My Vinted article for Thrift Plan Enjoy blog is featured in The Sun newspaper

head over to our family t-shirt website – roaring pumpkin tees


Check out my VINTED shop – up to 50% discounts on bundles.


Looking for some inspiration for your gift purchases? I’ve written several gift guides over on the Mummy Conquering Anxiety blog

Welcome to my new readers. I’m Sam, a 30-something mummy & wife. Saving queen, thrift shopping expert. Currently carving out a work-life balance. Come say HELLO!

Categories – Find A Blog Post You Want To Read


Childminder VS nursery – Is putting your child in the nursery worth it? 

Part 5 of the Working Mum Mini-Series A little rant about childcare challenges in the UK There is no getting away from the fact childcare in the UK is expensive. And this makes it difficult…

View Post

If you like my content, you can now Buy Me A Coffee – any support for this blog means the absolute world to me!

Latest Blog Posts

  • Convertkit Newsletter – Stay in Touch With Your Subscribers

    View Post
  • Considering Buying Tickets to a BlogOn event – all the details …

    View Post
  • Smaller Kids Parties Across Venues In Yorkshire – Thrift Plan Enjoy …

    View Post
  • Why Financial Education Is Important for Young Children

    View Post


Home » Blog » 5 Lessons About Gift Buying I Will Be Taking Into 2023

5 Lessons About Gift Buying I Will Be Taking Into 2023

There is so much stress around the festive period. And I really felt it this year. Maybe it was the pressure of ‘playing Santa’ for a toddler, but I’m exhausted. And gift buying adds another layer of stress to the situation.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s magical and fun. It was the first year our little one realised how magical Santa is. But there is also a downside to the effort that goes into creating the magic. 

gift buying

Here are some of the harsh lessons I’ve learned. And I aim to put them into practice next year when gift buying

Spend less on a toddler 

Since my little one was a baby, we’ve purchased second-hand gifts for her. I have no issue with doing this. Despite trying to lower costs, we still spend a significant amount of money. And she does receive some new presents.

She gets a wealth of amazing gifts from other family members and for this reason, we spent a lot less on her this year. And still had the same magical Christmas morning and lots of playtimes afterwards. 

THE LESSON – spend less, toddlers will never know the difference. Toys are toys. The amount of them doesn’t matter at all. Toddlers just want love and playtime with those closest to them.

Plan, and keep planning 

This year I set up a spreadsheet to monitor the smaller gifts I bought for loved ones. It kept me accountable and ensured I didn’t overspend.

THE LESSON – stick to the plan and the budget. Keep checking in to see what you have purchased and question whether you need to purchase more gifts. 

Buy meaningful gifts 

It’s great to actually spend some time thinking about what would be helpful for someone. Instead of last-minute decisions and gifts they might not even like. 

We spent Christmas with the whole family this year and therefore did the present opening routine with more people than usual. I felt proud I’d really thought about each gift and bought something people would like. 

LESSON – if you’re unsure whether someone would use the gift, don’t purchase it. 

Find a cost-effective alternative

It’s so much fun to find new items and cost-effective ways to give presents. This year, I opted for the hamper option. I bought smaller gifts and added them to the basket for each person. It worked well for the females in our family, who love self-care gifts. 

LESSON – be creative in your packaging and ideas. Spend & give less, but make it look beautiful 

Make something to give

I probably wouldn’t give something I made as a main gift, but it’s a creative addition. It shows you’ve spent time and effort thinking about that person.

Each of our loved ones got pictures that my little one made. Handprints in paint and keepsakes they will treasure forever.

LESSON – step outside your comfort zone. Create something for a loved one, that they can treasure forever

Ask what people would want as a gift

Some people think Christmas gift-giving should be a magical surprise. 

For anyone who was difficult to buy for, I simply asked what they wanted. Someone said money, towards a bigger purchase. I was then safe in the knowledge that this was exactly what someone wanted. 

LESSON – if in doubt, ask what someone would like or offer to purchase something they want, for them, as a gift

Until Next Time

Do you have any suggestions for gift buying throughout the year or Christmas purchases next year?

Or any strategies you’ve developed?

Let me know in the comments below

gift buying


  1. January 30, 2023 / 10:45 AM

    These are all amazing tips! There’s nothing worse while opening presents than when someone splurged for you on something you don’t need or not going to use at all! Asking costs nothing!

    • February 6, 2023 / 1:10 AM

      I love asking upfront. I just like to know where I stand!

  2. March 6, 2023 / 12:43 PM

    Love this post! I love gift giving but can often go overboard on birthdays and christmas because I never feel like I’ve got someone enough (I always have!) I think I’ll be focusing more on quality over quantity this year x

    • March 12, 2023 / 11:59 AM

      I am exactly the same! Then if I buy an extra little something for one person, I have to do it for the rest. It’s time for me to be more disciplined in gift buying.

    • March 12, 2023 / 11:58 AM

      It’s just the safest way to do things. Especially when you really don’t know what someone wants.

  3. Michelle
    March 14, 2023 / 12:11 PM

    I always ask people what they would want as a gift. It may be awkward, but I’d rather do that than get them a gift that they hate.

  4. Kristen Osborne
    March 28, 2023 / 8:45 PM

    I have a system in place for gift buying. Since we have 8 nieces and nephews and 3, soon to be 4, great niece and nephews. Our extended family stops buying for the older ones when they turn 18. But for the younger ones I spend according to their ages. birth to 4 is about $45, 5 to 10 is $55, 11-15 is $65, and 16-17 is $75. For our own daughter who will be 9 in 2 months, we spend a set amount for birthdays and Christmas. It seems to work for us.

    • April 13, 2023 / 12:21 AM

      That’s a great system and it’s good to have measures in place to ensure you don’t overspend.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge