Saturday, 10 November 2018

How To Get A Free Christmas

Christmas is a tough time for us all and this year especially for my little family, it seems harder than ever. I don't know where I am going to produce the list of things that Tilly wants for Christmas, so we actually sat her down this year to tell her that there isn't much money and she won't be getting much for Christmas this year. Luckily she understood and said she is happy with whatever she gets. Here are some tips on how to get a few bits for Christmas for free.

Loyalty card points

We all have some kind of loyalty cards now, don't we? If you don't then, I need to know why you are throwing money away. I know that they take up too much space in your purse, but these days you can add them to your smartphone. I mainly use my Superdrug Beautycard, Iceland and Co-op cards when I go shopping. The points might take a while to build up but you can get a few free things with them when the time is right. This year so far with my Co-op points I managed to get a free kitchen blender for my own personal use and a lego set for Tilly for Christmas. Unfortunately, my co-op is closing down in a few weeks and I will lose this. The Iceland card offers a savings scheme too and if you put £20 on there, you receive £2 for free (until 19th November). Not only does this help you with savings but its also giving you free money as well as the points you earn. Superdrug Beautycard often gives free gifts to its members, it's totally random and not everyone gets them, But they also have the 'win your shopping for free' a few times a year.


Top Cashback
I'm not a huge fan of this because it took me a long time to get my money out of my account, but I felt that I had to add it because they do offer great incentives for when you open an account. I received a free gift from Superdrug worth £15 just for opening an account with them. Also if you have a different email account, you could open multiple accounts to make the most of the free items. When you buy your shopping through Top Cashback, you also get a small percentage back in points and you can exchange it for voucher cards or cash in your bank, but like I said, drawing the money out is a bit of a nightmare the first time you do it.

Gift with purchase

You get a lot of gifts with purchase when it gets towards Christmas, this is because everyone wants your money. Companies are fighting to win the best percentage of sales and to be the top dog of retail. Use this to your advantage. More often than not, the free gift is actually worth a lot more than the item that you're buying. For example, maybe you need to buy three cosmetics for the price of two and get a free gift. So you are getting one cosmetic for free and the free gift. You then have two free items worth much more than you have paid for them. Superdrug are great for doing this because they sometimes have 3 for 2 across all of the makeup brands, so in the summer you could get three £1 lipsticks and walk away with a £20 free gift and all it cost was £2. You don't always get such a good bargain but always keep an eye out. Often if you are upgrading your mobile phone or tablet, you get a games console or other gift, keep that for a Christmas present.

Freebie sites

We have a few of these in Kent, where I live and if you need anything when you ask on the free site and if someone has it, they will gift it to you. This works really well and over the past few years I have asked for a few things and been able to get what I needed. It's always good to be able to give something to someone who might need a little extra help. You can usually find sites like this on Facebook. Don't ever pay to join a Facebook group like this. Don't ever be ashamed to give your kids second-hand toys for Christmas.

Make homemade gifts

The gifts are often made with love, they are the best kind of gifts and unfortunately, I am not that great at making things. Kim is and one year she made me a giant selection box full of chocolate, she made the box for free and filled it with my favourite chocolate, that cost a small fraction of what it would have cost. In the past, I have made clothes for my kids for Christmas, small toys and gifts. Bake some cookies and place them in pretty cellophane. Make some wax melts and give them as a gift.


3 for 2 gifts

Not strictly completely free, because you have to pay for two of the items but you are still getting the third one free. But it still helps to save some money. I would still shop around though because some shops do hike their prices up before they add them to a 3 for 2 deal. Argos, in particular, were found to be more expensive than other toy retailers. Always make sure that your third item is the same price as the other two items to get the maximum value of your free gift.

Sun days out vouchers

These make a different gift for somebody, The Sun newspaper offer vouchers for days out throughout the year and we have used some of the vouchers to give as gifts before. Other times we use them for a free day out nearer Christmas. They offer vouchers for Madame Tussauds or Sealife Centre through to Chessington and Alton Towers.

Sun Savers

This is the best money making app that I have! You scan in the code from your sun newspaper and it stores the code in your phone. That code counts towards a £5 credit to your account. This year I earned enough from Sun Savers to pay for a sun holiday, a Christmas food hamper and some money to go towards our Christmas dinner.


Phone apps

I have used these for quite a while and I even have written a post on the best apps to use to earn some money on. You can find it here. These apps are great for picking up some extra cash especially as some of them are minimal effort like you go shopping, get the food on the list and send your receipt through to them, within days you get your money back. Shopmium is fab and easy and if you add the code AECCUCUC then you get a jar of Nutella for free too. Every time you refer a friend, you also get £3.

Questionnaires

Register to websites that have questionnaires and you get a small amount of money to give your opinions and answer questionnaires. These can be time-consuming but the payout is good for something that might have only taken a few minutes to do. Some Questionnaire websites payout to PayPal and others pay out in shopping vouchers, that you can use as a gift or use to buy gifts

Comping

This is the best way to get free things for Christmas, but you really need to start this at the start of the year and let the things build through the year. But it really is never too late to start with 'comping' because there are loads of advent comps coming up for the festive season. My tips are to use a website like www.theprizefinder.com as well as other and work through the lists of competitions.  You could win anything from toys for your kids to your whole Christmas meal. You do have to put lots of hours into it and make sure you follow the competition rules.

Make your own decorations

This year we are going to be making our own decorations, Kim and Tilly wanted to have some Dr Who decorations, so she made them herself. Decorations like this are expensive to buy but with the use of social media and websites, you can make your own bunting from old Christmas paper or fabric.  We used some old bits of bed slats to make some TARDIS decorations and pained them blue, then hung them on the tree. With a sharpie and a silver bauble, you can make a cyberman bauble.

Recycle

Recycle old things, if you have a toy that one child has grown out of, then repaint it and do it up for another child. If you have an old dress, recycle it into a cushion for someone. If one child has grown out of a console, then pass it on to another child at Christmas. Tilly received an iPhone from her brother, it was one of his old ones, but to her, it was a special gift. If you have something special to yourself, then use Christmas to pass it on.


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