This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine.
Okay so it’s mid- September now… is that too early to mention the C word? By that I of course mean Christmas. While on the one hand, it seems crazily early to be thinking about it (we only just moved past Summer right?) but on the other, its nice to start saving and planning – making sure you have everything you need and of course the cashflow to get it!
As a single mum (or at least the person singularly responsible for buying the girls gifts), its important that I at least start to think about it early, even if no purchasing goes on yet. Here are my top tips for planning out the perfect Christmas present purchasing!
Grab a pen and paper, start making notes on a pad. Or open up that notepad app on your phone and start a page there. It doesn’t really matter where you do it, but start a list and add to it every time you think of something. When the kids say “I really wish I had….” or when they’re watching tv and the adverts come on with “oooh I’d love one of those…”. Jot it down and that way you’ll remember it when the time comes to purchasing. You can of course think about the things you want them to have – that will save you money in the long run if you get them for Christmas. A new school bag, clothes, pajamas etc.
Make a Wishlist
There are loads of great sites for making a wishlist. Amazon has a very simple one to use, as does My Greedy Book. There are other sites like Polyvore, Giftster etc. that all do the same thing. Do some searching of the internet in your free time and add the items you like to the wishlists – you can even set up a list per person. It doesn’t really matter if you plan to shop online or in person, its still a good way to keep track of the actual brand you’ve found and the prices you’ve found it at. The lists are also really easy to edit if you find something different – swap, edit, delete etc.
Keep an eye out for vouchers and sales
As soon as you’re ready to think about actually buying (and preferably once you have some spare money), start to keep an eye out for bargain opportunities. There are many sites like Vouchercode or Groupon Coupons that will offer you good discount options for your shopping. Keeping an eye on these sites will help you to get your items at a lower price than you would have regularly and may even offer you options like free shopping – which then makes shopping online both easier and cheaper.
Sites often have sales in the run up to Christmas – think Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday, both of which are great times to grab bargains both in store and online. If you’re brave enough to leave your shopping right up till Christmas Eve (which I’m definitely not) I believe you can grab several bargains then too.
Finally, if you have any flexibility and can get away with secondhand or refurbished, places like Ebay or CEX are a great idea to check out as well. Most kids won’t even notice that it’s not in a box or proper packaging, as they’ll be too pleased to have the gift. This is a great idea for electricals especially as you can really drop the prices for yourself.
I’ve already started my lists and will be soon starting to buy the odd thing here and there. Despite the fact it’s only September I hate not being organised and I would hate even more for the kids not to get something they’d like, all because I didn’t plan well. Good luck with your Christmas planning and even more good luck if you attempt to tackle sales like Black Friday!!