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Christmas Just Got More Expensive!

When it comes to Christmas dinner, we all want to be left loosening our belts and feeling good, but if new statistics are to be believed, that belt may have to be tightened before you can settle down to that turkey.

The survey, conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), has shown that compared to this time last year, the cost of the average festive feast has risen by 7.5%.

Most of the foods and drinks associated with Christmas dinner – red wine and cake for example – are responsible for this increase in price, with only potatoes, carrots and double cream having fallen in price according to the ONS.

These figures have been drawn from the prices of the basket of goods used to calculate inflation each month.

However, in contrast to this news, it would appear that if you’re willing to decrease the mountain of food that you have, it can be possible to have a complete Christmas for less than £200.

The average family in the UK will spend between £530 and £690 on items related to Christmas including; gifts, decorations, food and drinks. However, when questioned, the majority of families with a smaller income said that they would be spending around £182.

This breaks down as approximately: £34 on food and drink, £28 on decorations, £6 on cards and £114 on gifts, for a basic Christmas.

It’s not just consumers that have been hit this winter, with sales of winter related products – including cosmetics and clothing – at a much lower volume than previous years.

 This has been put down to the very mild weather across the majority of the country, meaning that there is less interest in items that would otherwise have been snapped up quickly.

Director General of BRC, Stephen Robertson, has offered his comments on these low sales figures saying “Consumers are not quite in the Christmas mindset yet, although stores are working to generate much-needed sales with high levels of festive discounting,

“Retailers hope that customers who’ve managed their finances carefully in recent months will still treat themselves and their families in December, unhampered by the severe weather which disrupted shopping 12 months ago.”

However, cost is less of an issue for a handful of Sainsbury’s customers than getting their Christmas dinner ingredients at all.

They found their delivery slot following an online order was cancelled when they reviewed their account. Most were re-booked but, in some cases, no alternative time was found and they were given a “gesture of goodwill”.

“We apologise unreservedly to customers who have been inconvenienced in any way,” said a Sainsbury’s spokesman.

 With Christmas set to hit families harder than ever this year, it may be a good idea to check out a range of purchases credit cards to help cut down the amount you spend when shopping with your credit card.

Peter Christopher

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