How To Plan Buying Presents And Win A Hamper

Most people when looking to buy presents do so with the best intentions. The thought process is usually something like: I won’t be one of those eejits panic buying random books or bottles of expensive alcohol the day before my friend’s big birthday because I’ve failed to plan. No way, that’s not for me. Not again.

Of course the intention is always to plan ahead but somehow, life, love and the binge watching of addictive TV shows always get in the way. The trick is to go one step further. Don’t just retain some vague intention to be more organised. Get active, do something. With this four step plan we can ensure your future shopping experiences run as smoothly as possible.

Know who you’re buying for

It happens way too often. You take a look on your social media and see a flurry of birthday messages being sent to one of your family members. You totally forgot it was their birthday and now you have to run to the shop to buy them something. You have no idea what to buy them and it’s too late to ask someone closer to them as they’ll realise how last minute you’ve actually left it. And so you cast a baleful glance online at your credit card funds and sigh to yourself as you spend money on something they’re probably not going to even like.

Set your budget

You’re going to need to know how much you have to spend in advance. That way you don’t wind up splurge-buying a swish new tablet for yourself before realising you can’t afford little Timmy’s guitar he’s been asking for or unusually-large-for-her-age Claire’s box of Nutella. And what then? You’ve got to take on a second job as a janitor in the evenings, meaning you never get to see your spouse or kids at all, ruining your marriage, causing you to hit the bottle, get sacked from both your jobs and, finally, wind up begging outside that supermarket you had originally planned to brag in. See where not having a budget gets you? It’s a dark image for sure, but this is solid motivation we’re providing here.

Make a list

Whether it’s Christmas presents, birthday presents, or any other presents, planning is all about lists; do not just rely on your brain. Don’t be one of those people. Sure I’ve a great mind altogether, I often get seven letter words on Countdown. You will forget what presents to get, what’s what and which presents which. The mind is fallible and it will let you down – especially when under duress which you’re almost guaranteed to be. Also you probably won’t understand what a Doc McStuffins is and who or what a Macklemore does. So maybe it’s best you write everything down before you actually start shopping.

Buy in the sales

When it comes to shopping for others the trick is to start early. When you hit the sales keep any upcoming events in mind, no matter how far in the future they may be. Sure your Mum’s 50th is six months away but you’ve spotted a great gift at an amazing price now. If you buy it now, you’ll save yourself the stress of looking for something closer to the time and save some money for yourself along the way.

To take the stress out of your next present how about winning this rather fabulous hamper! Jam packed with indulgent treats, a full size bottle of pink fizz, handmade chocolate truffles, luxury fruit cake, candles, shortbread, Belgian chocolates and hand cream all beautifully presented in a golden box.

If you would like to enter simply complete the rafflecopter by the 3rd of April. If you cannot tweet as your not on twitter feel free to share the competition on facebook instead for the entry!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

437 thoughts on “How To Plan Buying Presents And Win A Hamper

  1. I am very much a planner when it comes too gift buying. I am one of those annoying types that has a cupboard that holds gifts for every eventuality. Of course I go out to buy specific gifts for people as well but I am never caught short and always have something that I can give in the event of an unexpected gift giving situation

  2. I leave everything to the last minute…but I think I'm good at choosing gifts as it's something I do tend to take my time with and do a lot of research. The only trouble is doing it this way tends to cost more money.

  3. I love buying gifts and always try to buy something a little different so start looking and shopping early. I always make my own personalised cross stitch cards too! I love anything arty! I

  4. Gift buying has become so much easier now with being able to shop from the comfort of your own home. I love browsing through all the different sites.

  5. I enjoy searching out different or quirky gifts for people. I would hate if someone thought a present I bought them was boring!

  6. i love finding unusual and personal gifts for my friends and family and buy from a wide variety of places ranging from craft fairs, folksy and also high street stores and online retailers

  7. I like to think I'm good at buying gifts, I try and plan everything far in advance and research items thoroughly to get the best deals!


  8. I like to stick to buying something small but personal and preferably handmade. Handmade by someone else that is, not me as I'm as crafty as a slug. I don't use budgets either. Gifts are not about cost :).

  9. I tend to buy gifts throughout the year if I see something I think someone would like! Love browsing online, as shopping with a baby and toddler can be stressful!

  10. The choice available always makes me feel overwhelmed. So, to counter this, I tend to make notes of what people in my life have said they want/need. So when the time comes for me to buy them something, I can’t avoid that feeling, which I don’t much care for.

