Tuesday, 24 August 2010


I know it's only August and I know I say it every year, but - start your present shopping now!
I hate to see Christmas stuff in the shops each August, just as much as everyone else, but it is an inescapable fact, planning saves us money!
At the moment there are summer sales which do not just include summer items - there is jewellery, homewares, sweatshirts, tee shirts, nightwear, toys - all perfectly great Christmas presents!
Make your list and see what you can buy - stick to your budget at all costs - if it's £10 per person - stick to it (well, I do allow myself up to £10.99 if I see something just perfect!), if it's £5 per person - stick to it. Like me, you'll be glad come January. Who wants to see the cold grey New Year in with a bundle of debt - or being absolutely skint until the end of February?
Once you've made your "who to buy for" list - think! Aunty Edna probably doesn't want any more hankies or ornaments - what does she really like? Is it a particular perfumed talc?, home made fudge? more batteries for the remote control - or a combination of all of those? I often fill a Christmas gift bag with an assortment of what I call "consumables" tailored exactly towards the recipient - the older generation in my family want stuff they can use - not more stuff to fill drawers with or ornaments to dust.
Another idea is to buy vouchers - gone are the days when there were only book tokens or Boots vouchers - you can get vouchers for almost everything now! Post Office gift vouchers - easily available locally to you, are redeemable in over 17000 outlets! Or if you want to buy online then try High Street Vouchers - again, they have a massive choice of retailers. Garden tokens are popular and my local cinema sells gift tokens for its performances. It pays to think - we all know that if we are rushing around buying gifts at the last minute, it costs us more.
Thinking saves us money!

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