Frugal Christmas: Budget gifts for everyone
Today's highlights include 75ml of Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male for £31, a Swiss Army Knife for £9.99, mini rechargeable speakers for just over £17, Cresyn earphones for £8.99, series 1 of The Office for £4.39 and I Am Number Four for £5.
Gadgets and gizmos at Amazon
Get in quick for these Amazon bargains – the last day for free Christmas delivery is Sunday 18th December.
First up, the quintessential tool for budding explorers and Bear Grylls; this stainless steel Victorinox Spartan Swiss Army Knife is £9.99 (RRP £19.99) at Amazon and offers large and small blades, a corkscrew, a can opener with a small 3mm screwdriver, a bottle opener with a 6mm screwdriver and wire stripper, a reamer/punch tool, a keyring, tweezers and a toothpick.
Mini speakers are also a great present for keen travellers, but you can get stuck with a poor sound and rubbish battery life so you need to shop carefully. The Go Rock rechargeable mini speakers are only £17.44 (RRP £19.99), are small enough to fit on your palm but offer high quality sound for up to six hours.
I always think Dads are the most difficult to buy for, unless they just happen to be golf mad, football crazy or happy to receive themed Christmas gifts every year. If you’re stuck for ideas and he has a home office, get him some contemporary book ends like these metal ones which cost £11.50 (RRP £17.24).
If you’re buying for a handyman or woman, the Tech-Tool Pen is ideal. It’s no ordinary pen you see – as well as being able to write with it, it also comes with an inbuilt flat-head, a Phillips Screwdriver, a ruler, and a spirit level, all for £9.95!
Big brand beauty for less
The number one beauty product for so many women is YSL Touche Eclat so if you’re treating your lady to a spot of luxury this year, you can get it from Cheapsmells for £17.95 (RRP £24.99).
For younger women, the very popular Girls Aloud false eyelashes are only £4.35 (RRP £5.11) at Feel Unique. Personally I prefer the Mister Mascara brand and right now you can save 20% on selected items at Urban Retreat including these stunning Paradise lashes (available in red, white and blue) reduced from £9.05 to £7.24.
For top notch scents, Feel Unique is cheapest for lots of top aftershaves and perfumes including Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male 75ml, only £31.05 (RRP £37.27), and Nina Ricci Ricci Ricci eau de parfum 30ml for £26.35 (RRP £31). Elsewhere I found 50ml of Paco Rabanne 1 Million for £28.99 (RRP £37) on Perfume Lover and 75ml of Issey Miyake Por Homme for £30.85 (RRP £38) on ClickFragrance.
Last chance frugal gifts for fashionistas
If you’re uninspired by the likes of H. Samuel and Argos for jewellery, go online to hunt down some more interesting designers, particularly if you’re looking for a someone young who loves quirkier styles. I have a few sites that I always visit including Bad Passion, where orders are delivered for free and take between one and four working days, or seven during busy times.
I’ve also been introduced recently to Howkapow (my fave items are the solid silver/black acrylic pendants with hand shadow puppet animals for £25) which offers free delivery until 20th December, the last day for UK standard Christmas delivery).
Another one is MeAndZena (check out the Bright Eyes rabbit ring for £25) where all UK orders are sent by signed for 1st class post so you can order until midday Tuesday 20th December for Christmas delivery. And, don’t miss FairytalesAndHiddenNotes (I have fallen for the Kiss Me necklace which is only £8) where standard 1st class delivery is £2.
As well as the usual high street retailers (Topshop, H&M, Miss Selfridge) don’t forget about some of the smaller stores. At Krisp right now you can save 15% on your order when you sign up on Facebook – find a store here or shop online. A few bits caught my eye, including this animal print belt for £4.99, this double gem charm bracelet which is also £4.99 and this sky blue woollen scarf for £6.99.
Earphones are a popular choice for Christmas presents but it can be tricky to find some that offer style and quality. For a retro feel these Cresyn C300H Green (with £2 off at £17.99) and pink square C515H headphones (reduced from £27 to £24.99) look and sound great. Get both from iheadphones.co.uk. Or for a smaller budget, the in-ear Cresyn C230E Black earphones are £8.99 (RRP £13.99) have silicon ear tips for comfort and reducing noise around you.
The Garlic Farm has some great gifts too. It may be a little odd to buy someone garlic for Christmas but it might make a nice change! They could try some garlic beer (!) for £3.50, a curry lovers gift pack for £8, or get them to test their skills in the kitchen with a garlic cookbook for £9.95. Classic Garlic Farm hampers are £30 and contain a range of garlicky goodies or get a condiment gift pack for £10.50. Order before 20th December for Christmas delivery.
Now a Healthy Back Bag may not sound like the sexiest gift, but if you’re looking for a present for an outdoorsy dad or brother that’s no bad thing! These bags are designed to contour the natural curve of the spine so that weight is distributed asymmetrically throughout the length of the bag. There are lots of designs to choose from with prices starting from £36.
Films and books for £5 or less
One for the ladies, the delightful Ryan Gosling in The Notebook for £2.99 (RRP £19.99), The Hangover for £3.99 (RRP £9.99), golden oldie Great Expectations (with Michael York) for £3.97 (RRP £6.99), the first series of The Office for £4.39 (RRP £19.99), Mr Deeds for £2.80 (RRP £9.79) and from the summer, I Am Number Four for £5 (RRP £15.99) – all at Amazon.
On to books, head to The Book Depository to buy Lily Alone by Jacqueline Wilson for £3.90 (RRP £6.99), Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith for £3.34 (RRP £5.99), Sister by Rosamund Lupton for £3.85 (RRP £7.99) and Karl-Pilkington’s An Idiot Abroad Travel Diaries for £3.85 (RRP £8.99).