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Watch our last episode of Shop Talk where CarrieMumsnet discusses surviving the Christmas shop with Ruth Langsford. NOW CLOSED

(342 Posts)
KatieBMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 05-Nov-13 14:00:43

Last week MNers were asked how they get the best deals on Christmas food and present shopping.

Watch episode 4 of Shop Talk now for tips on savvy seasonal shopping.



Barclaycard Freedom Rewards, in association with Mumsnet, created a new weekly online chat show, Shop Talk, and this is the last episode.

Here's what Barclaycard have to say about the show: "This is the final episode of Shop Talk, a weekly chat show where weve tackled the big shopping stories that you're talking about. A different presenter has hosted each show, and for our last show it was Ruth Langsford. Two panellists, including shopping blogger Emily and Carrie from MNHQ, joined Ruth to discuss surviving the Christmas shop and stocking filler saviours.

With regards to the Barclaycard Freedom Rewards credit card, Barclaycard say: Freedom Rewards is a credit card designed to reward you for the way you already shop. Collect Freedom Rewards points everywhere, and double at UK supermarkets and petrol stations, to turn into vouchers to spend at our huge range of high street and online shop.
If you loved Shop Talk and want to see the highlights from all four shows watch out for them here from Monday 18th November.

Thanks,

MNHQ

CrewElla Tue 05-Nov-13 22:07:55

I make a list of all the people who will be getting a gift and decide what to get them.

As much as possible I try to do my shopping on-line as it is more convenient, less stressful, and easier to comparison shop.

Then, when I've finished my shopping, I usually find more to get and keep spending up until Christmas Eve.

mirpuppet Wed 06-Nov-13 00:28:30

I like amazon black Friday deals and usually get a couple of things from that site.

I also use forums and code. Besides mumsnet. I go to MSE grabbit; UK hot deals etc.

I also try and get my DH to do as much of the gift buying as possible. He's brillant does it in 2 hours one random day in mid-Dec.

So in sum I try and stay out of the stores.

most of my shopping is done online I keep an eye on hot UK deals and the bargain pages for the best deals glitches and offers. I started my Christmas shopping in august and am yet to pay full rrp for anything grin im sure it will happen though. With food and drink shopping for Christmas I try and keep any coupons I can that can be used and save some money up on a store card from November time to help knock it down a bit. It is usually an asda card. I always reserve the things I want from argos as I hate going all the way there to find out something is out of stock! I think it's important to have a list and a general idea of what your buying otherwise all he'll breaks loose and I end up buying stuff that I then wonder why I did.

forgot to answer the other questions that yes I buy specific items based on what I think that person would love even if it takes a bit more searching. I hate buying gifts that won't be much loved and avoid bath sets like the plague

BoohPear Wed 06-Nov-13 08:30:27

I have a think about what I want to get everybody, or continually ask "what do you want for christmas?" I google to find out the prices etc, I use Facebook for independent crafters and the bargain threads on here for all the best deals and I started in September!

For food, we do a hamper for the in-laws every year and tend to just add a few bits to our shopping bill in the run up to Christmas to spread the cost and source a few fresh things from local butchers etc. I've no idea how to get a bargainous Christmas food shop though, my basket on Ocado is £150 at the minute!

BoohPear Wed 06-Nov-13 08:31:30

Oh and I google voucher codes for every online shop I go on now!

It takes over doesn't it booh I needed something from a real life shop this week and found myself stood there thinking what no discounts or voucher codes. begrudgingly handed over the money feeling hard done too grin

BoohPear Wed 06-Nov-13 08:37:56

I know. You feel cheated paying full price!

MrsPnut Wed 06-Nov-13 08:55:01

I buy early and spread it out. I look for bargains and the thread on here is invaluable.
I bought my wine and fizz for christmas using the 25% off 6 bottles or more at sainsbury's last week - I also put my nectar points towards it.
I bought a couple of bottles of baileys when Morrisons had it on offer and will look out for similar deals. I have crackers, chocolates and biscuits already stashed and have been buying one or two extras each week.
My christmas food shop will still be nearly £200 but it feeds us for a few weeks.

