefits don’t end there…
Every time I shop at Amazon, I use a cashback site called KidStart. Every purchase I make means that I earn money back – usually between 1-2%. This is then paid directly into my children’s savings accounts. Not only am I spending on them, but I’m also saving for them too!
KidStart isn’t the only cashback site I use. I regularly use TopCashback which means that I earn the money and not the kids.
If it’s taking out new insurance, switching broadband or booking a holiday, I always check cashback sites to find myself a better deal.
This year, I managed to earn £214.54. This money was withdrawn straight into my bank account so I could spend it on other places except for Amazon.
I also earned £7.61 from Quidco. Possibly not worth withdrawing, but every penny counts in this case. Take a look at cashback sites in more detail.
Another big cost at Christmas is food and drink. As seems to be standard for our household, we buy too much food and then spend the following month living off leftovers.
For a large part of the year, I did the majority of my shopping at Tesco. That meant that I built up a large number of reward points – just over £95 worth.
Although I would normally recommend exchanging your points for other services (which can be worth 3 x their value), for the sake of this Christmas, they will all be spent on food.
Due to Sainsbury’s constantly offering me £15 vouchers off my shopping over the summer, I switched to them for my weekly shop. I also filled up my car regularly at my local Sainsbury’s petrol station (it’s the cheapest) which meant I built up a decent amount of Nectar points.
I say decent, it came to a total of £35. However, November sees the Double Up event at Sainsbury’s, meaning my points were worth double their value.
That meant I could buy my son his £50 PS4 game for only £25 worth of points.
My total spend
In total, that is a grand total of £1,139 towards Christmas. Even with three demanding children and my parents coming for Christmas lunch, this is more than enough.
The best thing is, all of the above can either be earned from your sofa or, by shopping as usual.
*Please note that the above post contains affiliate links. That means I may make a small commission if you make a purchase.