  11. Buying gift difficulty depends on who you are buying for and what occasion the gift is for. I find that men are really hard to buy for as they don't really share much about themselves with you unless you are really close to them or you know them from one of their hobbies like golf.

    Children are much easier to buy gifts for, but Mother in Law gifts can be a minefield unless you are very close to your Mother in Law.

  12. Think about the kind of person you are buying the gift for. Try picking up on any useful hints they may drop in the lead up to any celebration. Finally, secrete said gifts in a location where they cannot find them, but which is memorable to you!

  13. I love buying gifts and I try to plan in advance, not as much as my mother in law she starts buying for Christmas in the January Sales and the forgets what she bought. My brother in law got two of the same book, 2 loads of pjs and my daughter had an unbelievable amount of presents!!

  14. I am terrible, I always think I know what I want but then cant find the right thing, I always look for something different and weird rather than the same old DVD or perfume or book πŸ™‚

  15. I'm quite organised. I like going to independent shops to buy my gifts I make my own quilts which family and friends are waiting for so if I don't make one as a gift then what I buy has to be very special.

  16. I always feel like it was just yesterday that it was last Mother's Day so I really struggle coming up with new ideas!

  17. These days buying on the interenet is an easier option for gifts as there is such a huge range to choose from !

  18. I know its dull but I always ask what they want,when money is so tight id hate it if I bought something that that was unwanted or useless

  19. I love buying gifts for women but have a bit of trouble buying for men, usually end up with aftershave or socks, though not too bad with my son cause he loves home accessories, so thats easy enough x
    Tracy Sinclair
    Twitter @tjsi1963

  20. hi with so much choice on offer on the internet i sometimes think its overwhelming which is why i now tend to stick to amazon and facebook pages as well as company's recommended by friends family and bloggers
    i always have a budget in mind but dont stick to it if i see something perfect for a certain person
    i love the luxury hamper you are giving away not only a feast for the belly but the eyes to it looks amazing πŸ™‚

  21. I spend a month panicking about what to buy people and about a hour the day before I need a gift panicking and just buying the first thing that comes to mind! I'm useless at buying gifts!

  22. I'm not the most organised person for buying birthdays and Christmas gifts and always tend to leave thing till the last minute but I do try and get things that I think they will like.

  23. i love buying gifts for people and always put a lot of thought into it, i make up little hampers with peoples favourite things x maria blythin

  24. a great leaving pressie for someone moving away is a hamper of things that remind them why they are leaving. we had a friend leave yorkshire so we filled a lively picnic hamper up with local beer, chutneys, cheese etc etc! great present!

  25. I try to plan in advance but it very rarely works out that way. I like to buy something a little different but something that I know will be really liked so I do tend to put a lot of thought into any gift I'm buying…no matter how small

  26. I'm very bad at buying gifts, sometimes I wish there was a website that would say "buy this for here – she will love it"

  27. What a lovely gift hamper id love to share this with my daughter when she comes to visit me from Scotland x missy iris tilley (fb)

  28. I like to think I'm a good gift buyer, I try to imagine the persons reaction and put real thought and effort into gifts I buy. Top tip, if you see anything someone would like buy it now and put it away even if it's months until you need it!

  29. I buy presents all year round, if I see something that would be perfect for someone I buy presents for, I'll buy it even if it is several months before their birthday.

  30. I think I am quite good at present buying. I save all year for Christmas so I can afford to buy everyone something nice. I don't even need to ask mu daughter what she wants as I can so easily pick for her. It does help to be organised and plan ahead rather than leaving everything to the last minute.
    Lovely prize too.

  31. Ideally, I'd like to think of myself as completely organised and everything sorted – however, in reality, I'm not. I'm so disorganised these days and it's gotten worse since I had my son! Full on baby brain – I've had it since falling pregnant in November 2008 and still have it 5 and a bit years later! I have got mothers day cards sorted for our mams but nothing else.

    Thanks for the advice and the fantastic post. All has been noted and will be put into action whilst shopping and out and about. I really should plan ahead (in fact, I do plan ahead with cards, just not presents – I have a list of which cards I need for each month, buy them at the end of the month before and have them written and ready but not for gifts!) x

  32. I'm really bad at buying gifts, I always worry if what i get is enough or too much or not what they want lol, only people i love buying gifts for are my kids <3

  33. As I work in retail I tend to leave buying gifts until the last minute (I'm one of the rare breed of women that doesn't like shopping!) Internet shopping is a godsend. I love to find the right gift for the right person and like to give personalised gifts wherever possible.

