What do you give the girl who has next to nothing, Skint pals? The best you can afford, that’s what. The Skint philosophy is to buy less stuff of better quality, rather than a load of cheap rubbish. Better for the planet that way, and for your pocket. This month I’ve been helping the folks at Most Wanted online mag to pull together a Christmas Gift Guide, revealing my top picks that any Skint girl would like to find under her tree come Christmas morning. We broke it down into three categories: under £10, under £30 and under £50 and I found some lovely things that I wanted to share with my Skint pals too. So, here are my top picks: a few little bits of luxe for less.
This is the perfect budget for Secret Santa dips and for friends. The trick is to find something that looks way more expensive than it is – no cheap smellies, okay? These tassel earrings from Marks and Spencer are just £7.50 but as if they cost far more than that. They have a definite vintage vibe going on.
Skint in the City loves cocktails, but drinking them in bars can soon add up to one seriously pricey night. Instead, give a gift which shows how to make them at home. Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist, £7.19, contains 65 recipes, with literary-influenced names and beautiful illustrations. Fancy a Gin Eyre, anyone?
I think these Tiffin lunchboxes, £28.99 from The Travelling Souk sum up my Skint in the City philosophy: enjoying lovely things whilst finding ways to save money at the same time. Perfect for a friend who spends too much on her work lunches: this gift costs the same as a week’s worth of deli lunches and will let her carry her homemade sandwiches to the office with pride.
Medieval lipstick by Poppy King, sold through Space NK stores, £22, suits everyone. It’s red, but not too red, making your lips look better without being too done. It’s the only one I wear now – day and night. I’ve given it twice as gifts and both receivers have become confirmed fans too.
Can’t think what to buy? Ditch the scented candles and hand cream – everyone’s doing that. Instead give a game – especially one that lets people talk about themselves! This version of the classic Articulate game invites people to tell their life stories and is a great Christmas party gift. Plus it’s currently on offer – down from £30 to just £18 at Debenhams.
Tired of serving espresso in mugs, (but not so tired at all after a mugful!), I’m angling for a set of espresso cups this Christmas. And, having done a fair bit of searching, I’ve got my eye on these. At £24.99 for a set of six from Gift Republic they’ll add a bit of humour to Christmas Day and I think they look way more expensive than they are. Mr Skint, if you’re reading, I’m hinting here . . . (in a rather blatant fashion, I concede.)
You’re not going to pay your sister’s gas bill for her, but you can give her the next best thing: a beautiful knit to keep her cosy and to help keep her heating bills down. Cashmere is the best for keeping you cosy but the cheaper high street cashmeres are often poor quality. Instead go for a funky chunky knit like this one from Top Shop, £48.
Receiving jewellery can be hit or miss – but not if you stick to classic silver. This ring from designer Chris Lew is £44.95 from Nancy Smillie and is classic yet quirky. With its adjustable band it’s one-size-fits-all too, meaning no room for error!
So, that’s my Xmas hit list, Skint pals. Do you have any top gift ideas – especially money saving ones – to share?