I’ve always preferred to shop in store as opposed to online but realised that due to the current pandemic I’ll be in shops significantly less this year. This led me to the idea of putting together gift hampers for Christmas presents as I can pick up odd bits as I see them when out and about. Hamper style gifts or goodie boxes are really easy to put together on a budget so thought I’d share some of my ideas for things to include and ways to save. Whilst I don’t plan on filling boxes entirely with freebies as gifts they can make presents look far more impressive without it costing anything.
Note: The image at the top of this post is a goodie box I put together to give a friend who needed a pick me up and cost me less than £2 – my Christmas boxes will be far more impressive!
Boxes + Wrapping
Most shoe shops will give away boxes for free so I often cover these with my own wrapping paper. Reusing delivery boxes can work well too. I always keep any packaging from gifts or online orders such as tissue paper or brown paper to reuse. I often recycle cards into gift tags or will write directly onto the paper-covered box lid with a coloured pen. Recycling bits like this is good for the planet and when working to keep costs down.
Food & Drink Freebies
About a month ago I signed up to the cashback app Shopmium which offers free or discounted food providing you buy the exact product they list from a specific supermarket. Once purchased you scan your receipt and once approved you receive the money back via PayPal usually in less than a week. In the last 4 weeks I’ve picked up 2 packets of posh new McVities Digestives, a box of Toffifee and a sharing bag of chocolate pretzels for 75p for the lot. I plan to add these to gift boxes. The affiliate referral code “g2ye4k” will earn you a free tube of Pringles for signing up to Shopmium.
I tend to apply to most beauty freebies via sponsored social media adverts whenever I see them because chances are if they’re not suitable for me I know someone they’ll work for. I’ve managed to get some really generous sized samples in the last few months including 3 5-10ml Chanel skincare samples that came in a little gift box. Any mini bottles, such as a 5ml anti-ageing serum from La Mer, given they’re worth quite a bit, I shall add to a box for an appropriate recipient. I’ve also got quite a collection of designer perfume samples so am keeping them in their little cards to pop into boxes. I’ve written a whole post on how to get beauty freebies which can be found here.
I’m thinking about using the Feel Unique Pick & Mix service if they have any good samples as I’ve previously seen full size face masks from OhK! which are usually worth £5+.
Superdrug and Boots For Bargains
Superdrug and Boots often mark down products on the normal shelves with heavily reduced prices. It can take a bit of time wandering the shelves but I’ve got into the habit of looking if I ever have anything to pick up from there. I’ve recently seen boxed travel sets of shampoo and conditioner marked down to clearance prices of 49p in Superdrug. Downloading the Boots app is a brilliant way to get really cheap deals as they often have offers like £2 worth of points for buying an item from a specific range. I’ve used these twice recently to get a Ted Baker body spray effectively for free and some Botanicals face wipes for 24p after the points offer. Both items will be added to gifts.
I always browse the TK Maxx beauty clearance section as I’ve previously picked up boxed Nails Inc nail varnishes for £1 when they retail for around £12. Recently I’ve picked up Molton Brown travel conditioner sets for less than £2 for 3 mini bottles in a gift bag. Accessorize 70% sale is another place to get some brilliant gift bargains. I’ve recently taken to browsing the homeware aisles of my local supermarkets when doing my weekly shop and seen some great clearance offers on items like candles, reed diffusers and mugs.
Items Tailored To The Gift Receiver
I always try to add as much of a personal touch to gift hampers as possible such as adding favourite chocolates, favourite scented toiletries or items with prints I know they’ll like. Stores like Primark have lots of branded Disney, Harry Potter, Friends etc items which can be good gift additions. I also like Tiger, The Card Factory and Neon Sheep for lots of little bits like themed stationary for a reasonable price. Last year I made the most of the 3 for 2 promo on New Look’s socks as lots of the prints were perfect for friends whilst being in inexpensive addition to their overall present.
Poundland For Cheap Branded Treats
As a student without much money I did a paired down version of gift box gifts for people. I found Poundland really good for sweet treats as they even have brands like Thorntons which are usually more expensive. I raided the individual hot chocolate sachet section in Tesco which were around 30-40p each. Amazon Prime also often has posh chocolate bars for a very reasonable price delivered free, during lockdown I ordered 2 large bars of Green And Blacks for a gift for 89p each. Individual sachets of face masks are another low cost option. Poundland also have branded make up for £1, I’ve recently seen Bourjois and Rimmel products, last year I bought full size Toni and Guy hair products for £2.
Charity Shop Finds
It is possible to find brand new items in charity shops. My local charity shop recently had a boxed Christmas set of Yankee Candles which was in perfect condition. Items like this are a great way to support local charities whilst keeping costs down. I personally have no issue with second hand items so have previously asked for pre-loved books for gifts as I’d rather have more “used” ones than less new ones. If you know friends or family share the same mind set as me this is a good tip to go for.