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Last updateMon, 10 Dec 2018 4pm

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Holiday Shopping Survival Guide: College Edition

Holiday Shopping Survival GuideIt’s the most wonderful time of the year — for everything except our bank accounts. You don’t need to spend a month’s worth of college tuition on the perfect gifts for your family and friends. There are millions of other ways to show your loved ones that you care about them without spending an arm and a leg on “the perfect gift.”

Samantha Rosenberg, a junior social work student said, “Holiday shopping can be extremely difficult especially when you’re on a budget because there is a lot of pressure to find the perfect gift, especially for someone that you love.” People get so fixated on finding the perfect gift for their loved one and that’s usually associated with a lot of money. But with these tips, you will soon find out that sometimes, the perfect gift can be found on the sale rack.

A universal gift for anyone, boy or girl, old or young, naughty or nice, is pajamas. You can never go wrong with a soft and cozy pair of pajamas. Plus, there are tons of patterns that are sure to please anyone.

Primark, a British Department store, recently took over for Sears in the Freehold Mall. Their pajamas touch upon life’s greatest pleasures. They just came out with a Friends line (you’re welcome) and they even have cozy slippers to match.

Most importantly, they’re cheap and ideal for a college students’ budget. You can’t argue with $10 pajamas. This store is a hidden gem that can hopefully make holiday shopping easier and cheaper.

Marshall’s- this store is definitely on the nice list. With brands like Michael Kors, Vince Camuto and Ralph Lauren all at discounted prices, shopping here feels as lovely as Christmas morning. This store has practical gifts at great prices and even better quality.

Just to name a few, they have shaving kits, mugs, journals, blankets and fuzzy socks. Many people believe in, “You get what you pay for,” meaning that if you buy a cheaper gift that the quality will not be as great. Marshall’s is one of the few stores that proves that theory wrong.

Black Friday, and other discounts throughout the season, will be your best friend.  Remember that denim jacket that you just knew your mom would love but you couldn’t afford it? During the holiday season, there are plenty of sales that can make that same jacket 40-50 percent off.

If you don’t want to go out to the mall, never underestimate the power of an online sale. With most sites usually doing free shipping, gifts can conveniently be shipped right to your dorm room. Especially for college students, this is the ideal scenario for shopping without the hassle of trying to get off campus without a car.

Erin Wilson, a freshman history education student stated, “You still want to please your friends and family with a great gift, but having a budget really limits what I can get.” This brings up the idea of gift sets. Gift sets are perfect and can be used in a variety of ways.

If you have multiple people to shop for, purchasing gift sets is not only efficient, but it also knocks more birds with one stone.

Imagine a perfect world where you buy one thing for your aunt, sister and mom – one price, one box, one purchase. Once purchased, you can then open the gift box and sort out different things for different people. This is where creativity can really come in handy.

Making a gift look cute is not only fun but it also presents itself well, especially if it is a cheaper or smaller item. Plastic wrap and ribbon or even a bow on top can really spice up a smaller gift. These items are inexpensive and can be found at any dollar store. Gift boxes are also a nice way to present a smaller gift.

Target is that one store that you never go in needing something specific, yet you will leave with $500 less than you had. But Target’s most beneficial yet underrated feature is the beloved dollar section. Right when you walk in, it is there staring you in the face and tempting you to stay there instead of walking deeper into the store to the more expensive items.

Dollar sections take some dedicated searching, but it is extremely rewarding. For just one dollar, you can find pens, bins, scarves, planners, markers, chargers, air fresheners, cases and other small knick-knacks. Take a few of these items, put them in a bin and wrap it with some clear wrapping paper and a bow for an (almost) homemade gift that anyone is sure to love.

Secretary of the School of Education, Lisa Bach, said, “My preference for holiday gift giving on a budget is to give food in festive reusable containers tied in wire ribbon.” Festive foods like candy and nuts are a go-to, especially for someone who you might not know as well. There are many universal snacks that you can never go wrong with.

“Keeping the recipient in mind of a particular treat they enjoy, it could range from homemade cookies to store bought nuts,” Bach continued. This allows room for personalization and creativity: the perfect way to spice up a gift.

With shopping at the right places, snagging deals and a little thinking and creativity, this holiday season can be one to please. Happy holidays and happy shopping!

PHOTO TAKEN by Jenna Puglisi

Contact Information

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The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

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The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey
07764

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu