Christmas can be an expensive time of year, but luckily there are ways to save money. Here's how to get your Christmas shopping for free.
Christmas is just around the corner, which means we all might be beginning to feel the pinch. If you're anything like us, you've probably still got a few gifts to buy.; To help you cut costs or get ahead for next year, we’ve compiled a list of 10 different methods that will help you grab those last-minute gifts with minimal or no outlay.
Loyalty cards let you earn rewards as you shop with participating retailers. Points turn into monetary value and you can save them up throughout the year and cash them in at expensive times, such as birthdays and Christmas. Many big stores offer loyalty cards, such as Boots and Tesco. Nectar reward card lets you collect points at a range of retailers, such as Sainsbury’s, Argos and eBay.
Simply use your loyalty card whenever you shop to collect points. Make sure you take advantage of the offers that come through the door to double or triple your points, and by Christmas, you’ll be laughing.
Many stores have special offers at Christmas. Boots are famous for their 3 for 2 Christmas gifts; combine that with your Advantage Card points, and Christmas could be wrapped up with more than one free gift.
It pays to write a list of gifts before going shopping to save money. It can be all too easy to get carried away with special offers, but going prepared means you can hunt out the maximum discounts and freebies.
Cashback sites such as Quidco and Top Cashback give you money back every time you shop online with one of their selected retailers. This is another way to collect rewards over the year. Not only will these accumulate towards your Christmas shopping, but you could also get a little extra to put towards other gifts.
Some banks and credit card providers offer reward cards. They give you rewards on your everyday purchases in the form of vouchers or cashback, depending on the type of card. Save up these rewards until the end of the year and exchange them for gifts or even the Christmas food shop. Compare reward cards here.
Did you know there are apps out there that pay you money? One such app is Mistplay. If you enjoy playing games like Candy Crush on your phone, then this one is a must-have. Mistplay allows you to earn points that can be cashed in for vouchers from key retailers, such as Amazon, H&M John Lewis or even in the form of a prepaid Mastercard.
Christmas is the perfect time to enter competitions online. Many businesses do Christmas advent calendars on social media with prizes every day. Increase your chances by entering as many as you can. Prizes vary from iPhones to £250 JD sports vouchers, and ASOS spend limits.
If you have free time in a day, you could earn money by completing surveys. Rewards differ depending on the survey, so look out for the higher paying ones. You can do a few surveys per week and save the rewards until Christmas.
Some banks will pay you cash for simply switching your current account to them. With cash or vouchers up to £125 in value, this is a fantastic way to get your Christmas shopping completed on a budget. Compare your options here.
There are many incentives around at this time of year that can help you earn some free cash. All you have to do is recommend your friends with a referral link to join services you are a part of or sign up via a referral link.
Zilch is offering £15 for every referral and new sign up at the moment. This is a stackable offer; the more people that you recommend, the more cash you can earn. Park Christmas savings offer £10 for referrals and kids card app Go Henry is giving away £20 per referral, which again is stackable.
It pays to keep an eye on your social media feeds where people share these offers and your emails for any incentives coming from companies you are with. Just remember to check things out before submitting any personal details, as there are many scams at this time of year.
Coupons are a great way to get free Christmas shopping, and there are loads of different ways to collect them. You can find physical coupons in newspapers and magazines, or you can find digital versions online. There are also lots of websites that list current coupon codes for a range of different stores, so it’s worth checking these out before doing any online shopping.
It’s not just banks that entice customers with free cash or vouchers, utility companies, TV companies and Broadband suppliers are all known to do the same. Use a comparison site, such as Uswitch, to check out the current offers. Often suppliers offer bill credit or cashback to switch, which means you could use the money you would have spent on the bill to buy Christmas shopping.
As you can see, with a bit of creativity, you can bag yourself free Christmas shopping, discounts and a stress-free festive period this year. Of course, for some of the above, you will need time to reap the rewards, such as loyalty cards, but if you start in January, Christmas 2022 will be much cheaper, we promise.
We've already put some of these into practice this year and have a spring in our steps because of it. All that's left to say is happy shopping and enjoy the Holidays!
Salman is our personal finance editor with over 10 years’ experience as a journalist. He has previously written for Finder and regularly provides his expert view on financial and consumer spending issues for local and national press.