Money expert tells us how to save £1000 before Christmas day

With less than 50 days to go until Christmas Gareth Robinson, the money saving expert, has given his top tops that can save you a whopping £1000 before Christmas day.
• Stubbing out the fags can save you £450
• Cut out the booze and save yourself £100
• Online discounts can bag you a healthy £179
• Save as much as £250 with packed lunches
• Stop food wastage and save up to £105
• Get £40 off your next hairdo
On Tuesday, the 5th November, we hit the 50 days to Christmas mark and thanks to yet another price hike for our energy bills, many of us need to start saving money fast in order to have money for Christmas. Gareth Robinson is the CEO of
www.discountvouchers.co.uk and is giving us his expert advice on how we can save more than £1000 during the countdown to Christmas.
Stop Smoking

Stoptober may be coming to an end but you can still quit smoking and start saving! According to ash.com (action on smoking and health) a 20-a-day smoker of a premium brand will spend almost £3,000 a year on their habit. If you stop now, you could save around £450 by Christmas day!
Week day Wine Time

If you enjoy a large glass of wine every night of the week, you could be spending over £56 a month, based on a £7 bottle of wine. Just by swapping your week-day glass of wine to a soft drink from now until Christmas, could add an extra £100 to your Christmas shopping budget!

Go Online

Get into the mind-set that you don’t need to pay full price for anything. If you see something you want, note the brand, the name, the barcode – then get online and search until you find it online somewhere cheaper. You may find a free delivery code, or a code for 10%, 20% or more off. Users of discount code sites save on average £1200 a year*, so start searching for deals now and you could save an average of £179 by Christmas.

Make Your own Lunch

Food is one of the greatest expenses to the average person today. A bit of forward planning with your lunches can really help you to cut costs and you don’t have to be an aspiring chef to make this happen. Every time you nip to the deli or supermarket at lunch time and pick up the ready-made sandwiches, salads and expensive coffees you are paying a premium. Home-made soups are really cheap and healthy. Buy fruit and vegetables in bulk, blend them and take them to work. You will save on average of £5 a day, which means a great saving of around £250 by Christmas – and you may lose some weight in the process too.

Stop Wasting Food

According to a recent report on food waste, an average family is wasting around £700 a year on food they simply throw away. We all like a ‘3 for 2’ and ‘buy one, get one free’ offer but don’t be swayed into buying food you didn’t really want or need as it will just end up in the bin. Fresh food is the main culprit, so avoid multi-buy promotions on large packs of bagged salads and fruits. Do this and you could pocket around an extra £105 by Christmas day.

Cash not Card

One of the easiest ways to fritter away your money without even realising is by paying for everything on your debit card. Most places don’t have a minimum card spend anymore so it’s easy to keep swiping your card for those small purchases. Add those up over the course of a month and you will be shocked at how much you’ve spent. Start withdrawing a set amount of cash from your bank account after pay day and budget how much you want to spend from now until Christmas, and then leave your card at home! It’s not as easy to hand over real cash instead of plastic each time you make an impulse buy and you’ll be surprised how much you save.

Save on Christmas Travel

Book your Christmas travel now. If you know where you’ll be this Christmas the earlier you book, the more you will save. People who book in advance can save on average of 43% compared to those who purchase on the day.**

Look Good for Less

You don’t have to let your looks suffer this festive season to save. Most cities have a walk in hairdressers which means you can pay £10 for your cut and blow dry instead of £50. Find your hair and beauty salons on Facebook and Twitter – most run special offers directly through their social media sites, so you can still look fabulous and save money. Your next cut could save you an extra £40 to go into your Christmas kitty!
Get an App for that!

Yes, you do need an app when saving! There are lots of mobile apps that can help you save money. Have a look on your mobile app site and download the (free) apps that let you keep a mobile record of how much you are saving by giving up your vices. Be honest and input all your expenses and you will soon have proof of how much cash you are totting up, which will encourage you to save even more.
If you haven’t done so already – download a messaging app that lets you talk on your mobile for free. Whatsapp, BlackBerry Messenger and Viber are just some of the popular mobile apps that avoid the cost of a text message and let you chat to your contacts for free even if they live outside of the UK – just make sure you’re in Wi-Fi zone and start typing.