When you’re young, Christmas is the most fun and exciting time of the year. That’s because all you need to worry about is writing your list for Santa and remembering to leave out the milk and cookies.

When you’re older, however, Christmas becomes one of the most stressful times of the year, often due to the expense. Luckily, we have some great tips to help you save some cash this Christmas, so you can enjoy the festive season without stressing about your budget:

Do some planning

We all know that Christmas comes around once a year, yet some people seem to forget about it and end up shopping at the last minute. Instead, make a list early on, for all of the people you need to buy for, along with some suggestions of gifts they would like. This will allow you to pick up Christmas gifts as you see them, often when they’re on sale- preventing a budget blow out and the stress that comes along when we realise we still have a huge group of people to buy for.

Shop Cheap

If it’s already too late and you still have lots of people on that list, be sure to find the best prices by using some of the great shopping comparison websites like Price Runner, MySupermarket and Google Shopping. That way, you can be sure you’ll always get the cheapest price- each small saving adds up.

Another good way to make sure you’re getting a deal is to sign up to your favourite retailers so you’re kept up to date with the latest deals and sale information, and also follow these stores on social media so you can be the first to know about great deals. There are also some great magazines, newspapers and websites like MoneySavingExpert which will allow you to find the best possible Christmas deals.

Voucher codes can be a great way to save some serious money with discounts and free delivery, so be sure to check out
My Voucher Codes. For friends and family members who live far away, consider sending virtual vouchers or e-cards to save on postage costs, and if you’re buying on Amazon, sign up for the 30-day Amazon Prime trial in December so you can use the free delivery (just set a reminder to cancel this after the holidays).

Be Smart with Food

If you find that you rarely have enough money left over for Christmas food and booze, you may want to use one of the great food hamper services next year, or a grocery voucher service- that way you can put a little aside each week and still end up with a great haul for Christmas.

For fresh food, consider going first thing in the morning on the 23rd of December- between 6.30am and 7.30am will have the best deals and fewer crowds.

Keep in mind that unless you’re a family who doesn’t celebrate Christmas, you’re unlikely to get away with spending no money at all, but you can still keep that Christmas magic without blowing out your budget. For more information, check out this video.