Don't be a last minute panic-buyer: Christmas shopping tips
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Don't panic if you haven't done your Christmas shopping yet - there's still time for you to hunt down bargains with our 10 handy tips.
1. Make a list
However tempting it is to simply rush out and grab whatever takes your fancy, taking the time to make a list - and stick to it - can help avoid impulse buys. Research shows that impulse buying occurs when shoppers are feeling stressed, angry, guilty or bored - in fact, all the emotions we can feel when panic shopping for Christmas gifts!
2. Find cheap prices instantly
It can take a long time to hunt for the best bargains online, so try using Money Saving Expert's handy shopbot, which will do all the hunting for you. If you're planning on shopping on Amazon.co.uk this year, you can also try using Money Saving Expert's Amazon discount-finder tool to find reduced prices on a range of products.
3. Click & Collect
Cut down on delivery waiting times and costs as well by using click and collect services. Amazon offer deliveries to pickup locations across the country, while eBay's Click & Collect service is free on millions of items.
4. Local collection
There are many, often unseen, items on eBay sold for collection only, and this means that they have fewer bids and usually sell for lower prices. Simply enter your postcode, specify how far you want to travel and look at what's on offer.
5. Outlet shopping
Driving to an outlet store is often a good way to bag a bargain, but many shops are now offering online outlets stores as well. Take a look at the Money Saving Expert discount finder.
6. Loyalty points
If you've saved up any loyalty points at supermarkets throughout the year, now may be the ideal time to use them for gift shopping. You may even benefit from boosted or double point offers too!
7. Wait for the sales?
If you're planning on buying a big item for the family over Christmas - a TV or games console for example - it may be worth waiting for the January sales and giving some smaller gifts, keeping the big surprise to kickstart the new year!
8. Low price perfumes
If you're buying perfumes or aftershaves as gifts, look online for some great bargains. A good tip is buying unboxed products from online sellers, which are often sold for a fraction of the price. Yes, they come without their box, but they can still be presented as attractive gifts with a gift box and some ribbon. See moneysavingexpert.com for more advice.
9. Shop around for your Christmas groceries
Good Housekeepinghas found that it actually pays to shop around for your Christmas food, so you can get lower prices combined with higher quality. Some items, for example, are broadly the same price across all supermarkets. The Good Housekeeping basket came out £6.53 cheaper than the Iceland basket at only £21.31. And that's for eight people, so £2.66 per person!
10. Earn while you spend
Using a cashback credit card can make you money as well as protecting your purchases! Ensure that you have set up a direct debit to pay off the amount in full every month so that you don't accrue interest on your payments. You can also use sites like www.quidco.com, or www.topcashback.co.uk to get money back when you purchase online.
Happy Christmas shopping!
Good Housekeeping - Christmas Dinner Budget Basket 2014
Image courtesy of Feelart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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