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Published November 29th 2012
Proven tips on saving money on gift buying
Christmas comes around again and so does the shopping. Image by Domaniqs from Wikipedia.
1) Start early. From now until the first week of December you will find all kinds of sales where whole stores have 20% off Christmas buying. This includes everything from trinkets, toys and clothes to supermarkets selling off legs of ham before everyone gets desperate and pays top dollar. So break your own rule here (or maybe it is just mine) and do start Christmas shopping before December 1st as it can save you heaps.
2) Last year I was buying some Chanel after shave. Yes, expensive I know. I shopped around for a good price but it was a standardised price everywhere even online. Chanel has a name and it is not to be sullied by being discounted. After I had paid and the chemist's assistant was putting the finishing touch on my gift wrapping (see point 4) I saw the SIGN. It said there would be a special shopping night where all gifts were 15% off. Lesson learnt. Learn which shops have these special nights and make sure you hold off and shop on them.
3) The shops make big money out of Christmas not simply because of gift buying but because you go to the shops and see things that you want for yourself. The answer is to be strict with yourself. Unless it is a present you cannot buy it. It will be cheaper after Christmas in any case if you really still want it.
4) Do take advantage of any shop that offers gift wrapping. It will save you heaps on expensive paper and ribbon plus there is NOTHING worse than looking at the mound of presents on Christmas Eve and thinking to yourself, some poor mug has to wrap all these and my partner has conveniently taken himself off to bed. I have had fairly good service which includes free gift wrapping from the online cosmetics/perfume company strawberry.net
5) Five dollars won't buy you a bit of plastic in the shopping centres but I was simply enthralled to find what you can get at some of the local craft markets which seem to specialise in innovative ideas that do not cost the earth. I went to the Eltham Craft Market and I have to say it was fantastic. Here are some of the innovative gifts I bought. Luckily the new owners are too young to know how to use the Internet so I won't be wrecking any surprises.
This is a pop up santa-clown on a stick. Great for a game of peek-a-boo with a baby. What $5 will buy you in a market.
This little monkey pouch is made from soft material. Inside is a space for crayons and paper. Perfect for a toddler when you get caught out somewhere and need something for them to do. $22 The creator was little old ark which is online at www.madeit.com.au/littleoldoak
This pouch holds four little toy cars. It also has a road sewn on it. Front and back. It can be folded up to the size of a pencil case and put in a bag and brought out at the right moment. The maker was dittocrafts.com I loved their stuff it was really innovative
I also found that for people who cannot get to the pre Christmas markets that there is an innovative site called madeit.com.au where heaps of the crafties stock their wares. Great for unique handmade gifts.
Website that a lot of people probably don't know about which provides an alternative to the normal mass produced goods at shopping centres.
6) You know it is true if you can be bothered. You should buy what you can in the post-Christmas sales. That bit of plastic will have come down considerably. Now put that gift away until next Christmas so you have a head start for next year.
Before going christmas shopping go thru your own cupboards & check if there is anything suitable to give to a friend or neighbour or work collegue. You may even be able to make up a small basket of goodies,body lotion,hand cream, and don't forget gifts for the less fortunate/children,plenty of charities are needing donations,new not pre-loved. Going thru your cupboards is just like Christmas!!