  34. I really like buying gifts – I make a mental note of what people say they like during everyday conversations and then surprise them on their birthday πŸ™‚

  35. I always see the perfect present after I've bought something else already. I should stop being so organised.

  36. Hampers are such fantastic gift ideas…I really should start making some up as presents..would make present buying much easier!

  37. I hate gift buying, it's so hard to get it right! I tend to buy things as I see them and think they'd be right, rather than leave it last minute because I can never find anything right then!

  38. I keep a notepad file on this computer, if I see something or think of something that might make a good birthday/Christmas/etc. present I make a note of it even if it's months until the event.

  39. I like to buy in advance, but a lot of the time even with good intentions everything gets left til last minute and smellies are the emergency go too gift

  40. When my children were younger I used to keep a 'stash' of presents as there were so many birthday parties they attended. Now they're older I'm very last minute buying gifts and buying online has also saved me many a time. I try to make my own gift bags as it can make a fairly inexpensive present look more than it might have cost. Plus they are reuseable and everyone always appreciates them

  41. I'm really bad at buying presents! Most of my family have agreements not to buy each other gifts haha! But when I do buy, I definitely plan ahead and always buy something that I know the receiver will use!

  42. I love buying gifts for other people, but hate spending money on myself?! I def plan ahead, unless its my husband who tells me "I want nothing for my bday" so he gives me no ideas so I end up shopping very last minute!!!!

  43. Never have a clue what to buy but always manage to come up with something – the internet has proved invaluable for gift buying

  44. i really love the experience of giving someone a gift – i love especially choosing a gift with sentimental meaning, creating beautiful giftwrapping and then seeing their face when opening the gift! with love, faye xx

  45. I love buying gifts. I get so much pleasure out of seeing the smile on someones face when you give them a gift. I enjoy giving a gift more than receiving one!!

  46. Im a bargain hunter so tend to pick up things round the year, but when its a special occasion I like to look on line at different sites. Shopping with a toddler isn't fun!

  47. I like to be organised when it comes to buying gifts and plan a head and get started early nothing worse than trying to find something and realising its not in stock

  48. nothing feeld better then giving gifts.. ive already bought easter eggs for everyone and the next birthday is my 3 year old end of april.. already got half his presents now x

  49. I always enjoy buying loads of little presents and putting them together to make a hamper, it's much more exciting to watch them open all of them individually!

  50. I love buying gifts – I always go for the 3 for 2 in Boots at Christmas so I can get a little something extra for myself!

  51. As soon as Christmas is over with I set up a spread sheet with the names of who I want to buy for, idea's of what I want to buy for them and then when I see offers or sales I buy a couple of bits and put them away.

  52. I try to buy in the sales – you get more for your money. Sometimes I fail to get what I want and I end up running around the shops the day before looking for the "perfect" gift!

  53. buying gifts is much easier with the internet because you can search for things that your recipient would really like

  54. I tend to buy things when I see them. I'm pretty organised and use diary notes to remind me to send birthday cards etc

  55. Our family rarely exchange gifts as we all live in different parts of the country. Me and my husband go a bit mad buying for each other at Christmas though πŸ˜€ Rafflecopter entries in my real name NIKKI HAYES

  56. I love buying gifts for people on random days as well as special occasions.
    What i think are great gifts aint to everyones liking though…but …i do try. (usually smutty gifts) lol

  57. i love gift shopping, i hit the sales in january and plan ahead by buying cheap and hiding away, if im out shopping and see a bargain i will grab that and hide it away too ready for someones birthday, christmas etc

  58. I am a very organised shopper πŸ™‚ I like to shop around months before i am due to buy gifts for people πŸ™‚ i end up buying double though i must admit, shopping online is so easy in the comfort of your own home.
    I like to compare prices πŸ˜€

  59. i seem to buy loads of gifts this time of year. Its seems to be everyones birthday all at once hehe. I also start picking up one or 2 things for christmas πŸ˜€

  60. I don't really enjoy buying gifts for adults I think they should get what they want themselves!! I think it's because I don't really like receiving them either, bit weird aren't I?!!!

