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  • 70 per cent have not started preparing financially for Christmas.
  • The average household spent £794 on Christmas last year.
  • Money and Consumer Expert, Sue Hayward gives top tips for budgeting this Christmas.

There are less than 100 days until Christmas and the reality of how much money is going to be spent on loved ones has been revealed in a new survey. A staggering 70 per cent of people admit they haven’t started saving for Christmas, meaning millions of others will have to play catch up with their finances in the short run up to Christmas.

According to the Centre for Retail Research, the average household spent around £794 on Christmas in 2015*, with 59 per cent of that spent on gifts. It is hardly surprising then that 9 million (15%) people are this year planning on using their credit card to fund their Christmas.

What’s more, a survey from sparkling water maker SodaStream, polled 2,000 adults, revealing 35 per cent have said that they are definitely going to spend over £300.

The survey highlights that younger generations are thinking ahead about their finances for Christmas, with over 3 in 10, 18-24 year olds taking 3 months to save up for the expenditure and over 55s are 10 per cent less likely to do so.

In line with the release of the survey from SodaStream, Money and Consumer Expert Sue Hayward advises families on the best way to save the pennies ahead of the Christmas season.

Sue Hayward comments on the easy ways that Brits can save money towards Christmas: “If you’re looking to save on the family finances, getting value for money is likely to be high on your list. There’s lots of small and easy changes families can make to save themselves some serious cash over the course of a year. Savvy moves and simple supermarket swaps, like cutting out expensive fizzy drinks and using a SodaStream for fresh sparkling water on tap will make your money go a whole lot further.”

Switch supermarket brands. If you always buy brands, swap them for supermarket versions. And if you’re already buying those, give the ‘budget’ version a go. Swapping brands on everything in your trolley can knock a third off your bill and save £1,700 a year.

Buy ‘wonky’ veg. Buying boxes of ‘wonky veg’ or budget brand salad and vegetables can save over £100 a year. They may not look pretty but once sliced and chopped you won’t tell the difference in a salad or stir fry.

Switch your fizzy drinks. Try using a SodaStream for fresh sparkling water on tap. Add your own choice of flavours or fresh fruit like a slice of lemon and save £300** a year.

Ditch your Friday night takeaway. You won’t get much change from £40 ordering pizza for four, so if you still want that weekly treat stock up in the supermarket for under £10.  Saves over £1500 a year.

Shop late in the day. Most supermarkets start reducing fresh food from midday onwards if it’s got a short shelf life. Check the bargain sections in the fridge aisles for those yellow stickers! From midday you can get around 25 per cent off with discounts up to 75% from 7pm onwards. You can easily save at least a couple of pounds a week popping one or two items in your trolley ready for the freezer which adds up to around £100 a year.