Today I hurriedly hunted for gifts on the busiest shopping day of the year (UK-wise, the Saturday before Xmas) before meticulously wrapping each purchase to feign advanced preparation.
Last minute shopper like me? Keep reading…
HOW TO SHOP FOR CHRISTMAS PRESENTS ON A BUDGET, LAST-MINUTE
1. Shop alone: I’m an Aries. I walk fast, talk fast and do everything with purpose; shopping included. While others see shopping as a social activity, I see it as a necessity so will only attend with friends upon the promise of free lunch. More importantly, if I need to buy specific items (eg: presents) I make like Jason Derulo and fly solo. It’s not as much fun but your chances of focusing on your objective are higher when your alternative is facing a fruitlessly empty-handed walk home. Alone.
2. Preparation is key: Buying presents for people is hard; it requires thought and carries expectation. That’s why I advise you to think of the category you’re seeking to purchase from (beauty, home decorations etc) and a £10/£20 price limit. Most people have materialistic preferences, i.e I’m a sucker for merchandising, while my sister prefers practical gifts. Analyse this area before you set off and where you’re likely to find certain items.
3. Don’t rely on impulse buys: It may be tempting to think “I’ll decide once I’m there” but I’m here to administer some tough love. A) that won’t happen and B) you’ll probably regret whatever you buy. Why? Because you haven’t had time to convince yourself it’s the ‘right gift’ and besides, you’re more likely to buy what you want and not what they want. This is a common predicament that most of us have experienced first-hand. In-store, we’re bombarded with different choices for the same product in terms of colour, design, style etc. so you have to deliberately steer away from your personal preference in favour of what’s most suited to the person you’re buying for.
4. Plan your shop route before heading out: Try to stick to a particular shopping centre if possible, especially given the fact you’ll be in a hurry to get it over with! Integrally: go in, source the items, pay for them and only then can you browse for pleasure.
5. Treat yo’ self: I have heard the refrain “I really like it but I’m not here to buy for me!” on too many occasions. If you’ve stayed within your budget and aren’t below the poverty line, you can afford to buy some gifts for yourself. You’ll have to part with your hard-earned cash eventually so throw some materialism into the self-loving mix. After all, it’s Christmas.