Martin Lewis shares 6 money-saving tips to help cut costs this Christmas

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The MoneySavingExpert has revealed some top saving tips for the festive period

Christmas is an expensive time of year for many households, which has now been exacerbated by rising inflation and the cost of living crisis.

As many look to cut down on costs this festive season, MoneySavingExpert (MSE) founder Martin Lewis has issued his top tips on managing finances over the Christmas period.

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The following tips have been collated from the MoneySavingExpert website as well as Mr Lewis’ weekly email, and advice given on ITV’s The Martin Lewis Money Show.

Martin Lewis says hundreds of thousands of people are yet to claim financial support from the government and their local council.Martin Lewis says hundreds of thousands of people are yet to claim financial support from the government and their local council.
Martin Lewis says hundreds of thousands of people are yet to claim financial support from the government and their local council.

Plan your spending

Mr Lewis says it is vital to work out exactly how much money you have to spend over Christmas. On ITV ’s Money Show, he advised viewers: "One of the things I always say that people do wrong at the festive time is they create a ‘lust list’.

“They have a perfect Christmas pictured in your mind of everything you want, exactly how it’s going to be. And then you try and work out how you can do it. Please don’t do that. That’s likely to lead to debt or disappointment in your circumstance.

"We don’t want you to get in debt in the new year. See friends and family, talk to people, eat, watch the telly, and have a good time. I think sharing time is more important. Cut your cloth accordingly and go cold turkey if you can’t afford it. We are in a cost of living crisis. Christmas is one day – do not ruin your lives for Christmas."

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Book Christmas food delivery slots early

MSE says Christmas is the busiest time of year to secure a delivery slot so you will want to get in early. Most supermarkets, including Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda, have now all released their slots.

Lots of them have been taken already, so it is worth checking what is available soon. It is also worth looking if you can change your order after booking your slot, as it may help you save some extra money and prevent food waste if you think you have ordered too much.

Online shopping hacks

One way to keep costs down when shopping this Christmas is to browse the web for cheap online deals. Mr Lewis has recommended several helpful websites, including:

  • for good price comparisons across high street shops
  • to monitor Amazon price changes over time
  • to find an item with the exact value needed to qualify for free Amazon delivery
  • to get alerts when prices drop on a particular item

He also advises to go to the store’s online chatbots and ask for a discount. While it is not always guaranteed to be successful, it sometimes works.

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Take steps to reduce energy bills

Households can bring in small changes but still make significant savings on their energy bills this winter according to MSE. Homes with a combi boiler are advised to reduce the flow temperature which is usually set higher than needed.

The same can be done with the water temperature in your boiler which is often also set to higher than necessary. Octopus Energy says a temperature of about 55°C should be enough for most.

  • Investing in a cylinder jacket for your hot water cylinder to insulate it (cost is roughly £15)
  • Turn off radiators in rooms you aren’t using
  • Bleed your radiators regularly to stop air from being trapped inside
  • Checking the pressure gauge on your boiler (anywhere between 1.0 and 2.0 bar is recommended)

Decorate on a budget

If you buy IKEA’s £25 real Christmas tree you will be given a £10 voucher to spend in store between Monday 9 January, and Sunday 12 February. This means you can effectively get the tree for £15 if you use the voucher on a £10 item within the spending period.

For those who don’t mind holding off on decorating until a little closer to Christmas day, some shops will reduce the price of their decorations in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

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Sell unused items

Mr Lewis advises walking around your home and looking at items received as gifts or things you bought last year and if you haven’t used it, sell it.

He reminded ITV viewers that eBay, Facebook and Gumtree are all handy places to sell any unwanted items, which could help to bring in a little extra cash.

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