Dads, don’t make the mistake of leaving it until 4.30pm on Christmas Eve to hit your local department store in search of desirable gifts for your partner. You’ll just end up stressed and spend a small fortune on panic-bought presents.
A little bit of pre-planning will mean you get a good deal, and more family time. Follow our top ten shopping tips…
1. Visit an outlet shopping centre
Try and find some time to visit a discount village or outlet shopping centre – where you’ll find a range of boutiques offering up to 60 per cent discounts on clothing, lingerie, household accessories and toiletries. Many of them are open until late in the evening. They are often easy places to visit with the kids too, so why not take them along to help?
2. Look online
Look online for deals in your lunch hour. Not only does shopping online save you a lot of time but there are discounts to be found that you’d never get on the high street. Just leave plenty of time for the gifts to arrive before Christmas (at least two weeks).
3. Ask for a wishlist
If you really don’t know what she wants, ask her to set up a ‘wishlist’ on her favourite website and pick from there. You’ll save heaps of time and wasted effort.
4. Use your loyalty points
Make the most of store deals and discounts in the run up to Christmas. For instance, save points on a store reward card throughout the year and use the points to buy something really special. Sign up for cards now if you haven’t done so already.
If you don’t have the money to get her what she really wants, why not write her a nice note with an IOU and buy something in the sales? Come Boxing Day, almost everything in the shops will be reduced. May be you could organise a day to go shopping together?
6. Be supermarket savvy
Use every trip to the supermarket as an opportunity to buy one small gift – such as bath oil, book, or CD – along with your groceries.
7. Go with a plan
If you’re going to hit the high street just before Christmas, go with a plan.
8. Have a back-up
Make a list of your partner’s favourite stores and what items you’re going to look at in each. Have a back-up gift (such as perfume) that you know you’ll be able to buy if you can’t find anything more interesting. Set a time limit and don’t get distracted!
9. Buy vintage
Don’t be afraid to buy vintage – if you’re buying a designer item such as a handbag or jewellery, then second-hand is perfectly acceptable! Ask her friends for tips on what to go for and start bidding on auction sites.
10. Get crafting
Put your craft skills to good use and decorate or embellish something. Give a cheap piece of furniture, or an accessory such as a photo frame or mirror, the personal touch.
Finally, if in doubt, save yourself time and tribulation and top up her a gift card. She can buy what she wants, and playing safe is better than getting it wrong.