It seems many South Africans have not started their holiday shopping and are most likely tightening their belts due to the tough economic climate, statistics from price comparison site PriceCheck indicate.
"Typically, we see pre-festive season shopping peak around mid-December. This year though, the trend coming out of November has not been as steep as it was in 2017. Which is not that surprising, given the tough economic conditions most South Africans are facing," says PriceCheck CEO Kevin Tucker.
"So, this year, more than ever, shoppers should practice responsible shopping and tap into the search and comparative powers of the internet to get the best deals on affordable gifts that won't break the bank but will still be valued by the recipients."
Last festive season, the most popular categories on PriceCheck for buying gifts were cell phones and accessories, home entertainment, toys, video game consoles, and accessories and beauty products.
Tucker emphasises that it is not a good idea to end up in debt in 2019 because you feel under pressure to spend extravagant amounts on gifts in December.
Remember your financial obligations in January and set your gift budget accordingly.
Take it online
In Tucker's view, online shopping provides access to a far wider range of products. A bonus is that you can also avoid malls, which tend to be crowded over the festive season.
It is also worthwhile to look out for daily deals.
"It's a great way to snap up a bargain," said Tucker, adding that it is always best to shop around.
...But consider your choices carefully
He says consumers should compare variations of products and alternate brands.
"Make sure you are comparing apples with apples, and that, for instance, you really need the extra features that come with a higher price," he says.
You don't have to break the bank as it is possible to find affordable quality gifts - so put thought into your purchases.