MSE Blog: My number one Christmas present rule

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My number 1 Christmas shopping rule: start early
I’m not the most organised person in the world. But this ‘unorganised me’ changes magically once a year when I buy Christmas presents. I’ve better skills than Santa’s elves...

Hi, my name’s Charlotte Burns… …and I’m a deals hunting, coupon-loving glitch addict. Before joining MoneySavingExpert, I used to hunt for deals in my spare time – now I get to do it and get paid. Talk about landing my dream job! Read my Deals Hunter blogs to see what I'm on about. If you have any tips for me to look into tell me on the Forum or on Twitter #DealsHunter.


  • I've bought a total of 2 Christmas pressies so far. Definitely need to up my game!
  • sweetilemon
    sweetilemon Posts: 2,243 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Bought my first today! Its a start!
  • madvixen
    madvixen Posts: 577 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I start mine in the boxing day sales and pick up as many as I can throughout the year. I have 6 presents left to buy but I know what each of those people are getting and I'm just waiting for the prices to drop.
    My big tip would be to set up a spreadsheet at the start of the year so you know who you have to buy for. Fill it in when you've bought that gift and make a note of where you've hidden it. I'll never forget one Christmas Eve where I turned the house upside down trying to find my Mum's gift. She ended up getting a box of chocs and got her pressie in January when I eventually found it :rotfl:
  • whitewing
    whitewing Posts: 11,852 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I find it easiest to set a monetary value for each person (same amount for brothers, sisters, parents, aunt etc). Then for that person I spend that amount but get the best deals I can so can have fluctuating value presents, depending on what they want. My little brother is a normal clothes size so gets more for the money if he wants clothes because the local shops cater for him than my older brother, who isn't.

    We also sometimes will get up to our budget for someone but they will give money to take it over if what they want is more. We still buy and wrap it (my family hate shopping). I use MSE to get the best deals.

    If I want to be a little more spontaneous/extravagant then I generally spend the same amount extra on all.
    :heartsmil When you find people who not only tolerate your quirks but celebrate them with glad cries of "Me too!" be sure to cherish them. Because these weirdos are your true family.
  • Dee76
    Dee76 Posts: 37 Forumite
    I usually start the present buying in August.
    I make little extra presents such as sweet hampers for the kids which I buy a bit at a time and it soon mounts up. They look forward to their personal hampers more than the actual presents some times.
    I save the bottles of wine from the meal deals from Tesco and use them for teachers/friends.
    Save up our Tesco points for the Big Exchange in November for toys etc.
    Set a budget per person but will only buy presents marked as half price.
    Wait for the Boots £12 points for £50 spend events in conjunction with the 3 for 2, to buy ladies toiletry.perfume presents so that I save up the points for make up for myself.
    Put some money to one side to keep for the sales for any bargains for the following year.
    Make 4- 6 Christmas Love in a box shoe boxes for underprivileged children, to include small essential items, treats and a toy that I have collected from a few months before.
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