I put away a set amount every month ready to budget for Christmas - this means that during the year if I come across any great bargains I have the money and can stash away presents. I dont have a huge amount of people to buy for which helps!
The presents I got at BHS are for the babies in the family because there the ones who cant ask for anything! lol - as they get older and know what they want it gets more difficult.
What I used to do is say I budget £20 for somebody - if I got something reduced from £20 to £10 I would also spend the other £10 on them to make it up. Now however, if I see something for £20 reduced to £10 thats all they get! £20 is what I would have spent if I hadnt got that thing reduced and if I save £10 that goes into my savings.
I was quite lucky last year - got nearly everything reduced - even before Xmas the on-line discounts were really good. I also used my Tesco credit card to pay for everything (direct debit set up to pay off in full every month) so I can collect the points for magazine subs as presents. I always go through Quidco - even 2% cashback all adds up. I also check various sites (including my favourite - moneysavingexpert.com) for vouchers and free delivery codes - didnt pay for any delivery at all this year.
Extra food is included in my budget - I do 2 shops for Christmas food which I keep seperate from my household budget - first one is for stuff that will keep and the 2nd one is for the fresh stuff. Got a great piece of brisket reduced from nearly £10 to £1.87 (I actually got a lot of bargains that day - have a picture on my camera and when I can find it under all the mess in this house I will post a picture!)
So on gifts and christmas stuff (cards etc bought in previous years sales!) for Xmas 2011...
Spent - £396.50
Would have cost - £703
So saved a whopping £306.50
Food - on both shops together spent just under £90 (including stuff for New Year)
My budget was £540 (12 x £45)
Total spend - £486.50
So very pleased I can put another £53.50 away in my savings!
Knocking up some odd meals with what's left
11 hours ago