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Hampered! FINANCE; Beware of overpaying for that special festive gift; EXCLUSIVE.

Byline: NADA FARHOUD; Edited by GRAHAM HISCOTT

THINK carefully before you splash out on a Christmas hamper - you might be paying more than PS150 just for the wicker basket.

A Daily Mirror probe found that Aldi and Waitrose customers are being charged way over the odds for the stores' special selections compared to the cost of buying the contents separately.

Items in Waitrose's Ultimate Christmas Feast Hamper cost PS325.34, yet shoppers are being charged PS500. That means they are paying PS174.66 for the wicker basket and a cool bag.

The store's Gourmet Christmas Hamper costs PS100, but by buying the items individually, shoppers can save PS49.56 (individual total PS50.44).

Meanwhile, Aldi's Exquisite Hamper costs PS99, but the real value of the goods is PS83.88 - so you are spending PS15.12 on the wicker basket.

Deborah Shanahan, head of deals at Moneysavingexpert.com, said: "When considering a hamper, separate the items out and price them up individually first.

"Websites like MySupermarket can help you easily compare the cost of food items across the different supermarkets to ensure you really are getting a good deal, as you could be seriously over-paying for the convenience of someone else placing items in a basket for you."

Wicker baskets can be bought for as little as PS3 to PS4 on the high street.

When asked to explain the gulf between buying a hamper and picking up items individually, a Waitrose spokesperson said: "Our hampers are very popular with our shoppers - the price reflects the amount of effort that has gone into carefully selecting, packing and presenting the products to make a perfect, ready-made gift."

Aldi said: "The pricing of our hampers reflects not only the products inside but a beautiful wicker basket, as well as the time spent collating, wrapping, packing and delivering the final product to our customer's home."

AND HERE ARE THOSE THAT ARE BETTER VALUE Boots No 7 Star beauty collection PS80 Individually: PS109.50 Saving: PS29.50 Elemis Frangipani Treasures Exotics Collection Bath & Body Gift Set, John Lewis PS75.65 Individually: PS125.40 Saving: PS49.75 Waitrose Ultimate Christmas Feast HamperPS500Individually PS325.34 Wicker basket (plus cool bag*): PS174.66 *not available to buy individually Aldi Exquisite Hamper PS99 Individually: PS83.88 Wicker basket: PS15.12 Aldi Specially Selected Luxury Hamper PS59.99 Individually: PS43.76 Wicker basket: PS16.23 Waitrose Gourmet Christmas Hamper PS100 Individually: PS50.44 Wicker basket: PS49.56

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 2, 2017
Words:406
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