Here's a tough one for you: when you shop for gifts, what do you use as basis for choosing - the price or the meaning of the gift? Many people make the mistake of choosing items based on price. They think the more expensive a gift is, the more the recipient would appreciate it. Nevertheless, for some people, the saying, "It's not the gift but the thought that counts" still holds true, and for these people, it doesn't matter how much your gift costs. The symbolization of the gift is what gets them every single time.
So how do you find the best, if not perfect gift, without burning a large hole in your pocket? Well, you can always take advantage of sales at department stores. There are different discount promotions to look out for - buy one get one (BOGO), buy 5 get 1 free, take 50-60-70% off, and so much more. Then there are online stores where items are perpetually discounted. Warehouse sales and outlets are also awesome places to look for cheap finds.
Garage sales, thrift stores, flea markets, and community bazaars are also wonderful places to score some great finds. Moreover, if you're on the lookout for antiques, a swap meet may just be the place you need to visit.
Still, there are some tips you'd do well to keep in mind when shopping online or otherwise in order to get discounts.
First, buy in bulk instead of buying in retail. For instance, if you're thinking of buying clocks for garden and bedroom for several people, you'd save more if you buy them in bulk.
Second, begin your shopping ahead of time. For example, if you're shopping for Christmas presents, do so in January since that's when most stores hold sales. If you have your eyes set on an extra large wall clock as a gift to yourself, you have between January to mid-October or November to buy it at a slashed down price.
Third, try online shopping since the Internet can be a vast portal of brand new or second hand items priced significantly lower compared to prices of brick and mortar stores
Another practical tip when it comes to shopping is to follow a particular theme. An example is giving fun and quirky items for a particular year and then giving household items the following year. That means regardless of whomever the recipient is, you'll give him or her something fun and quirky or something he or she could use in the house.
For Christmas this year, you might want to consider giving timekeeping devices to the people on your list. Clocks and watches aren't necessarily expensive, but you can't discount their usefulness. Those can be symbolical gifts in a way, too. Remember, beyond practicality, giving presents mean so much more than satisfying the physical needs of the recipient.
Giving away presents is an act of kindness and should not be defined in terms of the monetary value of the give. Hence, you can give something as simple as a clock, but if you're giving it because it sends out a message to the recipient (something like, you'll always have time for them), then you're on the right track.