Christmas shopping is never easy! Working out who you need to buy gifts for, how much money you have to commit to those gifts, and also what you're going to get them is enough for anyone to throw their hands up and just buy socks!
I've come up with some clever tips on how to shop smarter and not get caught out by last-minute expensive delivery charges and generic underwhelming choices!
December is always a busy time of year regardless of whether you have stacks in your the diary or not; it's one of those months where things just happen or creep up on you unexpectedly.
1. Try writing out a list of those you want to gift to and take a bit of time to think about each person individually...ask yourself:
Have they mentioned a particular item this year they want?
Have they been through anything important or stressful this year?
Don't resort to "this person likes Harry Potter so I'll get something Harry Potter" there is more to a person than their likes and dislikes. By recalling experiences and conversations you've had with them over the year, you can remind yourself of more profound moments and get inspiration from them.
You might find that by doing this you are able to not only make sure you get the right gift but also save money! We spend so much just on the confusion of what to get or getting loads of stuff. By getting one thoughtful gift you could save more and have more of an impact!
Buy What You Like
Sounds selfish right? Well maybe it is, but it's worked for me over the years. When it comes to giving gifts, I always ask myself "If someone brought me this would I like it?" "What would my reaction be?"
Ultimately the people you are giving gifts to, are the people who you have chosen to be in your life, and by that logic, you must have certain things in common right? Well if you shop for them as if you were shopping for yourself you can't go much wrong and should they hate it and give it back...happy days cause at least you like it and it won't go to waste!
Opt for Gift Wrap
Yes ok, there is an expense with this one, but there is an expense with Christmas anyway! I'm just trying to find ways to make Christmas less stressful and more enjoyable overall and one mistake I always make is saying to myself I'll have the time (or inclination) to do all the wrapping!
I never take into consideration the shape or weight of the items I'm buying so I end up spending just as much on wrapping paper and bags as I would have done just opting for the gift wrap option!
Ok, so maybe you don't need to go for gift wrapping every time, but look at your purchases thoroughly before hitting "checkout" and think...do I want to be tackling that?
Go with Function over Novelty!
I'm sure we've all done the "over-excited" purchases in the past...the ones where you are out shopping, it's all cold and Christmassy and it's a glaze of yummy smells and shopping bags and you find yourself saying "Oh they would love that!" and buy it without any thought at all. These are usually the novelty gifts, the type of gifts that you buy cause they have a particular initial on it or someone's pet and you just assume they will love it because there is a blatant connection, but novelty never works! These are the gifts that might get a polite smile when it comes to opening time but they usually won't hold any true emotion or FUNCTION. I always try and opt for gifts that I know will get used to!
If you are in a bind on what to get you can't go wrong with function try:
Gift Cards (to a shop they actually visit)
Go Second Hand, Ethical, Reuseable, or Refillable!
We all want to do our part for the environment, but on a completely selfish level, buying gifts that are pre-owned or reusable really does give you a great buzz both in your heart and bank account!
When I find a gift that I particularly want for someone before I'll even contemplate buying something new I'll shop around on Facebook Marketplace, Ebay or Gumtree seeing if there is another option. Often there are items that are unwanted but brand new that you can get at a steal.
In addition, buying an item that is long-lasting or refillable can be the gift that keeps on giving! Ask yourself how long your items will last when you are shopping this year.
Get your voucher on!
Here's the savvy bit! Once I have narrowed down my gift choices (or items for myself for that matter!) I always try and get a bit off!
I'm not a quick shopper, I bide my time waiting for sales or discount codes to arise. Sites/Apps such as VoucherCloud or Vouchercodes enable me to search for that particular brand and pick from a selection of discount codes from free delivery to 10% off. A little goes a long way!
It's worth having a look at installing Honey onto your laptop of phone as well! Honey is an application that will pop up on any site when it has found a code or deal that can be applied. It will try and apply as made codes as possible at the checkout until it finds the best deal.
Another great way to save some pennies is hotdeals. Hotdeals is an app and website which allows you to search for products within certain categories and allows you to see where you can get it the cheapest. People from all around the world (or in your region) will upload codes they have found or deals for that item across the web and you just go and claim it!
Another idea is to buy second-hand. I know this isn't always thought of as an ideal option, but looking through sites such as facebook marketplace, ebay and gumtree before buying new could really pay off! Most of the time people have recieved brand new gifts themselves that they didn't want or are selling to make more room in their house. It makes more sense to buy off someone else for much less than paying full retail and postage!