Take the financial stress out of Christmas with our tips on food and presents – plus win £50k on the Sun Savers Raffle – The Sun

THE festive season is always jolly . . . expensive. From travelling to see relatives, days out and wining and dining to gifts for friends and family, it can be hard to budget.

But there are ways to cut the costs and it pays to start your planning now . . .

ACCOMMODATION: Hotels and cottages raise prices for Christmas. But sign up to housesittersuk.co.uk for £29 a year and house-sit for free. That is far cheaper than a Travelodge, from at least £29.99 a night. Those with caravans can still use them during cold weather. Check out pitchup.com to find a site.

SAVE: £29.99 per night

TRAVEL: Use car-share websites such as liftshare.com/uk or gocarshare.com to split travel costs with others. For trains, invest in a railcard. The Two Together card, giving couples a third off most adult fares, costs £30, while other options include the Family & Friends and Senior cards.

SAVE: A third on train fares

DAYS OUT: Another advantage of a railcard is the offers you are eligible for, such as 60 per cent off theatre tickets. Families could also head to dayoutwiththekids.co.uk for up to 50 per cent off days out, or check out Groupon for around 40 per cent off ice skating. I love freebies — and parks and beaches are still fun for kids and pets in winter.

SAVE: 60 per cent on theatre tickets

FOOD AND DRINK: If you are driving, fill up a box with food from home. Check restaurant deals before heading out for dinner. Hungry Horse has a BOGOF deal on burgers every Friday. At the supermarket, Tesco’s £10 Finest Meal Deal is £2 cheaper than M&S’s Dine In. For a Christmas vibe, Iceland’s party food starts at just £1.

SAVE: Around £10 on a burger

PRESENTS: Secret Santa is always a good idea if you want to save money. B&M has gifts from just £1. Its Gin & Tonic Bath Fizzer is really fun, while a similar buy will set you back £7 at Prezzybox.

SAVE: £6 on a bathbomb

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

Deal of the day

TAKE a pal for a midweek treat. A scone and a cuppa for two is just £2.99 at Debenhams (was £7.90). Download the voucher at wowcher.co.uk.

SAVE: £4.91

Cheap treat

GRAB a pukka deal at Sainsbury’s. Pukka steak pies are down to £1. Usually, they cost £1.75.

SAVE: 75p

My Sun Savers fiver

PAUL MORRIS, from Edinburgh, says: “I use my Sun Saver fivers to pay for a monthly magazine subscription.”

  • Send your Savers fiver stories to sunsavers.co.uk/fivers and get 28 codes, worth £5, if we print yours here. Please include your name and town.

Top swap

THE BaByliss LED Exquisite make-up mirror for £100 on Look Fantastic is great. But for just £24.99, the No7 version at Boots is a real money saver.

SAVE: £75.01

Reader's saving tip

DANIELLE WIGGINS from Wembley, North London, says: “Scrape hard limescale from your taps with a copper coin and wipe away. That saves on buying limescale remover.”

  •  Send suggestions to sunsavers.co.uk/tips and get 28 codes, worth £5, if we print yours. Please include your name and town.

Shop & save

PUCKER up for the Vaseline Original Lip Tin gift set, currently half-price at Tesco at £3.50. A great grab for Secret Santa.

SAVE: £3.50

Hot right now

WILKO is doing three-for-two on Christmas decorations . . . so get into the festive spirit early!

Play now to win £50,000 on the Sun Savers Raffle

YOU could win £50,000 in our Sun Raffle – just by picking up The Sun paper.

Whether you’re saving for a new car or have started preparing for Christmas, we know just how expensive life can be.

That is why we’re trying to help by giving away £50,000 to one lucky reader every month in our Raffle.

To enter, download the Sun Savers app or sign up at sunsavers.co.uk. Then, opt in to each month’s Sun Raffle by clicking “Yes!” when prompted and start collecting the codes printed daily inside the paper – scanning in the app or entering online.

Today’s code is on Page 20 of the paper. Make sure you collect and enter your code today as the next giveaway is Saturday, November 30.

With every code you enter, you will earn a ticket into that month’s £50k Raffle.

There is no limit to how many tickets you can collect per month, so as November has just begun now is the perfect time to start entering codes to give yourself the best chance of winning.

Not already a Sun Savers member? Find out all about the great treats and rewards that you can earn with Sun Savers in the paper.

  • T&Cs apply. Full T&Cs at sunsavers.co.uk.

Fancy a free fiver?

YOU can get FREE cash with super Sun Savers just for buying your favourite paper.

Our brilliant new rewards club will pay back our most loyal readers.

Just pick up the paper each day to collect your Sun Savers codes and we will GIVE YOU £5 when you have ­collected 28.

This isn’t a one-off and there is no limit to how much cash you can save.

For every 28 codes you enter, we will give you a fiver. So over the course of a year, that could add up to £65.

We are keeping it super-simple. You don’t have to enter codes from consecutive days, so don’t worry if you forget a day or two.

Download our easy Sun Savers app and quickly scan your code using your smartphone. Or go online and enter your code at sunsavers.co.uk.

To get you on your way, join today and we will put a bonus £1 in your Sun Savers wallet tomorrow. And the good news doesn’t stop with free cash.

With Sun Savers, we give you the best hacks, deals and tips to save money every single day.

TO JOIN: Don’t worry, folks — joining takes just 30 seconds, in three steps.

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

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