Christmas is the most expensive time of the year and Christmas gifts are likely to account for a large proportion of your expenditure in the run-up to the festive season, especially if you have a large, extended family or a wide circle of friends. In times of economic difficulties, it makes sense to re-think your normal Christmas gift shopping habits and look for ways in which you can save money whilst at the same time still buying presents that will delight the recipients. Here are some ways to shop smartly for Christmas gifts.
Shopping for Christmas gifts at outlet malls is an excellent way to make your dollar stretch further. Outlet malls typically sell branded goods at prices 50 per cent to 70 per cent lower than in normal retail outlets. Clothing, accessories, cosmetics, home wares, books, toys, and many other items can be bought at outlet malls, so it is possible that you will be able to buy most, if not all, of the items on your Christmas gift list on a single trip to an outlet mall.
It is a good idea to set a budget before you leave home and keep to it. Since many items are offered at a large discount, you may be tempted to buy more gifts than you need to and you may end up spending more in total than you would have spent in your local shopping mall.
eBay and Other Online Stores
eBay sellers and owners of other online stores can afford to sell goods at lower prices than traditional retailers because they have lower overheads. Further advantages of doing your Christmas shopping online include being able to browse and order at anytime of the day or night, and not having to fight your way through crowded shopping malls in the run-up to Christmas. If you have friends or family members living overseas, you could order gifts from a website in their home country and arrange for them to be gift wrapped and delivered directly to their door.
If you buy gifts on eBay or other online auction sites, it is important that you set yourself a maximum price for each item and do not bid beyond that. Sometimes it is all too easy to get carried away with “auction fever” and offer more than an item is worth.
Personalize Low-Cost Items or Make Gifts Yourself
Unique Christmas presents can be created by either personalizing a low-cost item or making a gift from scratch. Look in your local dollar store for items that you could personalize. For example, you could buy a hardback notebook in a plain color and cover it with fabric in a design that would appeal to the recipient. If you buy an inexpensive fabric remnant in a fabric store, you could make a unique personalized gift quickly, easily and inexpensively.