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17.11.12

Gift Packs vs DIY {Christmas}

 It's become tradition that every year I get my dad a Lynx set for his birthday or Christmas (his birthday is on December 20th)
I have also mixed it up a couple of times and bought him some L'Oreal For Men items and a mens Body Shop set.

Since 2005 about half of my Christmas shopping is purchased from Boots, even when I worked at Superdrug I would buy Christmas presents from the rivals.
One year though, whilst working at Superdrug, I stocked up on loads of the Lynx showergels and sprays whilst there was a promotion on. I then bought a toiletries bag, filled it with the Lynx, and instantly had my own gift pack.
It cost me around £12 altogether and the bag was packed of different items.

This year my dad has asked for the same and instantly I head to the Boots website and, in all honestly end up quite disappointed at what they have on offer.
The gift packs are not really suitable for my dad. I just want something simple.
Moisturiser + Shaving Gel
Now it's either "Sports Duo" or "The Morning After" and the packs don't include anything I want them to.
Which leads me to think that making your own set is much better, especially when a 3 for 2 on mens toiletries offer is running.
Packaged nicely it can look lots better than the gift packs the brands provide themselves, but of course you end up spending more money, and you lose out on the Christmas gift 3 for 2 offer.

I briefly worked at Body Shop at Christmas in 2004. I fell in love with their gift packs for men and women especially.
I've always been a fan of Body Shop products, Strawberry items and Brazil Nut items are my favourite. My husband buys me some items every Christmas for my stocking. Doing this is better than buying me a gift pack as he knows I'll end up getting something I want, as sometimes in multipacks there can be one item you just won't use or don't like.

Last year I decorated a box withh shiny paper, added shredded tissue paper, and made my Nan a gift pack of Body Shop items that I knew, or at least thought, she would like.
I actually found the items in the sale which meant that although I was saving money, I was able to buy more items.

I've also, for the past 4 or 5 years, made hampers for our dads and last year for my mother in law. These were full of amazing goodies from the Adnams Kitchen and Cellar in Southwold.

So my tips for Gift Packs vs DIY are:
* Research. Take your time to work out which one will give you the most for your money. A gift pack may well sound cheaper, but when you look at the sizes of the products within the packs sometimes you are better off paying that little bit extra and making your own.
Cosmetic packs tend to be a really great buy. I used to stock up on these as they were such bargains. Packs of these can be between £10 and £15 and when you take into account that the items seperately are normally £8-£10 for a mascara and £4-£10 for eyeshadow/lipstick etc then it's a really great buy, even for yourself.
Get them in the sale after Christmas and it'll almost be like stealing them!

* If you're putting together a hamper wait until the last minute. Toiletries are often on BOGOF or 3 for 2 offers somewhere so shop around or wait.
I also use shoe box, covered in paper, to present my gifts in, instead of paying more for a wicker basket which may never be used.

* Know your offers. It used to wind me up when people would turn down a BOGOF or 3 for 2 offer. Turning away a free item.
When using these offers be wise.
Buy One Get One Free- The cheapest item will be the free item, so make sure you get something the same price or very similar in price to the other item. Don't buy something for £5.99 then choose a £1 product for free.
Similarly 3 for 2 works the same way.
If you buy product A which is £20, and product B which is £20, then don't buy product C at £5, you will only be saving £5 when you could be saving more. You are better off getting another £20 item as you'll get it for free, and if you really want the £5 item, pay for it.
The tills are clever at Boots and will always work out the best deal for you, at least they did when I worked there!
* Don't be afraid of *clearance*. Looking at clearance or Outlet pages, or raiding the sale rail/bargain bin, doesn't make you a cheapskate. Really great offers can be found here, sometimes the items are being sold cheaply because the packaging is an old design. Does that really matter? No. Save a few pounds and buy the bargains.