  61. i love buying gifts but i worry too much in case they dont like it etc. i thought i didnt have enough to give MIL for mothers day so i popped into m&s at the last minute to get her a box of chocs too!

  62. Try to make it a rule that it would be something I would be pleased to accept myself, whilst remembering it should be something they would like.

  63. I love buying gifts for my family and friends and have been known to go over the top, I can do this because I always think ahead and buy bargains all year round for special occasions.

  64. Wow! Amazing hamper – that would make a perfect gift! I buy gifts when I see them and then keep them for the occasion. Sometimes I find nice things while browsing in craft fairs or galleries or more unusual little shops and think "Oh that would be perfect for ….."

  65. I buy odd n sods all throughout the year, whenever I see something I know someone else would like I buy it and put it away. I tend to ask people closer to the time if there is anything they would like then I get it as a main present but have lots of little side gifts too that I have already bought. Saves searching round closer to the time

  66. I like planning ahead so I can take my time and get something they will actually want instead of just buying last minute.

  67. I love buying gifts and hate being told what to buy , or for that matter what I would like. I try to keep my ears open well in advance and would rather buy some small but special , rather than something big and generic. Though the "well in advance " doesn't really work for kids given fickle trends and changing favourites as they grow …and that can be from day to day in our family !

  68. I love buying unique and personal gifts that show I've put a lot of thought and care into choosing, but gifts like this hamper are also great as it has a lot of variety so there's sure to be some things they would enjoy and there aren't many who don't like bubbly and indulgent treats πŸ™‚ x

    Natalie Gillham

  69. I try to plan ahead so I can choose something really special, and if I see a perfect gift when it's nowhere near a gift-giving occasion I often buy it and set it aside.

  70. I keep a few presents suitable for the age groups I have to buy for in the cupboard as emergency presents if I forget until it's too late!

    Hazel Rea – @beachrambler

  71. I have a yearly planner and like to buy original gifts that I spot at craft fairs or designer websites. I like a bargain as well so buy in the sales and put away.

  72. I like to be organised and plan ahead. If I see something suitable for someones birthday, I'll buy it even if it's months ahead, I find if I leave it to a week before I get stressed looking for something.

  73. I always buy gifts well in advance. I usually buy when I see something then keep a notebook with a list of everyone I buy for & add the gift on the list when I buy it. That way I can see at a glance as I do have to buy a lot of presents.

  74. I love buying gifts and treats for my family. I get real pleasure out of giving someone a really nice present – in fact I prefer giving gifts than receiving them!

  75. Always forgetting birthdays and leave everything till the last minute. This would be great for sharing with friends & family

  76. I tend to buy gifts online, and ahead of time if possible. Though some family members are harder to shop for. All good tips here, thanks for sharing!

  77. Listen hard for clues when chatting to friends and its easy to pick up ideas which I write down so they are not lost

  78. I prefer to shop online, or at least do a click and collect, so I know I get the products I want and they're not out of stock or something when I get there!

  79. I tend to buy gifts over the year, especially as my sons birthday is a week before Christmas so December can be very expensive!

  80. As untrue as it sounds i prefer buying gifts to receiving, i love the buzz of finding something perfect then waiting to see the suprise on someones face. My husbands the complete opposite, many times hes asked if he can just give me money so i can 'buy something you really want'!

  81. I love buying gifts, I'm terrible for buying christmas gifts really early, I'm all organised by the summer usually all bar my husband's gift, I always wait till last minute for him cause he changes his mind like his underwear x

  82. love choosing gifts for other people, trying to get something quite quirky for everyone, andsearching the shops for the perfect gift.

  83. I love spending time buying special gifts….but also enjoy creating quirky things as unusual presents

  84. I like getting a bargain when buying gifts. Something decent quality but at a regular item price.


  85. I buy throughout the year and I have a "stash" drawer where I keep everything. That way I spread it out over the year and if I have forgotten someone then there's usually something suitable in my drawer! πŸ™‚

  86. I prefer to make my own gifts (fudge, cakes and homemade lemon curd are always well received) but I do like to spend money on ribbons and packaging to make them look nice.

  87. I am awful at picking gifts for people! I find it frustrating to wander aimlessly around shops and looking on the internet is difficult unless you have an idea of what you want to buy!

  88. I like to shop on the internet. I used to love the hustle & bustle of busy crowds but not anymore. I compare prices & usually I always tend to buy what I want. I am very organised & always set myself a limit on funds & stick to it.

