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7 Secrets to Christmas Shopping

by Ashley on December 18, 2013 · 1 comment

I am super thrilled to share today’s post with you. Hattie Brazeley is a successful money coach for young women who have too much month left at the end of their money, and she was a fellow member of my first business coaching group. We go way back. So, iIf you’re looking for some secrets for sticking to your budget while still buying awesome presents for Christmas, keep reading!

7 secrets to christmas shopping

Earlier today I was wondering around Covent Garden in London’s West End drinking in the Christmas vibe – I love Christmas in London. The chilly air smelt of roasting chestnuts and gingerbread and a brass band was playing carols – perfect!

With only single figure sleeps to go, the pace of Christmas shopping is well and truly in high gear. This time of year it’s hard not to be influenced by excess, no matter which side of The Pond you live on. A recent article I read on forbes.com suggested that the average American will spend just over $1000 on Christmas gifts for their friends and loved one this year.

Since most of us Gen-Y babes don’t have that kind of money lying around, I’m sharing with you my tried and tested 7 Secrets to Christmas Shopping on a Budget.

1. Planning is half of the job

Set aside an hour and get comfy with a cup of tea and a notebook. List out all the people you’d like to give gifts to this year. Next review where you’re at finance-wise and set a realistic budget. Once you’re comfortable that your budget is affordable, review your list and assign values to each gift recipient – this process will help keep your overall spend on track.

2. Boost your budget

If you’re budget is a little lacklustre there are a few ways you may be able to boost your spending power without reaching for your credit card or auctioning off your vital organs:

Check your virtual couch cushions – if you’re a member of any loyalty and reward schemes you may be able to cash in on accrued bonuses or cash back. Login to any accounts your hold and see what’s there. I did this recently and realised I’d got £50 worth of vouchers to spend at my local superstore – result!

If you’ve been overseas recently, raid drawers for any foreign currency you may have held on to and get it exchanged.

Check into your PayPal account if you have one; you may find a few dollars hanging out there from past eBay sales and the like.

3. The internet is your ally

Before you leave home spend another hour or so researching gift ideas for the folks on your list. Use sites like pricegrabber.com to compare the prices of your gifts so you know where to head to get a great deal. Doing this research upfront can truly save you masses, though don’t be sucked in to zig zagging your way all over town just to save a dollar here or there that you’ll wind up spending on fuel!

4. There is still time to shop online

If you can’t bear the thought of battling through the crowds at the mall get your shopping done online. Just as you’d need to be in the stores though, stick to your list and hold your focus so your budget stays on track. If you choose to shop online consider whether its possible to buy multiple gifts from one retailer so you can save on postage and packaging fees, or better, look for stores that offer free delivery.

5. Set split to create personalised gifts

This time of year a whole heap of cosmetic brands in particular bundle together their favourite and most popular products into gift sets, but there’s no reason why you have to gift them in this way. You can create great little gift bundles for girlfriends from $20 a piece by splitting these treasures up. Need a little inspiration?

Buy a selection of cute panties. Target have some cute designs from as little as $5 or you could head to Victoria’s Secret and use their multiples deals.

Invest in a few great gift sets. This time of year I love Philosophy’s holiday gift sets – everything smells so good! Check out sephora.com for The Gingerbread House Set for inspiration; it features a selection of 4 x 4oz. bottled products as well as 4 high shine lip glosses for just $42. If you split this selection four ways you could add a little bit of luxury to each gift bag for just $10.50 a piece.

Choose a selection chocolates or candies to add to your bags. Here in the UK I love Lindt and Green & Blacks. I’m sure you probably have a favourite too!

6. Gift food items

Whether you follow the same idea as above gift delicious food bags or select one specific gift, food or beverage items can make excellent gifts. Try not to get caught into the more is more mentality if you use this gift strategy – you really don’t need to pile together heaps of products and create luxury hampers. Simply select two or three items that compliment each other brilliantly and showcase your attention to your loved-ones tastes. Need ideas?

So you Grandma loves tea? Choose a couple of types of loose leaves and pick up an infuser or tea strainer from a home wares store. Package together beautifully. Consider adding a home-made coupon for a Classic Cream Tea Date in the New Year (if you want a super English Scone recipe hit me up in the comments!)

Your Dad loves his wine? Choose a great mid-price bottle and select a couple of great pieces of cheese from a farmers market or store that he can over-indulge in after dinner.

Your neighbour loves a good gossip over coffee and cake? A great bag of coffee beans and a beautifully wrapped piece of artisan cake makes a wonderfully thoughtful gift.

7. Give a signature gift

If you find the concept of researching and buying multiple different gifts too much, consider gifting a version of the same gift to everyone on your list this year. This approach is great if you have a creative flair, a passion to shout about or are great at hosting. For instance:

If you’re an arty or creative type gift a piece of your own handy work to everyone. If you’re known for carrying your camera everywhere, chances are you have some wonderful shots of your friends and family. Have them blown up and framed or create photo books online. If you’re great with words but not especially artsy use an online tech tool like wordificator.com to create typographic art and have that printed and framed.

Passionate about books? Gift to everyone a book you’ve read that you believe they’ll enjoy. Write a personalised dedication in the cover.

Hostess with the mostest? Scrap gift giving altogether this year and throw a dinner party instead. If you cater it yourself and cook from scratch you can put on a lavish spread at a modest cost (look out for a future post on this in the weeks to come!)

So there you have it: 7 Secrets to Christmas Shopping on a Budget.

What are your tips for Christmas shopping on a budget and how much to you tend to spend on holiday gift giving? I’d love to know!

 

[photo credit: gatz125]

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Home Wares January 5, 2015 at 6:58 am

I see your topic,I think your topic is so nice, I think Christmas is a one of the most famous festival in the world, whole people enjoy this day, I think it is a very good day,I like your topic.

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