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Christmas shopping tips

If you dread Christmas shopping, these three simple tips might make the experience a little less daunting.

Timing

Last minute shopping in the run up to Christmas can be stressful, frustrating and, ultimately, more expensive. Shoppers tend to choose less wisely when they are working within tight time constraints, and it’s all too easy to settle for a ‘that will do’ gift rather than a ‘that’s perfect’ one. Making the time to do your shopping well before the festive season is the best way to avoid compromises. Get it in the diary at least a couple of weeks before putting up your Christmas decorations.

Online tricks

If you’re buying online, check delivery dates first to ensure the item will arrive in time. As well as comparing prices, check any item that is cheaper on a different site is actually the same in terms of specification, size, colour and materials used. It’s always worth filling a basket, getting to the checkout and then closing the site. If you wait a day or so, some companies will offer a discount voucher code to encourage you to complete the purchase. Signing up to a mailing list can also generate a discount too.

Convenience at a cost

Pre-packaged gift sets are convenient and attractive, but don’t always represent value for money. This can be particularly true for gourmet food, cosmetics and fragrances, where the item you want is supplemented by others you don’t. Watch out for reduced size items too. Sometimes, it’s best to opt for full-size, full-price items to get true value.

Finally, if in doubt, you can never go wrong with a beautiful house plant!

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