Extended family and friends off gift list as cash conscious shoppers budget for Christmas 2022

As the cost of living crisis continues to hit shoppers’ wallets, 28 per cent of Britons say they are looking at new ways to reduce the cost of buying Christmas presents.

In a survey of over 1,000 UK adults, commissioned by the Gift Card and Voucher Association (GCVA), many indicated they are changing the habits of a lifetime in order to make Christmas budgets stretch.

Topping the list for money-saving tactics is slimming down who makes it onto the gift list. This means fewer gifts for work colleagues (spending down 28 per cent), friends (23 per cent), nephews and nieces (19 per cent) and aunts and uncles (29 per cent). But there is good news for other loved ones, with many planning on using these savings to buy extra treats for those closest to them. 40 per cent are planning on increasing spending on their children and 12 per cent will buy extra gifts for their partner.

Gift cards are also being used as a money saving tactic for Christmas shopping, with 23 per cent of shoppers planning to buy more gift cards this year to reduce the cost of Christmas. These can help people stick to a strict limit per gift rather than see their spending increased by rising prices.

People are also using digital gifting to avoid the postage or travel costs a bulky physical gift incurs. 27 per cent of the gift cards bought in the UK are now digital, according to GCVA.

Gift cards are also being bought by many to unlock deals or discounts, allowing shoppers to bring down their overall spending. They are also being used to help cap spending on festive treats such as streaming services (e.g. Netflix) or computer games. 24 per cent of people said they were likely to spend more on gift cards for this type of self-use.

Commenting on the survey findings, Gail Cohen, director general of the GCVA, said: “Christmas is always an expensive time of year, with the average household usually spending 29 per cent more in December than a typical month, but the ongoing economic crisis is piling more pressure on UK consumers as we approach the festive season.

“All of us still want to make Christmas special and to handover a gift. However, this year people are also showing common sense in managing their spending and avoiding being squeezed by rising costs. We’re seeing this already in how gift cards are being used to reduce the costs of present buying by savvy shoppers.

“They are also mindful of avoiding waste at a time when money is tight, using gift cards to avoid unwanted gifts and giving people flexibility and choice over how they use their gift.”