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The next time you’re on a European city break, and thoughts turn to buying gifts for the folks back home, don’t fall into a tourist trap.

Check out local supermarkets instead — they’re a mine of thrifty gifts to take home as presents for friends and family, helpful neighbours or colleagues in the office.

Whatever the local delicacy is — cheese, chocolates, fancy biscuits or exotic booze — you can guarantee that the supermarket will have it, and the price will be a fraction of what gift shops (or worse, the airport) will charge.

For example, on a recent trip to Amsterdam, some beautifully packaged “stroopwafels” (caramel wafers) cost just €1.49 compared with more than €4 for the selfsame product at the airport gift shop.

Extreme thrifters take Bubble Wrap on holiday with them to wrap up wine, grappa and premium olive oil in their hold luggage upon return. Thick hiking socks work just as well — even if you’ve worn them first.

Share your top money saving tips with FT readers, by tweeting us @FTthrift or comment on the FTthrift blog: FT.com/thrift

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