  89. I tend to be disorganised so tend to buy presents at the last minute, plus if I ever buy a present early, I worry that the recipient won't like it πŸ™‚

  90. I buy when I see something I know someone in the family or a friend would like and keep it for there special occasions, how ever there have been times I've forgotten i have it and buy again

  91. I love buying gifts especially online. It's so much easier and convenient than beating the crowds on the high street

  92. I was a last minute person but since I met my other half who has to have everything organised way ahead of time I changed slightly,
    the way it looks with us is: he starts nagging me to get preparation underway about a month before celebration and after a week or so I get fed up with it and buy gifts and other stuff just so he shuts up πŸ™‚

  93. I try to plan ahead – I say try! Although, internet shopping is brilliant for those like myself with little spare time – especially with next day delivery options for emergencies!

  94. Sub consciously I am always on the look out for gifts, so if I see something online, in a shop, on a blog that I think would make a good gift for someone I mentally file the idea away. I have quite a good memory so when it comes to needing to buy a gift I'll usually remember that I've already seen something good somewhere.

  95. I like to try and buy gifts which are appropriate for the person. As it is wonderful to see them happy, joyful and delighted.

    Rachel Craig

  96. I try to buy presents well in advance of special occasions but usually something crops up and they still receive a pressie but usually after the event well never mind the thought is there

  97. i love shopping in sales to get the bargains, this years christmas cards were bought on boxing day last year! and even this years xmas presents were sourced before xmas last! year in the pre christmas sales. Having 2 kids and family members to buy for i agree planning and catching those bargains is the easiest way to keep costs down and to get better value for money.
    debbie jackson

  98. I have 8 children and a lot of family members so I have to be very organized in advance. I tend to buy in sales or when I find bargains on the Internet as I like to try to keep the costs down as much as I can!

  99. I love giving gifts but buying them is not always easy especially when you are low in the cash department. I also have to buy all the gifts for my partner's family because he is useless and always asks me to do it !. I tend to research rather than impulse buying. I must say blogs like this really help especially when considering pressies for my friends son as I have no idea what to get him half the time.

  100. I like to be organised and give myelf as much time as possible before the day to buy things

    trevor linvell

  101. I make notes in a small book everytime I hear someone say they like something so that I have a ready made list of ideas when I need to buy them something and I also buy presents throughout the year when I see something suitable or reduced. It makes present buying far less stressful.

  102. I like to buy gifts that are meaningful and special for the person, but it's often hard work as you need to know what their passion is, otherwise it's boring old vouchers and money !

  103. I buy in the January sales for the next Christmas for some things, always lovely when it comes to December and I have cards, wrap and some of the gifts!

  104. I always buy gifts, even if its not a birthday or a special occasion, I just love the look on peoples faces the way they just light up because someone thought about them makes my heart melt! πŸ™‚

  105. I do tend to pick up bits and pieces throughout the year when I see bargains but I always end up rushing around looking for that last elusive present for the person that has everything!

  106. We have family birthdays from December to to March so along with Christmas, New year, Valentines day, Mothers day, Easter and our wedding anniversary I am constantly on the look out for gift ideas over the winter months!

  107. I try and make a list of all the people i need to buy for the year then hit the january sales and get as much as i can for a greatly reduced price!

  108. Particularly for christmas I try to pick up items all year around. TBH gifts should be less about the cost and more about being thoughtful and come from the heart.

  109. I'm not great at getting inspiration for gifts, which is why if I see something I try and get it, put it away and (hopefully!) get it out when the birthday comes up

  110. Women = easy to buy for, men = much more difficult! I buy whenever I see something, usually when I'm on holiday and thinking of something else entirely. If I need to buy something in a hurry then inspiration deserts me.

  111. I tend to just buy things when I see them, so sometimes I have a gift (or 3) ready but others times I'm scrabbling around at the last minute – I should be more organised but I find it hard

  112. I always plan has cha to be organized like a good friend of mine, because she seems to end up spending half the amount of money I do when buying last minute (I think it's because she has the chance to find the best deals! So this year I plan to buy ahead of time! πŸ™‚

  113. I pin a list of potential presents in Pinterest, helps me as I can scan through quickly and I have a reminder of that brilliant thing I saw for such and such a person.
    (sam fernley)

  114. I have always been organised before the kids, now I panic buy in the last minute and not very good at choosing things but avoid the vouchers unless I have the excuse of posting it


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