Great Britain

Christmas is only 99 days away – so slash your festive feast bill with our tips

THE big Christmas countdown has begun – and it’s time to start planning your food.

With 99 days to go, this is the week most supermarkets start filling shelves with their Yuletide offerings. And with a bit of planning now, you can trim that festive feast bill.

Here’s some ways I slash my Christmas trolley total . . . 

SWEET SAVINGS: I go a bit overboard with tinned sweets and chocolates just before Christmas. Whether your family favourites are Cadbury’s Heroes, Celebrations or Quality Street, these tins tend to stay around the £4-£5 mark.

But Wilko is currently selling two tubs for £7. Or nab the new Cadbury’s Cath Kidston Roses tin, currently £8 at Sainsbury’s. It’s pricey but as it’s so pretty you can use it as a cake tin afterwards.

RECIP-EASY: I save loads by baking my own Christmas cake, mince pies and biscuits. Plus, baked goods make great, cheap presents. I gather recipes from online (I love thriftylesley.com) and I’m trying to add a Christmas cake ingredient that’s on offer to my trolley every week — a 35cl bottle of Three Barrels brandy is £8, usually £9.50, at Tesco with a Clubcard.

FREEZE FRAME: Freezers are a great way to help save at this time of year. As the big day approaches I try to do the weekly shop a bit later at night or first thing in the morning as that’s when there are more yellow-sticker bargains. Then I simply pop them in my freezer when I get home so they last.

As for buying frozen items, I prefer to wait for the last-minute discounts on fresh veg (last year, carrots and sprouts were around 20p a bag) as I think you get better quality. But if you want to get ahead, Asda does ready to roast parsnips for £1.35 a pack.

REFER A FRIEND: Sharing the burden with guests really helps. I put one person in charge of desserts and one on starters. I can then focus on saving for the main event — and it allows them time to look out for deals for their items, too.

Deal of the day

PAMPER yourself with ­products from Superdrug – and when you spend £15, you get a free Me+ sheet mask worth £2.99.

SAVE: £2.99

Cheap treat

SPICE up your snacks with a Peperami Original five-pack for £1.50, down from £2 at Asda.

SAVE: 50p

What's new?

ROYAL Bank of Scotland is offering £150 to new customers who switch to a Select or Reward account and existing customers who switch to Reward Silver, Reward Platinum or Reward Black. The Reward account gives customers £4 per month for two direct debits and an additional £1 for logging on to online banking. After a £2 monthly fee, this is £36 a year. To get the £150, switch before November 18.

Top swap

SNUGGLE up with a Teddy fleece from studio.co.uk for £11.99 . . . or go to Dunelm, where the same size super-soft throw costs just £8.

SAVE: £3.99

Giselle's little helper

GET 12 amazing products worth £160 for just £30 in the Fabulous “Active Ingredients” beauty box. The box is usually just £36 but it is even more of a bargain with this exclusive offer. Simply use the code FABSAVE6 at the checkout when you buy the edit at latestinbeauty.com. These products really deliver.

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