There's 150 days until Christmas, save a fortune by 'downshifting' your shop, trying a 12-week challenge & batch cooking

TIS’ the season to be savvy. 

Today marks 150 days to days to Christmas, but with the average family forking out a total of £1,116 on the festivities, getting ahead now means yule spend much less in December.

Here are Mrs Crunch’s handy early Christmas countdown hacks. 


1.    Don’t wait for the mega Xmas shop but pop an extra non-perishable gift in your basket each week up until Christmas. You’ll barely notice the cost but will have a lot less to pay out in December

TRY: Morrisons Lime Candle & 40Ml Reed Diffuser Gift Set, £6 at Morrisons

2.    Snap up sale Christmas cards over summer.

TRY: eBay has 8-packs from just £1 or 15 cards priced at £1.45.

3.    Seen a good deal on Xmas basics like sticky tape or foil? Then stock up as it’s always handy to have and you can use it year round. 

TRY: Sellotape Original Golden 24mm was £2.09 now £1.39 at Ocado – SAVE: 70p

4.    Start stashing deals on store cupboard basics which will last until Xmas, like chocolate tubs, sauces and nuts.

TRY: Morrisons The Best Mixed Nuts, £2.75 for 200g or buy two for £4. SAVE: £1.50 when buying two 

5.    Bag a tree-mendous deal on your Christmas tree. Many big retailers have secret sale stock online, so hunt down the one you want

TRY: Norway Spruce 6ft, £19.99 at


1.    Try the 12-weeks savings challenge. You can bank between £175 and £1,000 depending on how much you can spare. Download charts from Pinterest.

2.    Downshift your shop. Swap big name brands for own-labels, like Morrison’s M Savers Range. Try it across everything from food to cleaning products and save up to £600 until Christmas without compromising on health or taste.

TRY: Morrisons Savers Cheese And Tomato Pizza 270g, was £1 now 89p at Morrisons – SAVE: 11p

3.    Bulk buy and batch cook your weekly meals to save money. It can slash up to £100 a month off your food costs. That’s £500 by Xmas alone.

4.    Start a budgeting journal. Buy a cheap notebook and write down every penny you spend. Once you can see where you overspend, it’s easier to cut back on unnecessary expenses and start to save. Experts claim it can cut spending by up to 35 per cent. 

5.    Sort your Christmas card list early. A  1st class letter stamp costs 85p but 2nd class is only 68p. Posting in November will save 17p on every card.

Prices correct at time of going to press. Deals and offers subject to availability.

Website of the week

JUGGLING work and parenting can be tough – and never more so than in the summer holidays. If you need a little extra support, ask your employer to sign up for Kami.

The smart new site is a virtual support system for working parents, providing expert guidance for pregnancy, back to work and every step in between.

Users gain access to specialist help including instant answers to parenting questions, tele-consultations with a wide range of specialists and a library of mental health resources.

Founder Erika Brodnock is one of 30 tech businesses backed by Google’s Startups Black Founders Fund. 

She explains: “Kami helps parents save valuable time, providing them with instant access to expert curated answers on a whole host of topics. Families can also save hundreds of pounds as sessions with our parenting and wellbeing professionals which are provided at no cost to our users.”


Erika’s Tips for Families on a Budget 

Claim the help you’re owed – Most families know they are entitled to Child Benefit, but you might also be entitled to Tax Free Childcare help offering up to 30 hours of ‘free’ childcare, Find out at

Know your budget – Set aside just one evening each month to streamline your expenses and see where your money is going.

Consider flexible working – If you’ve been at your organisation for more than 26 weeks, you have a legal right to ask if you can work flexibly. Working around your family life can save on childcare costs or taking time off for appointments like the dentist.

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