Black Friday, the biggest shopping day in the calendar, has been and gone. But most shoppers across the UK won't have finished their Christmas shopping just yet, and good job too because many of the items are cheaper now than they were on Black Friday! There are only two weeks to go until Christmas - and shops are already slashing prices. Check out our money-saving tips and suggestions before buying 2015 Christmas gift online.
Gadget Christmas Gifts: What to Look For
Perhaps the best guide for picking the perfect gift is to really think about the individual who will be getting the gift: What does he or she like? Is this a practical-minded person or someone who treasures things whimsical and lighthearted?
Whatever the criteria, we can help you find something splendid to put under the tree. The free spirits and the techies in your life will be happy indeed if you shop with the following in mind:
It's always a delight to receive a gift and even better when that wrapping paper comes off and the present is exactly what you've been longing for. Giving that kind of excitement to your loved ones takes a bit of effort, but it's well worth it.
Just try thinking as they would, consider their tastes, then go even further and wonder what they would love to have but would never buy for themselves. Even spending just a few minutes doing this can not only spark fun gift ideas, but it's also a heartwarming reminder of why this person has a special place in your life.
It's always awkward to watch someone pull an oddball present out of a gift bag and gamely smile while you can see them struggling to find tactful words to say thank you when you know darned well they're really thinking, "What am I going to do with this?" It's great, however, to give a gift that utterly delights your loved one.
You know your Star Wars-obsessed brother will be tickled to unwrap the Star Wars Remote Control Millennium Falcon and send it flying. And the adventurous music lover in your life will enjoy taking along the Fugoo Tough Portable Rugged Bluetooth Speaker on their next excursion. This speaker is designed to handle rough environments such as the outdoors or a workshop while producing rich, high-quality sound.
One of the joys of the holiday season is that you don't have to always stick with the script. If you have carefully considered what a particular individual is like, maybe this is the year to give something a bit different. Perhaps your young niece seems all frills and lace on the outside, but after hearing a couple of people talk about how well she does in science class, maybe an Omano OM117L microscope would be the perfect present. This could be the gift your niece would never ask for but one she would love now and that might open amazing new vistas for her.
From the fun loving to the back-to-basics, our gift-giving guide should help you get a great head start on that often-difficult task of writing out your Christmas list. From the gadgetheads to the preppers in your life, our list has a selection of both the useful and entertaining items that might suit those special people in your life.
Money-saving Tips when Buying Chrismas Gifts for a Big Family
1. Cut Out the Adults
"Last year we agreed with my brother and sister-in-law to only exchange gifts for the kids. It was the start of something wonderful. We have agreed to do it again this year, and I also reached out to another family-in-law this year to do the same. We have reduced our present load by at least four, saving about $150 to $200—as well as the weeks-long process of my husband mulling over the perfect present while vetoing everything I suggest!" —Elissha Park, The Broke Mom's Guide to Everything
2. Rotate Recipients
"On one side of the family, we rotate between the four siblings and their families as to whom we give gifts. My three kids enjoy coming up with a theme and putting together a ‘family gift' for their cousins."—Gina Lincicum, MoneywiseMoms
3. Agree to Get Crafty
"On the other side of our family, we do homemade gifts—still sticking to a dollar amount because it's easy to overspend even with craft supplies. These have been some of our family's favorite gifts, like the CDs of favorite kid songs my son made for his uncles when they became new dads!" —Gina Lincicum, MoneywiseMoms
4. Think In Tiers
"It's so easy to go overboard from year to year. That's why I use a three-tiered gift-giving system: Tier 1 is family. We do gift exchanges with each individual person in our immediate family, and set a budget for each person. Tier 2 is friends. We typically do a single-family gift for our friends, like movie tickets with free babysitting or a fun new game for them to play together. Tier 3 is neighbors and co-workers. I create homemade chocolate goodies in handmade packages.
Once I establish my budgets for each tier and the people in them, I create a cash envelope for that tier. I only spend cash on what I buy for gifts, supplies and even wrapping paper. Once the cash in the envelope is gone, it's gone!" —Kim Anderson, Thrifty Little Mom
5. Focus on Experiences
"Meaningful gifts don't have to be extravagant and costly. Consider giving experience gifts—whether that means buying tickets for a ball game or making plans to take the kids to a matinee movie. Sometimes, the most remembered gifts are those that took thought, not money." —Crystal Paine, Money Saving Mom
6. Pick One and Be Done
"We often employ the Secret Santa method for the adults in our extended family, because with all the siblings and parents things can add up pretty quickly! Rather than try to spend $50 on everyone in each family—which would total $500—we each pick one name to buy for, with a set price range of $100 to $150 per person. This cuts our costs pretty much in half. Plus, this method makes sure that the adults each get a nice bigger gift rather than a whole bunch of smaller gifts. (We don't include kids in Secret Santa—under 18 means you get a gift!) It adds a fun element, too, seeing who got who and what they got them!" —Scarlet Paolicchi, Family Focus Blog
7. Set Aside Cash
"As a mom of five boys, planning ahead for the holidays is an absolute must. Four of my kids are teenagers, and while their wish lists may not be as long as they were when they were younger, the price of their toys has certainly gone up.
