Living | Tips for last-minute shopping

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With only five shopping days left, many of us have hit the panic button as we realise how many presents and other items we need to get before the big day.

As we rush around the shops on Christmas eve, we vow to never be in the same predicament next year. But then it happens again.

Going online is not an option at this late stage, so you have no choice but to hit the High Street.

Faced with hoards of shoppers in the same situation, it can be frustrating and exhausting. But it need not be stressful if you take a strategic and planned approach.

Unfortunately, this is not a time for browsing and having a leisurely stroll through your favourite department store. You need to be almost military-like as you head out for your last minute things. Here are our top tips for last-minute shopping.

  • Make a list and plan

Write down all the items that you need and the shops that you know you can get such goods in. Ideally, you should try and get as many items in the one shop as well. Search their website before and see what you can get, and check if they are still in stock.

  • Get up and out early

Try to beat the crowds by getting to the shops early. If the shops are closed when you are there, go for a coffee. You will need the energy rush to get through the next two hours.

  • Set a time limit

It is easy to wander around for five or six hours shopping as you return to the same shops on a few occasions before you make a purchase. Set a deadline, and stick to it.  

  • Have a backup plan

If you cannot find the items you want, do not waste your cash on alternative gifts. Instead, buy gift cards for the shops you know they like.

  • Use the gift wrapping services

Many shops not offer a gift-wrapping service. Avail of it to save you time later on.