For certain people, there are few things more heart-stopping in this world that realising that the only free moment you will have to pick up the essential (belated) birthday present/sugar body scrub/trainers/insert latest cool thing here, is a Saturday afternoon.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I know that there are those who relish the challenge, sharpen their elbows at the first hint of a Saturday sale and have a sixth sense when it comes to knowing when the queues in the changing rooms are at their lowest. This guide is not for those people.

This is for the moaners, the whiners, the downright terrified and the ones who treat the Saturday shopping expedition like a military operation: get in, get the job done, and put down that half price food processor because honey, the subway home is going to be heaving and ain’t nobody got time for that.

1. Make a (sensible) list

We’ve all been there. Gone out christmas shopping and come home with a (new) bag full of presents for yourself? Yes. It’s hard. Write a list, stick to it, and only allow yourself one impulse buy if you find one of those things that is definitely going to change your life for the better but then probably will never make it out the packaging. And possibly with a budget, if you’re the kind of person who thinks buying a three piece furniture suite after getting lost in John Lewis for three hours and panicking, is an appropriate impulse buy.

2. Dress appropriately

This is the generation three extended cold weather clothing system. It can be a bit of a bitch to get off in the changing rooms, but apart from that it encapsulates the essentials of a Glasgow shopping trip outfit: warm, comfortable, stylish and entirely impermeable to hurricanes, snowstorms and whatever else might drop in uninvited.

3. Snacks

Shopping is hard work. It tests endurance, there are heavy loads to be carried and often the food is prohibitively expensive yet positioned just in such a way that it is around every corner, of every shopping centre, just waiting to tempt you into parting with the bus fare. Are you listening carefully? Bring your own snacks! See that lovely individual at Mr. Pretzel with the plate of lovely warm goodies? Take a sample and RUN. See those little trays of samples in Marks and Spencer’s that might just be the greatest thing you have ever had the pleasure of putting in your mouth? You can’t afford it! Get out of there, soldier, and stay strong.

4. Surviving the beauty counters

Human beings are wonderfully simple creatures. For the most part, we like shiny things that smell nice that’s why all the fancy cosmetics are the first thing you come across when you enter a department store, blinking in the bright lights like a confused newborn puppy and then proceeding to run around excitedly looking at all the goodies on offer. It can help to be aware of this in advance, and make sure that you are mentally prepared to stick to tip 1: THE LIST. If luxury bubble bath isn’t on the list, then it doesn’t go in the basket.

5. Staving off boredom

You made the mistake of going within 30m of a shop, accompanied by someone who loves shopping. Two hours have passed and you’re still staring at a clump of dust on the floor wondering how on earth anyone could bear to spend this length of time trying on shoes and how likely it is that you are going to cite this very day as the biggest regret of your life when lying on your death bed, surrounded by forlorn-looking family, saying ‘I should have just cut and run after the third serious question about the pros and cons of patent leather vs nubuck’.

These things happen to the best of us, and if you find yourself in this situation, then you just have to make the most of it (presuming, of course, that the person you are with is enough of an emotional investment to justify it). These are the days that make or break us and your actions will tell a lot about your true personality.

Will you spend this time perfecting your eye-spy skills? Coming up with an interpretive dance destined for the dizzy heights of BGT? Writing your first novel on the back of all the receipts? Or staring at that dusty speck until you fall asleep and drool on the cashmere sweater display, in what might just become the most expensive nap of your life? The choice is yours, my friend.

6. Shop online, you fools

As a special congratulations for making it to the end of this article, here is a picture of a cute kitten checking out the ASOS deals and smugly getting everything on his list without having to even leave the bed. Clever cat. The final piece of advice, therefore, is if you don’t have to go and shop then just don’t go.

Order online, spend an extra £30 to get free delivery (why does it always seem way better value to spend loads for free delivery? Delivery is like £2.50. We are all mad) and get yourself a pint, because you just won at Saturday shopping on Buchanan Street! You are SO welcome.

Did we miss any useful advice? Leave us a comment with your top Saturday shopping tips.