Families are being warned to stock up early to lessen the pain of soaring winter bills (Picture: Getty)
Stressed shoppers are already scrambling to bag Christmas bargains before the cost of living crisis gets even worse.
Retailers including John Lewis say the trend for planning December festivities early has massively accelerated this year.
Sales of the department store’s decorations and trees are already three times higher over the past month than in the same period in 2021.
With 141 days to go until Christmas, the chain currently has almost 30 individual baubles and 11 types of fake festive furs for sale on its website.
This is a technique known as ‘Christmas creep’ in which retailers start promoting winter-themed merchandise earlier every year.
The uber-premature offers range from £4 for a Tower Bridge Santa bauble to £60 for a Queen’s Platinum Jubilee carriage design.
John Lewis’ cheapest fake tree is an own-brand 6ft illuminated version at £149, with the priciest its 9ft Brunswick spruce at £399.
Dozens of Christmas items at Lakeland are also at budget prices. They include Squires Kitchen’s ‘Jaws and Claws’ sugar modelling kit, down from £9.99 to £5.99.
Baubles and faux furs are among the discounted festive items already on offer (Picture: Getty Images)
Emily Van Schmus, of Better Homes & Gardens magazine, said families should be starting their Christmas planning early to make this holiday less of a financial drain.
She added: ‘Over the summer, take an inventory of what you have and make a list of things you’ll need to purchase.
‘Things like extra Christmas ornaments or personalised Christmas stockings for a new family member can be purchased online year-round.
‘If you’re thinking of transitioning to an artificial tree this year, don’t wait until December to make a purchase.
‘Shopping summer sales can help you save some serious cash on this year’s gift haul.’
Households face the estimated £6,000 leap in their annual bills this winter due to ever-climbing energy costs, food prices and mortgage repayments.
It has prompted fears millions more families will be ground under the poverty line by the end of 2022 in the worst cost of living crisis to batter Britain since the 1950s.
Average outgoings will rise by £4,610 a year between now and December, new analysis by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) forecasts.
It means annual household bills will be £6,219 more expensive this December compared with the same time last year.
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The CEBR predicts bills for ‘housing, fuel and power’ will be £2,724 more expensive this winter than in 2021.
Laura Suter from investment firm AJ Bell warned: ‘We’ve seen a big increase in costs this year but anyone hoping the worst is over could be set for a rude awakening.
‘Nobody is immune to these frightening price rises, which will hit every home across the country.’
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