Buying Christmas gifts on a student budget

– Sarah Beane contributed to this report

That magical time of the year has arrived once again with the annual giving and receiving of presents on Christmas morning. The season can be costly but, for those sticking to a budget, here are some tips for gift buying.

Christmas can be an expensive time for people, especially students. Photo: Alice Harold (via Flickr)


Vouchers are more popular than ever as they are able to save you money on fantastic gifts. Upon signing up to voucher websites, such as Voucher Codes and Discount Vouchers, they send regular emails with their best deals.

Take advantage of deals in store

Don’t be afraid to take advantage of the 3 for 2 or buy one get one free offers that are found in many stores. Even if you don’t need to buy three gift sets, spare presents come in handy and can even be kept for other occasions later on.

Get creative

Sometimes a homemade gift is not only cheaper, but also has that personal touch. Instead of buying a box of biscuits, sweets or fancy chutneys, make your own.Many craft and cookware shops stock the equipment such as glass jars or you can recycle ones you’ve already got.

There are also plenty of recipes that can be found online, such as with BBC Food, which has a whole section of homemade gift recipes.

Recycling not only saves you money but can save old items from being thrown in the landfill. One simple idea is to create a small purse or spare change pouch (always handy in cars for car parks) out of some old material.

Personal gift boxes are also another fun idea. Simply buy small inexpensive gifts and buy a box that you can customise yourself. This saves wrapping them up in paper that will be thrown away and brings out your creative side.

Band together

If you have brothers and sisters or even friends that can all chip in, then putting money together can lead to buying a great gift that wasn’t possible on your own. Just don’t forget to put all the names on the card!

Shop around

It may be more time consuming that just going into one shop and buying the gift, but if there are multiple places selling the same item, find the shop with the best price and buy from there.

Sometimes this may result in looking on the Internet rather than buying in-store, but watch out for postage and packaging charges as these push up the price that you’re paying and may not be the cheapest option.

Budget and list

Finally, sometimes what you really need to do is to simply write down a list of whom you are buying for and how much you are willing to spend, such as £5 or £10 per person.

A top tip to sticking to the budget is to withdraw some cash and leave the bank card at home; this will hold you back from over spending as you can only spend what you have on you.

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