#LoveLocal: Budget-Friendly Local Brands Where You Can Get Great Gifts

It’s officially the start of the holiday season, which means it’s time to start shopping for gifts! That also means braving heavy traffic and overcrowded malls. Fortunately, many of our favourite brands are now available online, so you can shop for gifts at the comfort of your own home—even in the office! To help you out, I have compiled a short list of local brands where you can find amazing deals and unique gift ideas.

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If you have a friend who has sensitive skin but is a beauty addict, get her items from One Earth Organics. This is a skincare company that sells beauty products made from organic ingredients. I am currently in love with their undereye serum infused with argan oil.

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No Pinoy is not familiar with Bench. I still remember seeing their old commercials on TV as well as their eye-catching ads. Aside from that, they offer high-quality apparel and body care products at affordable prices. Your stylish pamangkins will love you even more if you surprise them with Bench’s figure-flattering jeans and shirts. Bench is now available at Zalora Philippines.

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Is your inaanak into arts and literature? Check out Sune and you will find a wide selection of hard-to-find books about the arts. They also sell prints as well as basic swimwear that flatters any body type.

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Get your boyfriend or girlfriend a magnetic poetry kit and they will love you forever! This is a perfect gift for voracious readers and poetry lovers who love playing with words. My fiancé and I bought ourselves kits from Magnetic Poetry MNL and share our creations on our joint Instagram account Tin Can Beatnik. It is a great bonding tool, especially for couples who are in a long-distance relationship.

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Electromagnetic Tentacle is the perfect spot for individuals looking to buy their geek friends and officemates cool merchandise this Christmas. They offer parody shirts that combine pop culture and Pinoy humor.

Where do you usually shop for Christmas gifts? Share them in the comments section below!

Shopping Online for the First Time? Tips and Strategies for Finding the Best Deals

If you haven’t done any online shopping before, but have started to think about it, rest assured that it is a good idea. Not only are you going to save valuable time, but you are also going to have more chances of scoring a deal than you would with traditional shopping. The reason is simple: when you are shopping online, you can compare products and prices at the simple click of a button, as opposed to going from store to store. However, it can be easy to get lost among the immense number of options that the online world opens up. This article will give you some strategies to keep your mind focused so you can find the best deals out there.

Begin by Looking on Customer Review Sites

These types of sites are a life-saver because they allow you to search the product you would like to purchase, and then they give you a list of a few options for that product, with the price included. These sites also typically offer you the chance to read through comments and reviews by people who have bought the product you’re interested in from a certain online vendor. This is a great way to get acquainted with the different policies sites might have, and also to find out whether they charge an enormous amount for shipping. This is something important to look out for, because even if the product you’re getting is relatively cheap, if it’s coupled with a high shipping fee you’re not really saving anything.

Use Coupon-Finding Sites

Coupons are a great way to save, both online and offline. The only difference is that when you are making your purchases online, there’s no need for you to cut out coupons and carry them with you. Instead, you should look for them through coupon sites (which can be found by searching with Google). Then, when you’re at the checkout stage, you will be asked if you have a coupon code. Fill the box out, and there you have it! You’ve just saved some money!

Sign Up for Sites that Offer Merchandise You’re Interested In

Though signing up for sites often results in a lot of emails being sent to your inbox (and, in all honesty, nobody is ever attracted to that), there are some benefits. Often, online retailers will send you coupons and let you know about any promotions they may have going on through emails. You should sign up for these emails only if you are interested in the type of products the vendor is offering, since otherwise the only thing you’re accomplishing is spamming your inbox with unnecessary clutter. However, if you already like a certain retailer, then getting coupons from them delivered straight into your inbox is quite convenient.

Become a Member to Save More

Signing up for a site is one of the ways in which you could become a member, but there are other ways. For example, some sites ask you to fill out a survey for them, or they may have a buyer’s club available. If you see yourself purchasing products from a certain online retailer, then becoming a member is a great idea, as it will offer you exclusive perks. Aside from being among the first to know about any promotions, you might also gain access to items that are limited inventory.

If you are thinking of starting to do some online shopping, keep these things in mind to make sure you’re saving money. Though at first it may seem time consuming, after some practice you’ll get better at going through the first two tips, which will result in you saving both time and money. The last two strategies are great if you are interested in a particular online vendor, and are great ways of keeping yourself informed of available or upcoming sales.

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