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Buy presents that do good; shopping on a budget

Shopping on a budget can be difficult, yet it doesn’t need to be. The perfect present for the one you
care about most in the world doesn’t have to cost a fortune

By Florentina Cercel, Oana Orzac, Olivia Snaith-Cairns, and Alexandra Cimpeanu

There are many ways to shop low, from sales to charity shops that are a short distance away no matter where you are in London. With Christmas around the corner, students are looking for fun gifts for friends and family – but are
also looking for affordable options.

Picture Credit: Oana Orzac

“There are things that people can buy. We have a lot of gifts. We sell cards and Christmas wraps, but
also toys and books. If they are brand new, people usually buy them. Because people buy new stuff
for gifting,” said Lisa Magliulo, 45-year-old Manager of Marie Curie Highbury.

“We know that we need to buy brand new things, or the ones that are almost new so that people can
buy more from us,” she added.

Just a one-minute walk from Highbury and Islington station, the charity shop offers a variety of products
from ukuleles to heels. There are many items available under £20 which are suitable for absolutely

Picture Credit: Oana Orzac

“All types of people come and buy from us. There are no exceptions and it’s for a good cause. We have to pay to buy the stuff and some percentage of the money goes to us. The rest is going to charity,” explained the manager, who didn’t want to give their name.

“We have some volunteers, but we still need more, so if anybody wants they are free to come. I recommend buying from charity shops because why spend money on expensive things when we have charity shops where we have good stuff? To be honest, those gifts are coming back to us in January anyway.”

Picture credit: Oana Orzac

With current bigger shops advertising their products for Christmas, charity shops don’t get enough credit most of the time. But they represent a great place where you can find more for less, someone’s else’s “trash” can ultimately be your treasure, in a good way.

“Charity shops are a necessity in current days because high-end fast fashion and fast everything is way too encouraged and promoted. You can always walk into a charity shop and grab a vase that for many is trash but it can be your piece of art that you can recondition and fix up and it becomes more valuable to you,” said Claudia Cercel, 33-year-old self-employed business owner of Jeune Candles.

However, heartfelt presents have nothing to do with their price, and maybe the past two years have taught us just that, as all we wanted for Christmas was to see our loved ones. And maybe a card.

Picture Credit: Oana Orzac
Cercel explained: “Same goes with clothes, for example, the male blazers are in trend right now, that can go for £80 to £300 from high-end shops, but you can find it for as cheap as £10 in charity shops and just like that you’re in trend.”

“I highly recommend shopping there. In terms of presents, I always found board games and books that can be gifted as a Christmas present,” she said.

So this festive season, why not shop small, smart and local?