James and I were sitting chatting the other night about what we want for Christmas. I don’t care what anyone says, it is never to early to start thinking about Christmas.
Christmas is my favourite time of year but there is no denying that it is an expensive season for most. James is the sort of person that enjoys the thrill of running around on Christmas Eve buying everything. I am not that person! I couldn’t afford it either!
Planning ahead is a must for me and figure out what I want to buy and how much I can actually afford to spend. I couldn’t cope with the stress of waiting for something to arrive, hoping it will come on time.
Watch The Sales!
I always start thinking of what gifts to get people when it comes to the end of the Summer. There are some great end of season sales that mean you can get something really nice for a loved one at a reduced cost. I also like to plan what I am getting people so I can keep an eye on the prices.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are always great days to avail of discounts. But that is no use if you don’t know what to be buying or realise even with a discount your still fifty quid short! Have a think about what you know you’re loved ones will want. Even better – just ask them! I literally won’t buy something for my sister without asking first, I’ve spent too much time walking around the shops exchanging gifts with her. If you’re unsure it’s better to ask and get something they want then end up spending money on something that will never be used.
I love getting bath sets every year but I generally don’t use everything in them. I might use the bubble bath or bath bomb and leave whatever else is in it untouched. Keep an eye on beauty sites online and places like Boots or TK Maxx. You could pick up some really nice items like bath bombs or fancy candles that you can combine into a really nice hamper for someone come Christmas.
3 For 2 Offers
Take advantage of 3 for 2 gift offers which are available in places like Boots or Littlewoods. These are great for picking up gifts that will suit everyone. From a skincare kit for your mum to an aftershave set for your dad you can get items they’ll definitely want and use with the added bonus of getting another item free.
3 for 2 offers are also great for picking up stocking fillers or to have an extra present on standby. There’s always that one person you didn’t buy a gift for but they show up with one for you! I always panic about forgetting someone so I always buy an extra men’s gift and women’s gift, just in case. My mum always used to do this too so I suppose I get it from her! They have been needed the odd time over the years so it is something to keep in mind.
Plan Ahead & Start Saving
There might be something specific that you can start putting money aside for. There’s 14 full weeks left until Christmas, so draw yourself up a budget and figure out what you can actually afford to buy each week or else how much you can put aside each week. This is a great way of being able to afford some of the pricier items you may have your eye on.
Every year I do my list of who I want to buy gifts for. It’s usually just James, my mum and dad, my sister and my Godson. We then also get gifts for James’s mum, Nanny and sister too. Once I’ve figured out who I need to buy for it makes it easier to spot things I know they will like. For some people I might get one specific item for them whilst for others it will be a mix of a few things that I know they will appreciate. For instance I think James buys my sister a new pair of Harry Potter pajamas every year.
Ebay and AliExpress
Online shopping is great for getting good bargains on things. When you plan ahead and leave yourself enough time for things to get delivered, you’re almost guaranteed a better price. Start looking on eBay and Aliexpress for things now. They might take a while to arrive but will cost you a fraction of the price through these sites. Anything I spot online that I like, I screenshot and use Aliexpress image search. This shows similar items for a reduced price. You will be surprised how often you find the EXACT same item, just being sold at the original price and not the marked up price of a retailer.
I always shop a season ahead on Aliexpress as the delivery can take up to 6 weeks, so now is when you need to be ordering. You can get everything from clothes to decorations to handbags and so much more. I will do a separate post on what I’m ordering or have ordered for Christmas through the app.
One thing I would say though is be extremely careful buying makeup through sites like this. Big name brands being sold at a fraction of the usual RRP are almost always a knock off and not the real product. There are so many copies online for brands like Huda Beauty, Kylie Cosmetics, MAC, Urban Decay and so on. I was actually having a look erlier and spotted fakes of the Jaclyn Hill Morphe Vault being sold too. A lot of these copies contain harmful chemicals and you have no idea what you are putting on your skin! I’ve bought so many amazing makeup brush sets (Jessup is a good brand to search) and things like this but I’d recommend steering clear of makeup and buying it from a reputable retailer.
Stay Safe Online
I know some people are wary of online shopping. I was caught out myself and had my bank account cleared out before. Stay safe and make sure you use options like Sage, Paypal or Alipay which are secure payment gateways. If you are unsure about a website, check out their reviews on Trustpilot. You can also check with your bank if they are known to them. Many banks will have untrustworthy or fraudulent businesses on their radar already.
If you’re really unsure, you can get prepaid cards from the post office to use for your online shopping habits. You can lodge money into these so that if you do get caught out, the fraudsters don’t have access to your entire bank account. To stay safe though I generally won’t order from a website unless it provides a secure payment system.
I have so many Christmas posts planned so keep an eye out for them over the next while. The regular Christmas gift guides will start around November. I hope some of the tips I have in this post are useful and I’ll be sure to share everything I pick up in future posts.
Thanks For Reading!