Posted by Allison on 1 April 2009, 16:25
It's fast approaching the time of year when we all make lists of who we need to find suitable presents for. That means we have some shopping to do, and the easier we can make this process for ourselves, the better it will be.
This year will be a particularly tough challenge, too. We have a rough economy and thanks to rising bills our money doesn't seem to be going as far as it used to. That makes it even more important to grab whatever bargains we can find.
It used to be the case that we could get some decent bargains by shopping abroad on the internet. But with the weakness of our own currency at the moment, the prime location for doing this is out of the question. With sterling dropping below the $1.50 mark, as compared to the $2 mark it was at not so long ago, you cannot get such a good bargain in the US any more.
So where does that leave us? Is it worth venturing onto the high street, or is the internet still going to be the best option?
If you have been shopping recently you will no doubt have seen that many shops are already discounting their goods because they want to get people through the door and spending money. That is good news for you as you can get more for your money than you would be able to otherwise.
But another tip is to make sure you shop around before you buy anything. Take a notepad and pen with you – or grab the gift catalogues that many shops do at this time of year – and do some window shopping first. Make a list of ideas for various people and grab a coffee while you figure out which shops do them the cheapest. It takes a little longer to do this, but it is well worth it because you can save a lot of money in the process.
Don't forget the internet though, because there are plenty of internet sites in this country that offer good deals on items. You will probably also notice this year that many of them are promoting free or very cheap postage on a lot of items as well. This helps them to remain as competitive as possible in the run up to Christmas – and that can only be good news for you as you search out those bargains.
The process of researching the best prices applies just as much here though, no matter which country you are buying from or which currency you are using. You might find that you can get more than one item from the same place, which will save on postage charges overall. Don't forget to build these charges into the overall cost; sometimes a more expensive item with free postage will be a better option.
And of course there are also the price comparison sites, which help you to find better deals every day. You can also search for specific keywords in the search engines to see what turns up. And be sure to take a look at Price Runner, which has a great article to help out too. You'll find it at http://www.pricerunner.co.uk/savvy-spender/save-money-this-Christmas.html.