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Tips and tricks for Christmas

The perfect Christmas biscuits

Everyone loves the smell of Christmas baking. We've put together the 5 best tips on how to make the most delicious Christmas biscuits. Happy baking!

Soft Butter

If your butter is too cold, you might not achieve the right dough consistency. Take your butter out of the fridge and allow it to reach room temperature for at least 2 to 3 hours before baking to make sure it is soft enough to use. If you're short on time, try grating the butter – this will soften it within minutes.

Fresh Ingredients

We're talking about baking powder, vanilla sugar, etc. – fresh ingredients help to make sure you create the perfect Christmas biscuits. Don't buy the cheapest ingredients either: good quality ingredients make for good quality biscuits.

Measure Everything Carefully

This is particularly important when measuring out the flour. If you use too much, your biscuits will be dry and hard. Baking is all about precision. Even if you make the slightest changes to the recipe, this could affect the final result.

Use Baking Paper

Baking paper not only saves time when washing up, it also stops your biscuits from sticking to the tray. Baking paper also has a kind of insulating effect, preventing your biscuits from browning too much. A pro tip: You don't have to throw away baking paper once you've used it. It can be used multiple times.

Bake one tray at a time

To make sure the heat circulates evenly, don't put several trays of biscuits in the oven at the same time. Bake one tray at a time. Try to put the tray as close to the middle of the oven as possible, unless the recipe suggests otherwise. This will ensure your biscuits are nice and crispy (and doubly delicious!)

Christmas checklist

Christmas can be a pretty stressful time, especially if you aren't prepared. To relieve some of the strain, we've put together a Christmas checklist for you so you'll be perfectly prepared!

One month before Christmas

Buy cards and wrapping paper

If you start your shopping early enough, you'll even enjoy a wider range of products (and more breathing space) in the shops.

Write a gift list and include a budget

Instead of breaking out in a cold sweat one week before Christmas, after realising you've run out of money before you've bought everything you need, this is the ideal time to create a list of the gifts you want to buy along with a rough estimate of their prices. This will help you to keep an eye on your budget and everything you've bought.

Online shopping

As soon as your list is ready, order anything you need to buy online early. This will help to make sure your gifts arrive before Christmas.

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Clear out your old Christmas decorations and buy new ones

Start by sorting out last year's decorations – has anything broken? Does anything need replacing? Are you planning a new colour scheme for this year? Once you have sorted out all that, then it's time to start shopping.

Three weeks before Christmas

Post your Christmas cards

To make sure they arrive on time, you need to send your cards out in the first week of December.

Decorate your home

It's time to show off your new decorations. Seeing as you've already carefully sorted everything out and done your shopping, this job should be an easy one.

Finalise your Christmas menu

As soon as you know who you are feeding on Christmas Day and who prefers to eat what, it's time to draw up your menu and shopping list.

Two weeks before Christmas

Buy the ingredients for your Christmas dinner

Ingredients such as tinned food, spices, cereals, pasta, etc. can all be bought in advance so that shopping for your fresh ingredients takes less time.

Pick up any last-minute gifts

Despite all your careful planning, you may have forgotten a few people. Although two weeks before Christmas may be a little too late to buy gifts, vouchers are the ideal solution.

Wrap your presents

Instead of stressing out on Christmas Eve because you haven't wrapped anything, we recommend wrapping everything up to two weeks before Christmas. Wrapping the gifts also helps if they happen to be found early - no one can see what they are, so it won't ruin the surprise.

One week before Christmas

Clean your house from top to bottom

Your decorations will look much nicer when your house is clean and tidy. It's also a good idea to prepare your kitchen so that you're ready to cook Christmas dinner. Give your fridge a quick clear-out to make sure you have enough space for your ingredients.

Buy batteries for any children's toys

There is nothing worse than toys that come with no batteries and only then to find that you haven't got any in the house either. Buy a few spares just in case to prevent any tears!

The easiest way to wrap Christmas presents

Already found the perfect gifts? Now it's time to wrap them! Beautiful wrapping not only allows you to show someone how much they mean to you, it also adds the ideal finishing touch to any gift. Our tips will help you to create the perfectly wrapped gift!

Practice makes perfect!

Not a wrapping expert yet? Practice wrapping with newspaper first. This will help you to improve your skills before trying them out with real wrapping paper.

Remove the price sticker or tag

Many people find that leaving the price-tag on a gift is a bit of a faux-pas. After all, the recipient doesn't want to know how much you've spent. So, make sure you remove the price sticker or tag. If you can't remove it, simply find a black marker to cover up the price instead.

Put every gift in a box

Because boxes are square, they are much easier to wrap. Try buying a box to fit all your gifts in or use a shoebox to package your gifts.

Measure your wrapping paper

Ideally, you should do your wrapping on a hard surface, such as a table. This is the best place to wrap presents. Place the box or gift in the middle of the wrapping paper but don't cut the paper off the roll just yet. Wrap the paper around the gift and leave a few centimetres of overlap. Now you have the perfect size, you can cut the paper off the roll.

Add a ribbon or a bow

Once you've wrapped your gift, you can pep it up with a simple ribbon or a beautiful bow. A little extra, such as a small bauble or a fragrant Christmas branch, will give your gift that wow factor.

Don't forget a card

A card is a great way to send a personal message to your recipient, or to send them Christmas greetings for the festive season.

Money saving tips for Christmas

As well as plenty of joy and excitement, Christmas also means lots of spending – on Christmas parties, decorations, gifts and food. Our money saving tips will help you to have more fun and won't break the bank.

Shop early and shop smart

The earlier you start thinking about Christmas presents, the easier it is on your wallet. This will give you plenty of time to think about the gifts you want to buy and how much you have to spend. This is a better way to budget.

Another benefit of shopping early: there are fewer people in the shops, meaning you can enjoy the pre-Christmas period without the stress.

Make a list

Make a list of all gifts, decorations and food you want to buy. A list will help you to plan your spending and stop you from making unnecessary, spontaneous purchases.

Shop online with our Loyalty Merchants

You'll find lots of offers online in the Christmas period – electrical goods are often available at a lower price.

Our big tip: Keep your eyes peeled in Cashback World. During Cashb(l)ack Week there will be lots of bargains and incredible offers. And, of course, you get Cashback and Shopping Points too!

Home-made gifts

Not everyone wants an expensive gift from the shops. Home-made gifts are usually greatly appreciated. Do some online research and you're sure to get some great gift ideas for home-made gifts for your loved ones! Your loved ones will definitely appreciate the amount of effort you have put into making a home-made gift for them.

Save old ribbon and wrapping paper

Collect ribbon and wrapping paper from other celebrations throughout the year. You can then reuse it to wrap your Christmas presents. You could even try buying your Christmas wrapping paper in the January sales! It is often much cheaper so it's a great idea to shop ahead for next year. It will save you loads!

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* The margin benefits are dependent on the products purchased and on the Loyalty Merchant. All hereto information on this website is therefore without guarantee.
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