15 Tips to Thrifty, Not-So-Spendy Christmas Shopping

Have yourself a not so spendy, thrifty and straight out awesome Christmas with these top Christmas money-saving tips from Sydney thrifty mum, Monique Annetts!

Annette is founder of AMA Event Management, who hosts a number of Trash and Treasure and $10 Markets in NSW so we know she knows her stuff when it comes to saving money at Christmas.

No matter WHY you want to cut back and spend less this Christmas – we’ve got your back. Here are 15 tips on why you should consider hitting up the markets to do your Christmas shopping this year. 

Market shopping, shopping bags
Get ready to jump with money-saving joy! Photo: supplied

Bring on the Trash and Treasure markets

Don’t be quick to dismiss the possibility of finding Christmas gift treasures at your local Trash and Treasure market – you just have to think outside the box. Annette has these tips for Mum Central readers:

1. Stallholders at trash and treasure markets carry both new and used products. It’s amazing what kinds of newly packaged toys and games you can find for half the price.

2. Fashion is a big used selling item at local markets and thrifty trash and treasure markets. Therefore, if you spend some time looking though what people bring to sell you can always find something unexpected! Designer label shoes and handbags, accessories, jewellery, clothes that still have the tags on them! Who wouldn’t love some designer vintage this Christmas? Or, if you know what’s valuable, you can buy it for yourself then flip it again online and make some money.

3. Cooking the Christmas feast this year? The best, freshest and cheapest produce is often found at local markets. It’s proven that naturally grown produce lasts longer than store bought produce, plus it’s a thrifty way to support local farmers and have the most delicious Christmas meal! You’re spending less on packaged foods and more on yourself.

Christmas money saving tips, market fruit and vegetables SI
Photo: Pexels/PhotoMix Ltd

4. Books, DVD’s, vinyl records and CD’s are big sellers at Trash and Treasure markets. You can find so many bargains. And for collectors, rare finds make fantastic Christmas presents.

5. Are your kids into craft? Plaster painting kits, sand art kits and other craft activities make really creative and thrifty gifts for your kids’ friends. These can all be found at the markets and don’t break the bank. I can guarantee the kids will love them and so will your Christmas budget.

6. Christmas lights and decorations can cost a small fortune and often we leave it to the last minute to go out and buy yet another overpriced set of solar lights for our house. But the vendors at our markets actually carry the exact same items for literally half the price. Before hitting up one of the big-name stores, see what you can find at the markets first.

7. Candles, Candles and more candles! Candles are literally our number one selling item at any market and these handmade, naturally scented products are a must-buy for your Christmas gift list. They’re inexpensive, long-lasting and beautifully smelling. You can’t go wrong with a lovely candle, wax melt or reed diffuser for your mother-in-law, sister-in-law or even your kids’ teachers.

Christmas money saving tips, candles
Hand-poured candles are always a brilliant go-to gift. Photo: Pexels/Paul Wence

8. Homewares! The best, most unique and thrifty homewares are the ones you find at markets. Whether they’re second hand, handcrafted, antique or new, these types of speciality items can be hard to come by. The markets are the best place to start with your search for the perfect item as you’ll usually find that thing you’ve been looking for without the extra-large price tag. You’re also supporting local businesses and craftsmen in the process! What could be better!

9. Buying for the youngest members of our families can often be the hardest. How many brightly coloured, noise-making toys can a baby really need? BUT what they do need are the little accessories that make life easier. Bibs, burp cloths, dummy chains, clothes and more are always available at our markets and are usually hand made so making them one of a kind.

10. Is Upcycling your thing? The Trash and Treasure Markets on every Sunday at Prestons and every Wednesday at Fairfield are an absolute treasure trove for items that can very easily be upcycled with just a fresh coat of paint! Turn a $50 cabinet into something you would pay hundreds for in the shop with some sandpaper and paint!

11. Jewellery! Jewellery makes a fantastic gift but can be pricey! The vendors who attend our markets bring beautiful jewellery items with them from watches, rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets and hair clips. The perfect item is waiting for you without the hefty price tag.

Christmas money saving tips, market jewellery
A treasure trove of jewellery finds awaits. Photo: Pexels/Artem Beliaikin

12. Mums are often searching for new, environmentally friendly ways to live their lives. It’s been proven that the target audience for eco-friendly products is, in fact, the women of the house. The markets we run have a large number of vendors who sell eco-friendly products from natural skin and body care to household cleaning products made from all-natural ingredients. Don’t pay shipping and ridiculous prices for something you can get at your local market for sometimes half the price. Yes for Christmas money-saving tips – and eco-friendly tips!

13. Antiques! Many of the vendors at the markets will have stalls filled with antique items. Whether it’s a painting by someone famous that you’ve been searching for or a statement piece for your entryway, you’d be shocked at the amazing things you can find by visiting your local market. The best part about markets – negotiation! You can have a chat with the lovely vendors about price and sometimes get a fantastic deal.

14. Tools can be an expensive commodity for any home. But if you’re looking for a more thrifty way to purchase tools the markets are an untapped resource of new, used and collectible tools and handyman items. Our vendors who deal in tools will also have the parts and expertise to help you fix anything that’s broken. So if you’re on the lookout for something in particular at a good price.

15. The absolute best thing about markets is not only the thrifty ways to use them, but it’s also the best opportunity to support small local businesses. It’s such a pleasure to shop local and support local and watch those businesses grow and develop.

Christmas money saving tips, markets macaroon
Support small business! Photo: Pexels/Alicia Zinn

There you have it, all the Christmas money saving tips you could poke a Christmas stocking at and more. Regardless of who you have on your Christmas shopping list – mum, dad, siblings or your kid’s teacher – chances are you can save money buying unique, thoughtful gifts at your local market!

For more shopping know-how, see our 2019 Christmas gift guides:

Avatar of Lexi Klaebe

South Australian mum and self proclaimed foodie, Lexi can most days be found in the kitchen, apron tied firm and armed with a whisk or wooden spoon!

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