Holiday shopping can be a lot of fun OR really stressful…you decide! I just finished up my holiday shopping and for the first time in years, I had a completely stress-free experience. I’ve become a self-proclaimed expert shopper so I compiled a list of tips and tricks I use to help navigate the busiest shopping time of the year. With only 1 week left until Christmas, take a moment to read my 10 holiday shopping tips that are sure to make shopping more enjoyable and less dreadful this holiday season!
1o Holiday Shopping Tips
1. Save All Year
Setting a budget for holiday shopping is the key to eliminating stress this time of year because lets be honest, insufficient funds is a great way to put a damper on your shopping day! In the beginning of the year I determine how much money I’ll need for Christmas gifts and divide that by the amount of paychecks I receive throughout the year. Each pay period I have that amount automatically deducted from my pay. It’s much easier to save a little each paycheck then all at once…and it’s one less thing I have to stress about over the holidays. So as soon as Christmas is over, start saving for next year!
2. Don’t Let The Sales Fool You.
Don’g be fooled by the two ‘biggest sale days’ of the year. I would advise NOT waiting until Black Friday or Cyber Monday to get your Christmas gifts. As a matter of fact, it seems that each year the sales start earlier and earlier. I’ve also been able to confirm that some of my favorite stores offer better deals prior to and after cyber week.
3. Make Shopping Fun
Shopping doesn’t need to be a drag. With outdoor shopping centers popping up everywhere, make your shopping excursion a fun experience. Choose a spot with festive decorations, Christmas music playing and good restaurants for a bite to eat or an afternoon cocktail!
4.Extended Return Policies
This tip is more beneficial to the giftee than yourself – but it’s an important one. Many retailers extend their return policies for holiday shopping. Before heading out to the stores, research the holiday return policies and shop accordingly. If you can extend the return policy for your recipient by a month or two, it’s certainly worth it to purchase within the acceptable timeframe. You would hate for the value of your gift to go down should the recipient need to return your gift…and always remember to get a gift receipt!
5. Make a list
Do yourself a favor and take a few minutes before you head out to write down what you need. Whether it’s specific items or just a list of people you need to buy for, you need something to help keep you on track. There’s nothing worse then getting home from a long day of shopping to realize you forgot something.
6. Shop off-peak hours
One of the best ways to avoid crowds is to arrive when the doors open. It’s likely you won’t be the only one waiting for the doors to unlock, but there will be far less people shopping that first hour of the day then ever. You’re also likely to be the first one in the checkout line for a quick and easy shopping experience. If you’re not able to arrive first thing in the morning, find another time to shop off-peak hours. Even if it means taking some time off work – it will be worth the headache of dealing with traffic and lines.
7. Use your phone
Before heading to the register, hop on your phone to see if the items you’re purchasing are marked down online. Most retailers will price match whatever deals their online shops are offering. It’s a quick and easy way to save a few bucks.
8. Bring A Friend
It never hurts to bring a friend! If you’re as indecisive as I am, it’s absolutely necessary. It’s always nice to have a second opinion, especially when shopping for other people. If nothing else, shopping with a friend provides great conversation and the perfect excuse for a lunch or dinner break!
9. Buy online, pick up in store
Many stores offer a buy online, pickup in-store option. If you don’t have time to shop and want to avoid shipping charges, do all your shopping online and have it shipped to your local store – FREE OF CHARGE. If you know exactly what you want, this may be the best option. Some of my favorite retailers who offer this service are Target, Macys, William Sonoma and Nordstrom.
10. Shop Gift Guides
Stumped on what to buy your friends and family for Christmas? Before heading out to the store, check out your favorite bloggers gift guides to see what they suggest. Almost every blogger I know (myself included) puts together gift guides designed to help you shop for all the important people in your lives. Relieve the stress of picking out the “perfect gift” and let someone else do the hard work for you! You can view my gift guides HERE!
I hope these holiday shopping tips help to make your shopping experience more enjoyable this year! HAPPY HOLIDAYS & HAPPY SHOPPING!
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