Christmas spending forecast to drop to [pounds sterling]796 per household; One in six people having already started their festive shopping, a website has found.
Byline: Agency Staff
Families expect to spend [pounds sterling]796 on average celebrating Christmas this year, with one in six people having already started their festive shopping, a website has found.
The amount that households typically expect to spend this Christmas is nearly [pounds sterling]25 less than their predicted festive spend in 2014 and the lowest total seen since Christmas 2012, according to research for VoucherCodes.co.uk.
Households plan to spend around 8% less on food and drink than they did last year, at [pounds sterling]159 typically.
Cards and decorations are expected to set them back by [pounds sterling]41 on average, a saving of 5% compared with last year, while around [pounds sterling]596 will be spent on gifts, which is 1% less than last year's expected spend.
Low and negative inflation has eased some of the pressure on household finances in recent months. Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures showed this week that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate of inflation fell from zero in August to minus 0.1%, as falls in the prices of food and petrol edged down the cost of living.
The research for VoucherCodes.co.uk also found that 16% of people celebrating Christmas - or around one in six - have already started their Christmas shopping.
More than two-thirds (71%) of households who celebrate Christmas plan to shop online this year.
Many people are also planning to use their mobiles to cut the costs, with 28% planning to use their phone or tablet to search for festive purchases.
More than two-fifths (43%) of people have been saving for Christmas each month, compared with just 26% of people who said this in 2014.
While 12% of people surveyed think the cost of Christmas will give them a financial hangover in early 2016, this is lower than the 15% of people who said this in 2014.
Claire Davenport, managing director of VoucherCodes.co.uk, said: "With Christmas fast approaching, it's interesting to see that the nation is set to be a little savvier with their festive spending this year, with households across the UK planning to spend less on seasonal essentials.
"With technology at its most sophisticated yet, it's easier than ever for people to shop around online and via their smartphone to get the best price and take advantage of discount shopping days."
More than 2,000 people took part in the research in late September.
Here is how the amount that households expect to spend on Christmas this year compares with previous years, according to VoucherCodes.co.uk:
* 2015, [pounds sterling]796.05
* 2014, [pounds sterling]820.60
* 2013, [pounds sterling]822.03
* 2012, [pounds sterling]768.04