Christmas is magical, we all know this. However, it can also be an extremely expensive time of year. With swelling families all around and the ever-growing desire to have the latest gadget, it can really start getting expensive quickly. Check out these tips for preparing for Christmas early:

Start buying early

When I say start buying early, I don’t just mean with gifts. You can start by pre-ordering a Christmas Tree ready for collection in the festive period. The same goes with a Turkey. Not only will this save lots of last-minute panic buying the first thing you see, but it will also give you an idea on what budget you can allocate elsewhere.

Black Friday/ Cyber Monday

The post-Thanksgiving weekend sales really have become a different beast in the last few years. It has expanded worldwide and Amazon will have some great deals available.

Add items of interest to a list well in advance of the date and check the list in the lead up and during the event to see if there are any discounts. If not, then go ahead and buy them at the rate you would’ve paid anyway.

Utilise eBay

eBay is not just full of used items. It is often full of new items sold at discount rates. Search hard and you can find some great items at fantastic prices. For larger items I’d suggest searching for Collection Only and using an eBay Courier to help shift them.

If you’re feeling really prepared, search eBay in late January/ early February to find bargains for the following Christmas as this is when unwanted gifts are sold!

You can also make extra cash in the lead up to the festive season by selling unwanted clutter that may have accumulated over the year.

Visit Arts & Crafts Fairs

Strolling around an arts and crafts fair is a great way to find some low-cost gifts. You can find some beautiful hand-crafted pieces that will feel much more personal than a bottle of wine or a small gadget.

You can also find craftspeople here who can make larger personalized items for somebody special.

Family Secret Santa

This is something that has become very popular in our family. All of the adults will be entered into one of the many secret santa generators that the web has to offer. It will then email each participant with who they are buying for and with a budget. This means that each person is likely to get one good quality gift rather than multiple smaller ones and it also keeps costs down for everybody.