AnnaConda Wed 06-Nov-13 09:28:26

I buy appropriate gifts from the January sales onwards - if I see just the right present for someone and it's a bargain I buy. Storing things round the house can be tricky and on occasion I have "lost" presents blush so a list of hiding places is useful.

I'm going to have a look at the tesco clubcard site and try and use vouchers for present maybe magazine subscriptions or memberships. I bought some discounted Christmas chocs at Sainsburys this week.

I buy loads at my local Marks and Spencer Outlet store. Last year Debenhams had some great half price kitchen electricals online.

I do a last minute top up shop going round the shops for stocking fillers and things that catch my eye especially if they are already discounting just before the 25th.

Willemdefoeismine Wed 06-Nov-13 09:32:55

Spread out buying presents and Christmas food. Start in September and budget a certain amount every month with a higher spend on food than pressies in December. I am an avid bargain hunter and becoming ever more so as the money in one's pocket seems to go less far.....

Really keeping an eye on Reastie' s fab threads and just looking out for any ways to save money (free P&P, % off....) and 3 for 2 offers. Checking in to Martin Lewis's Moneysavingexpert website early am and late pm for additional good offers.

It can take over your life though - bargain hunting....

DrankSangriaInThePark Wed 06-Nov-13 10:18:18

Well, obviously we use the lovely Reastie's bargain thread....

Doesn't everyone? grin

That aside, I never buy anything online unless there is a code/% off/freebie, use Quidco/TCB and regularly peruse MSE/HUKD etc etc.

Real shops I leave to a few days before Christmas when they've reduced the tat.

JaquelineHyde Wed 06-Nov-13 10:38:11

Drank I was just coming on to say that..

Reastie's bargainous Christmas thread (now on thread 20 I believe) has been a life saver for me this year.

Thanks to that thread I started my shopping super early and have managed to access some of the best deals on the internet and be first in line for <shock horror> real life shopping bargains.

The last few bits I need will be bought in the next week or so and everything is wrapped so I really can enjoy the entire festive season.

Top tip - Ignore all the moans about it only being July etc START EARLY and never pay the full price if you can help it (starting early means you have time to find deals on everything you need).

manfalou Wed 06-Nov-13 11:10:39

Make a list of all the people we need to buy for and go out to the bargain shop to get them a gift set or something.

For the kids we start super early and don't buy anything unless its reduced or has a discount code attached. We have loads of presents already this year and havnt spent much. HotUKDeals is the site I use, got a Vtech switch and go Dino reduced from £33 to £13 yesterday.

Xmas food shopping... we always eat at someone else's house or out around xmas so don't do an xmas shop.

BornToFolk Wed 06-Nov-13 11:35:30

I'm always on the look out for bargains. I got lots of good toy bargains in the Boots sale back in October when they were heavily reduced. That pretty much sorted all the children I have to buy for!
For DS, I buy little gifts and stocking fillers as I see good deals. If I have something in mind for his main present, I'll search online for the best deal and use vouchers/cash back sites. I put things on both our Amazon wishlists so that I can keep track of price fluctuations and swoop in when they go down.

Adults can be a bit trickier as it depends what I see, or what they want but I do try to get bargains when I can. However, I'm going to a craft fair this weekend and hope to get some presents there. They are unlikely to be particularly bargainous but I'm hoping to get some unique gifts and support local businesses in the process, which will offset the guilt of buying lots of plastic toys shipped in from China in the Boots sale! grin

For food, I start stocking up early, again when I see good deals. For example, Tesco recently did a 3 for 2 offer on baking ingredients so I got things for the Christmas Cake then. If they do a good deal on wine before Christmas I will stock up (and try not to drink it before the festive season!) I save Nectar points and Tesco vouchers for the big food shop. I know it's not the best way to use Tesco vouchers but getting a bit of money off your Christmas shop does ease the pressure a bit.

