Shop Smart this Christmas with our #DiskarteNaMayArte Shopping Guide

It’s the season of gift giving once again and I’m sure that you’re excited to give as well as receive presents. But of course, just because we get Christmas bonuses doesn’t mean we should splurge and spend them all up to the last cent! To help you survive the holidays without going bankrupt, here are my 10 #DiskarteNaMayArte guide to a merrier Christmas shopping!

Watsons Kris Kringle When in Manila Mae Ilagan Frank Ruaya-4

10. Set a budget and stick with it!
Again, do your best not to overspend on gifts. Decide a fixed budget. If it’s 5k, stick with it… don’t overspend. I suggest you either use your extra cash to buy essential needs, save up for that workshop you’ve always wanted to learn, or simply save it for a rainy day. My point here is, if you plan to spend, spend it wisely. Invest in yourself. You don’t have to give away everything you have and end up poor in January!

9. Make a Master gift list
I usually make an excel file and list down all the people I want to share my blessings with and even the specific gift I plan to give them (with corresponding budget) so in case I come across that item, I can buy it right away. It pays to plan what you will give ahead, to save you from the stress of last minute gift shopping. Also, I suggest you remember acquaintances or not so close business contacts that you want to be close with in the near future. I’m sure they will appreciate your thoughtfulness.


8. Decide on 1 or 2 items to give to everyone
If you’re the type who is too stubborn or is too busy to think of unique gifts, you may opt to decide on 1 or 2 generic items (for boy and girl) that you can give out to everyone (except for your closest relatives  or significant other of course). This will surely save you a lot of time.

7. Shop online
To save more time and avoid the hopeless Edsa traffic, best to simply shop online and have them all delivered right at your door step. Find a reliable online store and try to buy everything from there in order to save on shipping costs. No more need for you to endure long lines and carry heavy bags! Yan ang diskarte!


6. Shop in stores that offer FREE WRAPPING services
If you still prefer going to malls to buy gifts, go to stores that give free gift wrapping services to save you precious time and money. I’m also not good in wrapping gifts so I usually leave it to the experts! Or better yet, go for gift sets that are placed in colorful decorated gift boxes so you don’t need to spend extra on gift wrappers, ribbons and adhesive tapes! Mas tipid!

Watsons Kris Kringle When in Manila Mae Ilagan Frank Ruaya-8

5. Support local
I highly encourage you to buy from local small entrepreneurs and not from big foreign outlets. I’m sure you’d agree that we have a lot of creative people selling cute and useful products around the country. The best way of course to support them, is by buying and promoting their products. May it be your neighborhood cookie maker or accessories designer, please… please do check out and support their creations.

4. For Noche Buena grocery shopping, buy all dry and canned goods as early as now

Years ago, I had my worst grocery experience during one Dec 24 morning. I remember arriving early, but there were still too many people in the supermarket, also doing their last minute shopping. Because of this, I failed to get really good meat cuts, fresh fruits and worst of all, I waited for over 3 hours as the cashier queues were really long and slow moving. After that nightmare, I swore to never do it again. So now, what I do is, I plan my menu way ahead, list down all the needed ingredients and buy all the dry items and canned goods weeks before Christmas so every December 24 and 31, I only have to buy fresh and perishable ingredients in our local “talipapa” or “palengke”. No long stressful lines!


3. Shop early to avoid the rush and Carmageddon
All I can say about this is that, most of us don’t really learn. Tsk tsk tsk. We tend to do the same mistake every year. Please do note that the traffic situation gets worse and worse and this year… OMG, Goodluck! So please do yourself a favor and shop early or end up posting complaints again on social media. Spare yourself from all the hassles to fully enjoy a merrier Christmas.

photo take from

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2. Para makatipid, buy in Divisoria!
If you really really really want to save more money, then wag ka na maarte…

go to Divisoria and shop shop shop! Truth is, most of the items you see in Christmas tiangge’s, bazaars and even malls can be found in Divisoria at a much much lower price. Be sure to go there early and try not to bring your iphone or other expensive items to be safe. Also try to dress simple as it’ll be difficult for you to haggle discounts if you look like a donya!

1. Be creative. Make personalized gifts instead

Still, nothing beats a present that’s made with much love and effort. Effort it ace! And I always believe that the best gift you can give to someone is your TIME as you are giving a portion of your life that you will never get back. Whoever receives it of course, will feel more special and loved. So if you can squeeze in extra time to do something creative and crafty, go for it! Just like turning a shirt into a tote bag. Our friends from Bounty Fresh shared with us this resourceful #DiskarteNaMayArte gift and it’s even easy to do!


Make time for it! Even a simple handmade Christmas card means a lot! Remember, it’s all about sincerity and intention.

Did you find my list helpful? Do you have any more suggestions for our readers? Feel free to write your own #DiskarteNaMayArte Christmas shopping tips at the comments section below!

For more #DiskarteNaMayArte tips, like Bounty Fresh Chicken on Facebook!

Shop Smart this Christmas with our #DiskarteNaMayArte Shopping Guide