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The 12 Saves Of Christmas

Santa Carrying Shopping Bags

This week I bring you the 12 Saves of Christmas- where to get the cheapest games, toys, electronics, books, Ipods- as well as other tricks and tips for saving money this Christmas. It’s all about getting the most for the money you have…

1. Get a Pre-Paid Credit Card
• Avoid the €30 stamp duty per year that the government charges per year on ordinary credit cards.
• Only spend what you have (not what you’d like to have).
• Have a happy Christmas and a debt free new year.
• Shop online for lots of bargains.
3V- Prepaid Visa
Apply online at and once you have the card you can top it up at any payzone outlet (ie anywhere you can top up a mobile phone).
You get a temporary credit card receipt and the expiry date (2 months after the date of purchase, plus the remainder of the current month) and CSV number sent to you via SMS.
Top-up costs:
0-€20- €0
€20-€100 – €2.50
€100+-€350 – €50
It costs €5 to cash out and retrieve the balance and €2.50 to transfer the funds onto a new Visa account .
You can view your balance and card numbers online when you log in.

Prepaid Mastercard
• You can get one online at for up to €350 (it costs nothing) or you can purchase them at Dundrum, Pavilion Swords, Crescent Shopping Centre in Limerick and Galway Shopping Centre for up to a value of €1,000. (They are branded as shopping centre cards but you can use them to shop online).
• Technically speaking you can use them anywhere you see a Mastercard sign but some stores don’t take them because they’re branded. You best just using them online.
• You can’t top them up.
• You can redeem the residual value at a cost of €7.
• You need to use them within 12 months or a €3 per month management fee will apply (to the remaining balance only).

2. Use Discount Voucher Codes
Discount Codes are codes that you use at the checkout stage of online shopping and to get a percentage discount on items purchased.
If you are shopping online check to see if the store you are shopping from has a current discount codes.
For UK shopping go to
For Irish shopping go to or
Or google ‘current voucher codes for xxxx’

3. Use Cash back Sites
Cash back Sites are sites that offer cash back for purchasing goods online through their sites. Check each of the sites below to see if they are partnered with your desired online retailer- then register your details on the site and then go to your preferred retailer via the Cash back Site to be claim the cash back. See article for further information on joining and discounts etc
BTW- you can shop via a cashback site and also use a discount code to save even more money. (ie if you were to buy a Man Utd jersey on the oringal cost is €55 but if you go through – you get 8% cashback and if you use the discount code Champ10 at the checkout- it will end up costing you only €45.54 (€20.46 cheaper than the high street).

4. For the Cheap Books
They offer free delivery and if you go to the homepage and refer friends (up to 10 friends)- you and your friends will receive a 10% off discount code.
Price Comparison
Item: Room by Emma Donoghue (one of the top selling books at the moment)
High Street: €13.99
Bookdepository: €8.60 (-10% for referring a friend to the site= €7.44)
Saving: €6.55
Item: JFK in Ireland by Ryan Tubridy
High Street: €18.99
Bookdepository: €14.25 (- 10% for referring a friend= €12.82)
Saving: €6.17
Item: The Big Book Of Top Gear
High Street: €16.99
Book depository: €10.49 (-10% off for referring a friend to the site= €9.44)
Saving: €7.54
* You get 5% cashback

4. The Cheapest Perfume and Aftershave (including Gift Sets)
Price Comparison
Item: Paco Rabanne Ultraviolet Gift Set 50ml
High Street: €56
Fragrance €40.09 (including delivery costs)
Saving: €15.91
Item: Hugo Man 50ml eau de toilette gift set (150ml Eau de Toilette & 100ml Aftershave lotion)
High Street: €69
Fragrance €44.17
Saving: €21.26
* is also worth checking out and comparing with (and you get 5% cash back with CheapSmells if you use the cashback site

5. For Cheap Games
Delivery is 99p to Ireland and you can get 3.5% cashback for games (up to 5% cash back depending on the item)
Price Comparison
Item: Kinect Sports (Xbox 360 Kinect games are the hottest games around this Christmas)
High Street: €44.99
The Hut: €40.03 (- 3.5% cash back if you go through €38.66
Saving: €6.36
Price Comparison
Item: Buzz lightyear Digital Camera (Digital Camera s for kids are one of the top selling items this Christmas)
High Street: €77.49 €45.67
Saving: €31.82

6. Cheap Sportswear
Price Comparison
Item: Manchester United Jersey (Men’s Long Sleeve)
High Street: €66 €45.54 (if you go to and register and then go to Champion Sports via fatcheese (to get 8% cashback) and use the code champ10 to get 10% off) Free delivery for order over €25.
Saving: €20.46

7. Cheapest Digital Cameras – the cheapest for digital cameras & free delivery to Ireland
Price Comparison
Item: Canon Ixus 105 IS Digital Camera
High Street: €169 €129.95
Saving: €39.05
(Sony Cybershot W380 Digital Camera- €211 high street – €189 on
* you get 2% cashback with

8. Price Check Before You Go Out Shopping
Here are a few examples of price difference I have found:
Sony Ipod Docking Station
Harvey Norman: €89
Power City: €59.99
Saving: €30.99
Barbie Glam Airplane
Price: €71.99 in Argos and
Price: €64.99 inSmyths
Saving: €7
Raleigh Molly 12”Pink Girls Bike
Price: €169.99 – &
Price: €112.49 (and get €15 back to spend in the store on accessories)
Saving: €57.50

9. Look out for Special Offers
SuperValu have half price turkeys (if you order before 8th December)
Superquinn you 10% off if you order and pay for your turkey/ham before 14th December

10. Look out for Sales
The sales will only last a day or a few days – so you have to be vigilant and keep checking the sites every day.. have a 2 days of Christmas sale where they have a new special offer every day for 12 days (it started 25th November).
Smyths have a 2 for €20 toy sale on at the moment –
Clerys have a up to 20% off sale. have a half price Toy Sale on at the moment. Click here to view the range.
Gap have 30% off on selected items in store with this voucher –

11. Look out for Cheap Booze Sales
Stock up as you go in order to get the best bargains on booze this Christmas. Know the price of your favourite tipple- so you know when you’re getting a bargain. (Know the unit costs of the beers, what ml it is and whether it is a can or bottle.). Click here for the latest Cheap Booze special offers..

12. Cheap Branded Clothes
Good for brand clothing- Firetrap, Fenchurch, Billabong, QuickSilver, Timberland, Helly Hansen, Diesel, Tommy Hilfiger, Adidas, Nike, Puma. Flat rate delivery cost of €4.99- Free delivery for order over €50 if you enter the code FRD7 at the checkout. €10 discount voucher when you refer a friend.. (all the details are one the main page.
Item: Fenchurch Men’s Casper Contrast Rib Zip Hoody Red
High Street: €57 €24.99 (plus €4.99 postage = €29.99)
Saving: €22.01
Item: Billabong Mens Mainframe Zip Hoody Wolf
High Street: €72 €31.24 (plus €4.99 postage) = €36.23
Saving: €35.77

If you have a bargain or tips that you would like to share, please leave a comment – we can all help each other save more this Christmas

Fountain News DigitalThis article was originally published in:
Fountain News Digital – December 2010 (Issue 2)

We are re-publishing all articles from our past newsletter, Fountain News Digital, and you can view all completed newsletters here. There were nine issues published in total between 2010 and 2012.

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