It’s that time of the year again! We’ve got gifts to buy! But are you worried about your budget?  Expect to be broke by the end of the year? Are you currently steep on cash? And you still want to join the gifting tradition that is Christmas? Have no fear! Here are simple ways to master the art of gifting—budget style!

First, have you checked your bags or pockets? You might find money there. You can even do a quick holiday sweep of your pad. One time my sis found 400 pesos worth of loose change while cleaning her room. Now how’s that for hidden blessings?

If you have a lot of friends or are part of a big family, you could try playing Secret Santa this year. It’ll be easier on your wallet. But if you insist on getting each and everyone in your posse something, there’re still ways, or rather, stores to check for price-sensitive items.

Here’s my personal list of budget friendly retailers. Most of these are based downtown. It’s a great area to find affordable buys, but knowing the bustling retail jungle that is the streets of downtown, you’ll need a few survival tips.

Aizilym Enterprises – Address is #37 Lincoln St., walking distance from USJ-R. Expect to find affordable gift items like accessories, fashion jewelry, etc. I’ve seen items in places like Ayala or other commercial areas where they easily cost twice as much.

Princess Bazaar – Located near Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, Colon Street. Their shrieking sound ad claims the items to be barato nga sosyal (affordable and classy). Of course, it’s up to you, if you find the items are indeed sosyal but, yep, they are generally barato.

Unitop – They have several locations: Kalubihan St., Osmeña Blvd., and Santo Niño. You can find appliances, home décor, and other things there at lower prices. Forget Christmas shopping! Buy for your household instead!

Metro Gaisano – Mostly located in Colon, there’s also the Metro Ayala branch. They seem to have slightly cheaper items compared to other malls. I once bought a brand new K Planner from one of the branches in Colon. In other malls, the exact same planner cost a hundred pesos more!

138 Mall– This mall is basically a big collection of stands selling clothes, shoes, watches, and other nifty products. Check the link and you’ll find more about Cebu’s version of Divisoria.

White Gold Club – A ride away from SM, located at Soriano Ave., North  Reclamation Area. Prices here are not always cheaper than other malls, but they have stuff other malls do not, like affordable Asian-inspired decorative items and even pets.

APM Shopping Mall – Located across SM City Cebu. It’s mostly a collection of stores with China products and store branches originally from downtown. If you don’t want to head to the jungle that is downtown, this is a great alternative.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. Of course, there are other places to get affordable gifts as well. But this would be a good place to start.

Happy Gifting!

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