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When you live a busy life with work and kids, shopping can mean just grabbing and going. And when it comes to birthdays and Christmas it’s easier to get the new and best right? When your kids are younger, it’s easy to keep them happy, but as they grow up, their tastes get more expensive and more particular. And, as a parent, it can be hard to know what to buy and what not to.

Well, here is a guide on how to make sure that you are buying the right thing, and that it’s the best value for your money.

How to buy this Christmas

Reviews

Your first point of call is to check out reviews on the product you’re thinking of buying. There are thousands of review sites out there; general ones like best products pro, and then more particular ones like GameSpot. Most bigger companies send out prototypes to reviewers before the product hits the shelves, so you can easily find reviews on the things that haven’t even been released yet. Reviews are especially great if you’re looking to buy a gadget or a game for your kids and don’t know if it’s appropriate for them, or whether they’ll actually use it if you buy it.

Compare

Always compare prices at different places before buying. It might seem simpler to pick something up at your local supermarket – but is it cheaper on Amazon? Shop around to make sure you’re getting the best deal. If you see a deal going, like an Xbox with the new Fifa 18, don’t automatically jump on it. Check to see if you can buy the two separately for cheaper first.

Value

Is it worth buying? If you’re thinking of buying a brand new tablet for the family – do you really need one just yet? Or, if you do need one, is it worth waiting a few months few the launch of the latest model? And again, check the reviews, because the latest model might not be what you’re looking for. You might prefer the previous style. Also look into whether or not whatever you’re buying is going to cost you in the long run; if you buy your child a bike, will you need to constantly pay to fix and update it – and is that worth it over constantly buying new bikes?

Love

At the end of the day, whether you or whoever you’re buying for is really going to love it or not, plays a huge factor in the buying process. It might be something that your child has been begging for all year and would make the perfect Christmas present. Or maybe it’s something that you think your partner would absolutely love and use all the time even though they haven’t mentioned it. You know your family and know whether it’s going to end up forgotten in a draw, or fought over because everyone wants a go.