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…