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5 budget-friendly tips for last-minute gift shopping

Finance & Money

Posted on Monday, December 6, 2021

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Are you a gift procrastinator? You’re not alone. Looking for a last-minute gift happens to the best of us, and you can easily go over budget if you aren’t careful.


No need to panic, though! With some insight, you can beat the rush while keeping your finances in check. Keep these wallet-friendly gift ideas in mind before making your purchases.


1. Stick to a list

List the names of everyone you need a gift for and allocate a budget for each one. Here are some ways to stay organised:


  • Write down the gift you’d ideally like to buy for them. Create this list on your phone’s notes app: use an app like Todoist or the old-school way with pen and paper.
  • Cross off each item as you make your purchases.


2. Make use of freebies

Gift wrapping and other extras can add up, so shop smart. For instance:


  • Use free gift-wrapping services, which most stores have during the festive season. This saves you both time and money.
  • Buy-one-get-one-free deals or three-for-two promotions can also make your rand go further, so keep an eye out for these.
  • Subscribe to your favourite online stores’ newsletters too and keep your eyes peeled for those deals!


3. Get creative

Gifts don’t have to break the bank for them to be meaningful. Making home-made gifts can save you time and money. Pinterest is a great platform for ideas and good options include:


  • Baked goods, such as brownies, biscuits and Christmas cookies – this is a great idea because you can bake in bulk and divide them into multiple gifts. Put them into pretty boxes or use upcycled glass jars with decorations.
  • Photographs, printed out and set in frames – you can buy affordable frames or plain ones and decorate them yourself.
  • Home-made candles or soaps in different colours and shapes.
  • Turn your hobby into a gift – knitted goods, cross-stitched cushion, a photoshoot if you’re good behind the camera… whatever hobby you have that can be used to create a gift.



4. Shop online

Making your purchases online means you avoid the hustle and bustle of other last-minute shoppers. You can even ship gifts directly to your loved ones if you’re in a real-time crunch. Best of all, you can even make all your purchases in one go. Good options for online shopping include Takealot and Superbalist, which offer a variety of goods, including gadgets, fashion, beauty and leisure items.


5. Use your cashback rewards
If you’ve been piling up your store or credit card points, now is the time to cash it in! Most banks have cashback rewards for cheque or credit cards, for example eBucks, which you can earn on many online stores. You can use the points in-store or exchange them for merchandise or vouchers in some cases.


For more festive season budget tips, read this article: How to gear up for the festive season.