Clever ways to save on last-minute Christmas presents – and nobody will be any the wiser!

Christmas is just around the corner, but sometimes buying presents for friends and family can be tough on your purse

Christmas is just around the corner, but sometimes buying presents for friends and family can be tough on your purse strings.

Here are our best ideas for thrifty gift giving, to ensure everyone has a Merry Christmas!

1. Give time, not things

Most people have a cause or hobby they hold dear. So this Christmas, rather than buying gifts for loved ones, why not offer them your time? Accompany your friend to the local RSL where they normally volunteer, or help your neighbour with her gardening. Gifting your time saves money, but it can also be an enriching experience for everyone involved.

2. Handmade gifts and wrapping

Baking treats for your loved ones is a classic way to save on gifts at Christmas. Try cake, cookies and puddings. Think outside the box, and get your grandchildren to draw on recycled paper.  This way you have hand-illustrated gift wrap with a personal twist, that costs next to nothing!

3. There’s no shame in regifting

Remember that box of chocolates you won, but don’t plan to eat? Christmas is the perfect time to pass it onto new owners. The same works for hand-me-downs. Maybe you have a scarf you don’t wear, that would look lovely on your sister? Regifting your unwanted belongings can actually bring joy to someone else, provided the goods are still in decent condition.

4. To market, to market

Your local markets are a great place to shop for Christmas gifts. Jams, soaps and handmade jewellery are often on sale for less, when compared to major stores. Flowers are another failsafe that are cheaply available at the markets. If you’re buying in bulk at the markets, you can also negotiate prices with each stall-owner.

5. Keep your receipts

It might seem obvious, but as the Christmas rush sets in, it’s easy to misplace receipts for gifts you’ve already purchased. Rustle up a shoe box or notebook where all your receipts can be safely stored until the festive season has passed. This will ensure that any presents which aren’t quite right can be returned, for a refund or exchange. Who knows, you might even find a perfect gift in the Boxing Day sales!

Have you finished your Christmas shopping? Where did you find the best deals?