gift buying throughout the year
Unsugar Coated Motherhood

Gift buying throughout the year

2013-12-06 15.12.22

I’m one of those annoying people who has most of their Xmas presents bought before December is on anyone else’s radar. Don’t get me wrong, I leave wrapping until the last possible moment, but they have been purchased. Not only does it take the stress out of Christmas shopping, it’s much more economical. We buy birthday and Xmas pressies for about 50 people – old and young – and I’m constantly on the hunt for thrifty bargains whether it’s January or July.

Organisation is key so I write a list at the start of the year (in birthday order) of everyone needing a gift, then fill in the space next to it when I have found them one. I do something similar for the Xmas list. The girls have a floor to ceiling wardrobe in their room and I made the bottom of it the ‘present cupboard’ when we first moved here. It allows me to store everything without the presents taking over the house. As you can see from the photo above it gets pretty full!

Now that 4yo is at school we also have presents for the endless birthday parties to chuck into the mix. Being on maternity leave this year I’m going to need to be thriftier than ever, and stick tight to a small budget. It’s going to be bit of a challenge but I reckon something like this is doable:

£2-3 for school kids parties
£5-7 for kids of friends
£5-10 for close friends or family

Having a massive selection of charity shops on my doorstep really helps, I’ve found all sorts in there over the years. My local Oxfam does a beautiful range of new products, and they get reduced to up to 80% off during sales. I used to hate pound shops but have started seeing them as a necessary evil, and have become rather good at spotting the odd item that doesn’t look really cheap. When I see something useful I stock up – like this fab corkscrew.

Here are some of my top tips:
– January is a great time to pick up charity shop bargains (i.e. unwanted gifts from Xmas)
– if myself or the girls receive a gift that is completely surplus to requirements I keep it and give it to someone else
– I’m a sale-rail addict and never buy anything full price in a shop
– Amazon often have flash sales
– good old Ebay is great as long as the postage doesn’t bump the price up too much
– large Sainsburys stores often have a good selection of decent gifts, which then get heavily reduced during sale times
– I also check the reduced to clear section when doing online grocery shops

Do you have any gift buying tips? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section if you do…

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Full time wife and mummy to three, home educator, blogger, wannabee chef and published author. Follow me on my journey through life...

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  1. […] saving £1 every single day to lighten the load come December. I’ve spoken before about my fabulous present cupboard which I could not live without. I’d highly recommend finding the space for one somehow, even […]

  2. Tee hee good old Sainsbos! It’s just so worth doing for the savings though. ELC fab too, there stuff gets seriously reduced in the sales 🙂

  3. It’s awesome 🙂

  4. I definitely like the idea of a thrift cupboard!

  5. such a great idea…now you have made me want to shop!! #thriftythursday

  6. OMG you are me lol we sent £185 in Sainsbury’s just before new year we only went in for spuds & milk but there sales were too good to miss. Loads of lego, hello kitty & guinness world record bits I think we are pretty much sorted for next year.

    ELC do some great deals too we got the boy a build it set which should be £40 for £14. I tend to buy too much and when it comes to wrapping for my boys I think they have too much and take some away to give to their friends.

  7. Sounds like a great idea – you get to buy pressies and have a social. Win win

  8. That’s a really brilliant thing to do, although I am hardly ever organised enough to do this.

    One of the nice things about present hoards was that a friend of ours was trying to get rid of some stock she was selling and had a sale at her house one evening. We were able to go mad and buy some really lovely stuff “for the present hoard”.

  9. It’s definitely good to have a stash for these parties if they’re coming that frequently 😉

  10. ginacaro says:

    Lots of people that I have spoken to recently have a ‘present hoard’. I really need to start doing this! Since H has started school we seem to be at a birthday party every weekend and I always leave it to the last minute to buy a gift, which ultimately results in us paying more for a gift than we needed too. Must do better!! Thanks for linking up to this weeks #ThriftyThursday

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