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Savvy shopper bags £1,000 worth of Christmas presents from charity shops for just £200 – and shares secrets for festive bargains

A savvy shopper has revealed how she bagged £1,000 worth of Christmas presents from local charity shops for a fraction of the cost – plus top tips for anyone after a bargain.
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Monica Marriott-Mills from Suffolk has been buying second-hand gifts for many years and is no stranger to securing goods for half the price or less.

Picture credit: JAM PRESS

To help others ahead of the holidays, the 29-year-old has shared her secrets on how to get the best deals and it’s easier than you might think.

In a TikTok (@themonicaway )that has over 145,000 views, the luxury consultant and content creator reveals how to save cash this Christmas.

The charity shop whiz’s biggest bargains to date include buying a designer Valentino dress for just £1 – saving almost £1,000 and bagging a luxury cashmere jumper worth over £400, for just £3.50.

“I have made it my goal to ensure over 50% of my gifts are preloved,” Monica told http://Needtoknow.co.uk.

Picture credit: JAM PRESS

“My grandma is a vintage seller and has always instilled preloved shopping into my shopping habits since [I was] a child.

“I gift preloved all of the time and no one ever has any idea!

“I often tell them and they’re very shocked.”

Monica says the key to making the gifts look less second-hand is all down to the presentation.

By sprucing up the thrifty finds, your nearest and dearest will be none the wiser.

She said: “Be prepared to maybe do some cleaning and repairing.

“I sometimes make repairs and polish them too.

“It can take a little more time but it’s so worth it.

“I would never spend thousands on Christmas but if I were to look at the RRP value of the items I gift, then I technically save myself thousands.

“This year I have spent less than £200 so far but the RRP of my gifts collectively comes to at least £1,000.

“Don’t be disappointed if you don’t find something right away.”

She reckons that her designer wardrobe is made up of 90% vintage and pre-loved finds.

Monica also recommends that you choose your gifts wisely.

Image credit: JAM PRESS

Although there may appear to be plenty of amazing items, adopt a quality over quantity method to avoid overspending.

By educating yourself on the telltale signs of authenticity, you’ll also be on your merry way to bagging a bargain.

Other tips include looking for deals in less popular charity shops and carrying water with you to avoid getting tired or thirsty while rifling through the goods.

Monica says: “Good jewellery will stand the test of time.

“I have found sterling silver, gold plated, opals and rubies.

“You need to educate yourself on spotting quality – learn hallmarks, take the extra time to learn about craftsmanship and how to spot it.

“Always check the cabinets – it’s where they keep the fancy stuff!

“Try areas and locations that aren’t deemed ‘trendy’ – trendy areas are good too, but the prices often reflect this!

“Write a list of ideas to help you stay focused and not to get overwhelmed.

“Wear comfy clothes and listen to music, charity shopping can be overwhelming and tiring, carry water!

“Google brands in the store if you’re ever unsure if something is a bargain.

“One second-hand gift is better than none.

“Start small, we can all do our part -–online second-hand shopping is great for people that are time-poor.

“You may not find amazing things right away, go as often as you can.

“You may just get lucky!”

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