I’m a mum-of-five and I’ve slashed my Christmas spend, I used to whack £5k on credit cards a year

This supersaver mum-of-five reveals how she slashed costs at Christmas – and gives her top tips for the festive season .

Claire Roach, 40, from Penarth, Wales, lives with her husband, Luke Angove and their five children, Ashleigh, 24, Joe, 17, Rosie, 11, and twins Lola and Esmee, both five.

She used to start each year with £5,000 debt after Christmas, but has revealed how she slashed the bills and is now sharing her top tips on how to have a fun-filled festive season for less.

As Christmas is one of the most expensive times of the year for the family, Claire used to find herself in around £5,000 of debt after the busy holiday period, taking most of the year to clear it before starting again.

"It was a vicious cycle," Claire said.


"I was panic buying in December, paying full price for everything and using buy now pay later and credit cards."

In 2016, she embarked on a money-saving journey, which included reducing costs over the festive season and focusing on 'no spend months ' after Christmas.

In January 2020 alone, she put away a total of £1,500 thanks to savvy savings.

Although Claire still enjoys going all out at Christmas, these tips have helped her slash the bill and avoid starting each year with debt.

MAKE A LIST (and check it twice)

Claire believes that planning gifts and expenses earlier in the year not only helps with your budget, but can also help you snap up some great deals.

“It’s a good idea to write down a list of gifts and Christmas items you’ll need as early in the year as possible, so that you can be prepared to snap up any bargains before the rush,” Claire said.

“Write down your income and expenditures and work out what you can afford to spend on Christmas. “

There are also some good free apps out there to help with this if you prefer.

Previously, a woman spent £1.5k stockpiling for Christmas and got so much food she got a second freezer.

And we previously brought you the story about the stockpilers who, during the first lockdown, protected huge hauls with everything from BB guns to chainsaws. 

Plus this mum told us how she had stockpiled goods worth £5k – and was storing them in her spare room.

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