Shoppers, maddened by the cost of living crisis, have already stockpiled for Christmas to snap up early bargains

Shoppers propelled crackers through the cost of living crisis already stocking up for Christmas

Families are warned to stock up early to ease the pain of soaring winter bills (Picture: Getty)

Stressed shoppers are already scrambling for holiday bargains before the cost-of-living crisis gets any worse.

Retailers like John Lewis say the trend towards early planning for December festivities has accelerated massively this year.

Sales of the department store’s decorations and trees have already tripled in the past month compared to the same period in 2021.

With 141 days to go until Christmas, the chain currently has nearly 30 individual balls and 11 types of faux hard fur for sale on its website.

This is a technique known as “Christmas sneaking,” in which retailers start advertising winter-themed merchandise earlier each year.

Advance offers range from £4 for a Tower Bridge bauble to £60 for a Queen’s Platinum Jubilee carriage.

The cheapest fake John Lewis tree is a lighted 6ft private label version at £149, the most expensive is the 9ft Brunswick spruce at £399.

Dozens of Christmas items are also available at savings at Lakeland. These include Squires Kitchen’s Jaws and Claws sugar modeling set, which is down from £9.99 to £5.99.

Beautiful gold poinsettia hanging on a Christmas tree

Baubles and faux fur are among the discounted festive items already on sale (Image: Getty Images)

Emily Van Schmus of Better Homes & Gardens magazine said families should start their Christmas planning early to reduce the financial burden of this holiday.

She added: “Over the summer, inventory what you have and make a list of things to buy.

“Things like extra Christmas decorations or personalized Christmas stockings for a new family member can be bought online all year round.

“If you’re thinking of making the switch to an artificial tree this year, don’t wait until December to make your purchase.

“The summer sale is a great way to save money on this year’s gift swag.”

Households are facing an estimated £6,000 increase in their annual bills this winter due to ever-rising energy bills, food prices and mortgage repayments.

It has sparked fears millions more families will be pushed below the poverty line by the end of 2022 in the worst cost-of-living crisis to hit Britain since the 1950s.

Average spending will rise by £4,610 a year by December, a new analysis from the Center for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) predicts.

This means annual household bills will be £6,219 more expensive this December compared to the same time last year.

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The CEBR predicts ‘housing, fuel and electricity’ bills will be £2,724 more expensive this winter than in 2021.

Laura Suter of investment firm AJ Bell warned: “We’ve seen costs rise sharply this year, but anyone hoping the worst is over could be in for a rude awakening.

“No one is immune to these staggering price hikes that will hit every home across the country.”

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Justin Scacco

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