I get really angry when I see all the Black Friday promotions offering so-called cut price deals.

In many cases, the items on sale are not even a bargain! Experts at Which? have shown that many of the goods being hailed as pre- Christmas special offers could have been bought cheaper or for the same reduced price at other times of the year.

I wish shoppers would take their time and do some research before rushing out to grab things in these hiked up sales.

Stores are simply fuelling spending. But what annoys me so much is that they are preying on vulnerable families who are often struggling to make ends meet but yearn to give their children a Christmas to remember.

Do your research first. Make a list of the presents and items you hope to buy and can afford.

Check prices online or in the stores in advance. Set yourself a budget and don’t be tempted to get your credit card out.

You’ll be amazed by how much you can save by planning and being a bit more prepared.

Don’t just rely on these big household stores and supermarkets to come up with your gifts, wooing you in with big signs and fancy labels.

Mooch round the charity shops.

You’ll be surprised to discover lots of brand new items, many still with price tags, that would make perfect presents.

Don’t forget Christmas fairs in churches and schools. Again, many have fancy goods stalls where people kindly donate unwanted gifts that have never been opened.

There are also lots of craft fairs in the coming weeks where talented local people sell their own bespoke products. You can talk to the person who actually made the items and know that your gift will be unique.

Remember, if something seems too good to be true, it often is.

Take your time now before you regret coming home with a Black Friday ‘bargain’ which leaves you feeling cheated and in debt.

Lucy Bancroft Cheshire