As I've mentioned before in my blog posts, when we return to London after visiting friends and family at Christmas, having been largely deprived of chances to do any sale shopping, I often take a look at what is on offer in the January sales online. This was my main task last week and I placed several orders, mainly for items that will make great gifts next Christmas.
I realise that many people might balk at the thought of shopping for next Christmas when the decorations are still up, but I always find that this saves me lots of time and money in the run up to Christmas the following year.
For a start, I have all the cards and wrap I need as early as possible and I can get on with writing and sending them and wrapping the gifts I've already bought. I avoid food gifts due to use before dates and take care to buy clothing gifts a little larger for children, to allow for growth over the year. This way, I can get some lovely quality branded clothes and accessories, that always seem to be greatly appreciated when opened, which is really what keeps me doing it.
This year has been no exception and I've already crossed a few items off my present buying list for Christmas 2016. Having checked out all of the websites I prefer, i.e. John Lewis, Boden, Joules, H&M, ASOS and eBay (there are good branded outlet stores on there) and ordered the things that I felt would make suitable gifts, I have now finished my online sale shopping for this period and can now get on with getting back into a normal routine. (Bar waiting for the parcels to arrive!)
This system does make January an expensive month, but top loading the expense at the beginning of the year, means less pressure on finances towards the end of the year as Christmas draws near and less necessity to hit the shops when they are very crowded. I will probably add to the stash as we progress through the year, but only if a good offer presents itself.
In addition to helping make me better prepared, doing this also has the added advantage of scratching any itch to buy things for myself, that I don't need, in the January sales. Buying for others is virtually as satisfying as buying things for myself and as I need to buy these gifts for others anyway at some point in the year, getting them at a good price is a much more frugal and satisfying way of doing it.
Having said this, in the process I did indulge in a just a couple of inexpensive items for myself and a few things for LB too, the latter though, being part of my plan to rejuvenate her wardrobe this year. Have you done any sale shopping this January? Or do you keep well away from the shops or online shops at this time of year?