Things like wrapping paper, cards and decorations are bought in the January sale for the following year. I've got quite a stash ready and waiting and it's one less thing to buy in the run up to Christmas.

Spirael Wed 06-Nov-13 12:20:08

Planning, lots of planning!

For gifts, I start with a list of everyone we're buying for and a rough estimate of the amount of money I want to spend. At the same time, I normally try and come up with some ideas of what I want and grill my own family for similar ideas.

Then I contact each person on the list or their immediate family and check whether there's anything in particular they'd like or a collaborative gift they'd like me to join in for getting. That normally resolves at least half the list straight away!

For the remaining people, I then brainstorm the sorts of things they'd like and then spend a few evenings researching the ideas and seeing what the best deal is I can get them. I then order these, online usually but sometimes arrange to pick up in store if possible.

Anyone left after all that, I then spend some of my lunch hours browsing likely shops for inspiration on something I could get them before repeating my researching step once I have an idea.

For food, I've already sat down and planned the meals over the festive period, making a big list of everything we're going to need. I'm now slowly acquiring the non perishable items in weekly shops as and when I see them on offer. Wine was on a good offer last week, so we now have a well stocked wine cupboard all ready.

My food delivery is already booked (but can be edited) for the 23rd Dec and the Meat order is going to the butchers this weekend!

supergreenuk Wed 06-Nov-13 12:40:46

I visit discount stores and use offers when I see them to save money. I am an early Christmas shopper so I can spread the cost.

Christmas food shopping is done at morrisons and they do a money coupon scheme.

StillNoFuckingEyeDeer Wed 06-Nov-13 12:50:53

For food shopping I check prices on mysupermarket and buy as much as possible in advance when it's on offer.

I start looking for good deals from around September and compare prices online first before buying anything.

MadMonkeys Wed 06-Nov-13 12:58:38

I buy a lot in the previous year's sales... And buy the rest online where it is easier to compare prices, or go to cheap places like TK Maxx or The Works.

CMOTDibbler Wed 06-Nov-13 13:14:47

I work out what I need to buy for everyone, then price check it. No random buying bits just to have more either - thats a way to spend loads without noticing.

I save my points from Boots/Nectar or whatever to spend at Christmas

IncaAztec Wed 06-Nov-13 13:26:42

I shop smart by having a list and sticking to it. My family don't seem to like surprises anyway!

I allocate gifts to each person to get a great deal, however, some things are not really available in the shops locally (very rural) and I have to factor in the petrol to go and fetch them from different places. This is where online shopping comes in...

I use Reastie's Bargain thread on here from about July. I have a vague budget for each person I buy for but if I can get something as a bargain, even better. I don't feel obliged to spend extra (e.g. If I have a budget of £5 for someone and I get a £7 item for £3.50 I don't feel I have to then buy something else for £1.50).

I buy food stuff early too. I know it's not hugely popular on here but I buy my turkey early (either frozen or fresh - in which case I freeze it) as they seem to go up in price in December.

Thinkingofmyfabfour Wed 06-Nov-13 17:18:52

Never buy anything full price- either find a voucher code or shop around for a deal.
I tend to choose a theme eg clothing, books etc and get everyone that.

CheeseTMouse Wed 06-Nov-13 17:56:20

I make sure that what I buy is something that I know is really wanted by the recipient. I keep a list as people (close family) mention things across the year so that I am confident I am not wasting money on something they don't want. I also don't buy things for the sake of it - so resist the mounds of Christmas tat there is in the shops!

I have agreed with relatives that we will only buy for children rather than the money-go-round that has typified past Christmasses. I also make sure that we always check for a voucher and check online for the best price...where appropriate asking the retailer to price match.

Basically this all boils down to planning and being disciplined about what to buy and not being sucked in by impulse buys.

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