Despite the hike in household costs, festive spending is set to increase by 20% in the first restriction-free Christmas since the outbreak of COVID – but consumers will still be hunting for bargains, shopping smarter and stretching budgets as far as they can.
Switcher.ie’s Best Christmas Shopping Tips
— Stick to a budget: It may sound simple, but more budgeting means less splurging. Write down everyone you need to buy for, assign an amount to each person – and stick to it.
— Compare prices: If you can, compare the price of gifts in a few places before forking out. You could be surprised by the difference shop to shop, or by an unexpected discount somewhere else.
— Start a sinking fund: In the weeks leading up to Christmas, consider putting whatever extra cash you have into an online savings account, or where you can’t touch it.
— Get personal: Personalised, homemade gifts can often be cheaper. Create groups and categories for who you need to buy or make for: called ‘chunking’ it separates gifts by topic, like cooking or fashion.
— Don’t fall for marketing: Lots of brands bring out gift sets and special Christmas wrapping and charge you a premium – so don’t be fooled into buying the same item for more.
— Shop second hand: Checking sites like Done Deal or Adverts for second-hand or like-new items ahead of Christmas could save you a chunk of change. Joining discount or upcycling pages on social media will alert you of great bargains too.
— Know your rights: You have the same refund rights whether you pay on a credit or debit card, so choose what works for you. If goods you receive are faulty or not what you expected, check if you could make a charge back claim to get your money back.
— Shop online: Shopping online makes it easier to stick to your list and avoid overspending. It also means better rights; you have 14 days to change your mind and get a refund on most goods as long as they are still in the same condition as you bought them.
— Cut delivery costs: If it makes sense, try opt for click and collect, buy multiple items from the same retailer, and explore free trial subscriptions like Amazon prime, to avoid hefty delivery charges.
— Shop local: Where possible try to support local Irish businesses. You may find the gifts are more unique, and it doesn’t always mean spending more.
Eoin Clarke, commercial director of Switcher.ie, comments:
“Many of us are enjoying the freedom of our first restriction-free Christmas, but inflated costs across the board mean shoppers will want to save as much as they can, wherever they can.”
“There are simple things you can do to shop smarter and spend less. Set a budget and stick to it to avoid buying what you don’t need, compare prices to make sure you get the best deal, and consider shopping online for less distraction and better refund rights.”
“If you can, don’t forget to also support local businesses this Christmas.”