11 ways to be ready for Christmas by 1 December

It’s a guilty festive habit that many of us fall into every year. No, not purchasing the Cliff Richard calendar before it sells out – we're talking about leaving our Christmas shopping and preparations to the last minute.

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But with two weeks left until December 1, there’s still time to make this year different.

Here’s 11 tips to ensure you hit the festive month fully prepped and organised, leaving you a clear 24 days with nothing to do aside from relax and enjoy.

1. Stock up your freezer

Eat what’s in the freezer and start stocking up on Christmas food now. But remember what you’ve bought – you don’t want to be left with two bags of sprouts that nobody eats, rather than one.

Buy-in all non-perishables too, from Christmas crackers to chutneys. The sooner you start to shop, the better your choice will be. 

2. Stamp out late postage

Ensure your recipients have as much time as possible to display your Christmas card by sending them out on December 1. But that means getting your stamps now.

This year’s festive limited edition collection from Royal Mail – complete with traditional scenes of ice-skating and carol singing – are already available on its website. At £7.71 for a book of seven first-class ‘Miniatures’ however, the price isn’t so traditional.

3. Buy the most advent-urous calendars now

Avoid running between supermarkets on November 30 by getting your advent calendars this week. This will cover you against having to hand the kids an old-fashioned one they won’t want (ie, with no chocolate). 

4. Get winter odd jobs done

Get winter odd jobs done

From fixing broken loo seats to servicing the boiler, completing overdue jobs now will ensure you’re the coolest and calmest Christmas host – ever.

5. Shop smart online

Shopping online? Starting sooner rather than later could save you £££s as online retailers can hike delivery costs as Christmas Day edges closer.

And make sure you get everything you need in one go. You’ll usually qualify for free delivery if your basket costs over a certain amount. Orders at Amazon of £10 or more, for example, are eligible for free UK Super Saver Delivery.

6. Choo choo(se) advanced train tickets (sorry!)

Buying your Christmas travel train tickets well in advance can save up 92% when compared to buying them on the day, according to research by our friends at TravelSuperMarket. It also means securing a reserved seat opposed to sweating in the aisles in your novelty Christmas jumper, laden down with clobber.

7. Be a pushy parent! Grab 2014’s must-have toys with both hands!

Stuck for something to buy the kids? We’re not. That’s because we sent MoneySuperMarket’s Les Roberts to the 2014 Dream Toys event in London’s Marylebone and he came back with the top 5 toys your kids will want this year. Buy now while stocks last!

8. Join the Yanks and cash in on Black Friday

Cash in on Black Friday

Black Friday, the super sales day that has now found its way from the US to this side of the Pond, is a great chance to snap up an early bargain. It marks the official start of the festive shopping season as high street stores compete to offer discounts to grab their share of shoppers.

This year in the UK, Black Friday falls on Friday, November 28, so be ready! Argos, John Lewis and Very.co.uk are all gearing up to offer cut-price bargains, with Amazon expected to offer more than 3,000 deals in the week running up to Black Friday.

9. Buy gift wrap and accessories

It’s the little touches that can make Christmas presents memorable. Check that you’re stocked up with gift wrap, tags and bows to give your presents a stylish finish. And stagger your wrapping to avoid the inevitable back ache.

10. Get your early bird NYE tickets

The cost of spending a New Year’s Eve on the town can easily spiral out of control. Limit the damage by getting early bird tickets to events or making a reservation before the crowds beat you to it.

11. Choose which card to spend on

Selecting which credit card to use when Christmas shopping can be a great way to earn money back on what you’ve spent.

The Santander 123 credit card, for example, offers 2% cashback on purchases at major department stores. Quick win!

Do you feel ready and prepared for Christmas? Let us know by tweeting @MoneySuperMrkt.

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