To combat the heavy hit the holiday season takes on our budget, my husband and I decide in January how much we want to spend on each child (as well as on ourselves) for the holidays and birthdays for the upcoming year.
We then take the total, divide it by 12, and put that amount into a special savings account every month. By putting away a small amount each month, we aren't met with panic when the holiday season is upon us."—Candace Anderson, Frugal Mom
8. Block Up the Chimney
"Decide with your family to forgo gifts all together. Volunteer Christmas morning so you don't feel like you're missing out on anything, and instead of exchanging gifts, take some of the money you all would have spent and use it for an experience together." —Anna Newell Jones, And Then We Saved
2015 Christmas Gifts Suggestions:
Here, we list some popular Christmas gifts of 2015 for your reference:
1. Fitbit flex
The Fitbit is the latest in wearable health equipment. It can be worn day and night to track the steps, distance, and calories you're burning, and it shows you how you're stacking up against your daily goals. At night, it tracks your sleep cycle, helps you learn how to sleep better, and wakes you silently in the morning. You can access your stats anytime on your computer, tablet, or from smartphones – both iPhone and Android.
Cheapest: The price of the Fitbit Flex is actually going up. Quite a few places are offering it at £44.99 – such as Currys and John Lewis.
Amazon has the lowest price we've seen at £41.14, with free delivery, however some of these models are refurbished so be aware of what you're buying.
If you don't want the black model you might have to pay more for other colours. At John Lewis navy is £79.99, blue is £59.95 and red is £44.95 but is currently sold out. Navy is obviously this season's colour. Click and collect is available, or £3.50 delivery.
2. Crosley Cruiser record player
This year music fans are ditching their Mp3 players and buying retro record players instead. The rich, warm sound of vinyl provides a nostalgic throwback to the 60s and 70s. Made of wood and bound in a leatherette material, the Crosley Cruise briefcase-styled record player is lightweight and easily transported from place to place. It features built-in stereo speakers so you can listen to your music without having to connect it to a speaker system.
There are quite a few colours and styles to choose from here, so success on price will definitely depend on the recipient's taste. All of the below come with free delivery.
Cheapest: The orange, pink and red models have the lowest prices. You can find the orange and red ones in Maplin for £59.99, and the pink one on Amazon for the same price. The navy blue and sky blue models can also be picked up from Amazon for £69.99, while a brown one can be found on the Crosley website for £73.61.
And if you're looking to spend a bit more for an extra stylish piece, Maplin stock an ultra retro black and gold version for £89.99 while the rosebud Crosley (pictured) can be found in Urban Outfitters for £100.
3. Skate and Sing Elsa
Retailers say this is the toy young Frozen fans will be asking Santa for this Christmas. They can recreate Queen Elsa's magical moment in the hit Disney Film Frozen with this remote controlled Elsa Figure, and watch Queen Elsa glide around on the ice whilst playing the hit song ‘Let it go'. The recommended retail price is £39.99.
Cheapest: Argos wins the price war again and is selling this for £32.00. It has recently dropped its price and now offers it for this price as well, but buying it also makes you eligible for a half price Frozen back pack. You can pick it up for free or have it delivered for £3.95. It's £34.99 in Toys R Us.
4. Little Live Pets Clever Keet
Toy retailers have tipped Clever Keet to be a big seller this year. He's an interactive, singing, talking pet. Your child can give him a name, pet him and watch him come to life. He talks, sings, dances and swings, and he even drives his very own cart. You can even ask him questions and he will respond. Play music and watch him dance to the beat! The recommended retail price is £59.99 and batteries are not included.
Cheapest: Prices for this toy have dropped to nearly half the RRP. Amazon is now selling it for £30.93 with free delivery included.
Smyths Toys, stocks it for £39.99 and offers free delivery. Toys R' Us and Argos have a similar deal.
5. Must-have Software for 2015 Christmas
iFastime Video Converter Ultimate provides the perfect solution to convert Blu-ray/DVD videos and videos from HD camcorders, like JVC, Panasonic, Sony and Cannon, movies downloaded online to digital formats for playback on iPhone, iPad, Surface and sharing with friends and family and classmate when the new semester begins. Even supports extract audio from Christmas video and create Christmas Ringtone for you.
Get this unique 2015 Xmas gift with 20% OFF at Facebook for having unlimited movie experience on 2015 Christmas.
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