Christmas is a time of excess, and why not – it's the time of the year to let your hair down. But with most pleasure in life, comes pain. And with Christmas, it normally hits you in the pocket. If you've spent a little over your budget this Christmas and New Year, then our money saving tips can point you in the right direction for special offers and show you how the internet can help save you some cash.

Tip 1: Vouchers & Discount Codes

Money-off vouchers are a great way of getting some bargains without costing you a penny. You'll find discounts for shops with offers like 'buy one get one free', holiday offers and money off travel, and percentage discounts for ecommerce stores on discount websites (such as MyVoucherCodes and PromoCodes) and Facebook (if you 'Like' the Heathcote & Ivory Facebook page, you'll see what we mean!). If you can find vouchers/codes for products or online shops you buy from on a regular basis anyway, you've just saved yourself some much needed extra cash.

Tip 2: Free Tickets

Not many people know it, but there are countless opportunities to go to events and shows that will cost you absolutely nothing. Certain plays and stage shows let tickets go at the last minute for free, purely to get bums on seats. This is especially the case during off-peak times, like just after Christmas. TV and radio shows are normally free to go and watch anyway, so why not give them a try instead? So give the term 'free tickets' a bash in Google to see what you can come up with, before splashing out what can be large amounts of money on tickets for a family day out.

Tip 3: Special Offers Section

When shopping online, why not look for the special offers or clearance section on your favourite sites to see if you can find what you're looking for but at a cheaper price. For example, you can find products on Heathcote & Ivory's Special Offers section that are up to half the price they would normally cost, saving you several pounds per item. Most substantial ecommerce sites offer a similar service, so have a good look at the navigation menu to see what you can find before making your purchases.

Tip 4: Auction Sites & Freecycle

Think about the items you buy on a regular basis. Do you need to buy them all brand new? Auction sites like eBay and giveaway networks like Freecycle all provide a great deal of choice and variety. Most products are available at much cheaper prices than if bought brand new, or even free on the Freecycle network, which helps you find people in your local area with items they no longer need or want. Clothes, DVDs, books and furniture are the best bargains to be had second-hand, as they are likely to be of similar quality and just as effective if already used, but at a fraction of the price.

Tip 5: Make Money on your Clutter

Whether it's a Christmas present you don't want, or just items you've had kicking around but never really used, it's probably a good time to start making money back on your surplus. Obviously if it's a gift you don't want, it's more polite to ask the present giver if they have the receipt for a refund (better that, than them finding their own gifts on the internet). But if that's not possible, there's no point in holding on to something of value that you don't want just out of politeness. Use auction sites like eBay or eBid to start cashing-in on space-absorbing clutter.