Ask An Expert: Last Minute Holiday Gift Ideas

December 17, 2017 5:40 AM

(credit: Halfpoint/shutterstock)
(credit: Halfpoint/shutterstock)

Early in the holiday shopping season, shoppers tend to side on the “I have plenty of time to get it all done before Christmas.” However, last minute shopping surges are as prevalent as ever. Malls and stores offer extended hours in those few days before Christmas to accommodate last minute shoppers. The trick to last minute shopping is keeping it simple. Andrea Woroch, consumer expert, says to utilize online resources, get it all done at discount stores and to buy in bulk, which ultimately will save you money.

(credit: Andrea Woroch)

(credit: Andrea Woroch)


Andrea Woroch
LA-based holiday-shopping expert and money saving expert
www.andreaworoch.com

Andrea Woroch is one of America’s most passionate consumer and money saving experts. She focuses on helping individuals and families through her blog to implement simple solutions to common financial challenges. Woroch also provides strategic tips on spending wisely and creative ways to stretch your dollar. From everyday purchases such as groceries to major financial decisions including mortgages, healthcare and debt, Woroch has a solution for everyone. She is ready for the holidays season with money saving advice and last minute gift ideas.

(credit: PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)


Go Online

“At sites like GiftCardGranny.com and CardPool.com, you can buy online gift cards at a discount, saving anywhere from three to 25 percent. Print from home or email to the recipient – perfect for last minute gift giving.
 
Sign up for free trials of two-day shipping services from AmazonPrime or ShopRunner. You can benefit from rush delivery services, which are perfect for sending last minute gifts, without paying pricey expedited shipping fees.
 
Take advantage of free shipping deals offered on December 18 — Free Shipping Day. Hundreds of online retailers offer free shipping with no minimum order required and delivery is guaranteed by Christmas Eve. Look for additional savings on top of the complimentary shipping.”

(credit: istockphoto)

(credit: istockphoto)


Shop Flea Markets And Outlet Stores

“You can find unique art, one-of-a-kind crafts and vintage goods for those that are hard to shop without breaking the bank. Check out Rose Bowl Flea Market on the second Sunday of every month.
 
When it comes to clothing and home décor gifts, I prefer to shop at discounter stores like Nordstrom Rack, Lohmann’s, HomeGoods and TJMaxx.
 
The Outlets at Tejon or Camarillo Premium Outlets have great deals at stores like Creuset, Nike, Pottery Barn, Banana Republic or J.Crew Factory Store. If you sign up for the VIP coupon booklet, you’ll save even more.”
 
Related: Best Outlet Malls In Los Angeles

(credit: Junko Kimura/Getty Images)

(credit: Junko Kimura/Getty Images)


Last-Minute Ideas

There is always a last minute gift pickup during the season. Make it easy on yourself without spending a ton of money. Woroch suggests the following:
 
For a coworker: Box of chocolates from the drugstore, movie tickets (iPic Theaters takes moviegoing up a notch), and manicure/pedicure certificates. Search Groupon or Living Social for local deals.
 
For mom: A potted plant from Trader Joe’s, print a memorable photo at CVS or use the Kodak kiosk app to send any images you have on your phone to the printer within minutes and pop it in a pretty frame.
 
For dad: Grab a case of his favorite beer from Costco, or your neighborhood liquor store.
 
For the hostess: A bottle of wine, box of chocolates or homemade sweets. Target and HomeGoods have adorable decorative appetizer plates, cute holiday bakeware items, a cozy throw, or set of holiday mugs with hot cocoa mix.
 
White elephant gifts are the easiest last minute gift — you can pick up just about anything whether a gag or something practical.

(credit: shutterstock)

(credit: shutterstock)


Unexpected Last Minute Gifting

“Keep a stash of inexpensive gifts for last-minute presents along with a few extra gift bags and tissue. This way, you always have something to fall back on. Otherwise, you may end up running out to the local store and overpaying for something.
 
Stock up on nice candles from Target, HomeGoods or Marshall’s, bottles of wine (just throw a ribbon around the bottle neck), individually wrapped boxes of holiday chocolates (Costco sells nice brands) or purchase a large box of holiday candy to repackage into smaller gift bags.
 
Keep a few boxes of cake, muffin or cookie mix at home, along with festive holiday tins, cellophane bags and bakery boxes. Semi-homemade treats always win over recipients.
 
The Dollar Store is a great resource for stocking up on inexpensive gift wrap. I love neutral paper wrap in solids like red, green or white because I can use it for other events or celebrations throughout the year.
Start picking up items you see on clearance that would make good gifts for anyone on your list, whether it’s a candle, hand lotion or holiday decor.”
 
Related: Best Gift Shops In LA

Sheryl Craig is a writer with a passion for interesting finds and treasures in Los Angeles. She has a background in journalism and public relations. A mother of two daughters, Sheryl integrates her healthy lifestyle into raising her children. Her work can be found at Examiner.com

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