This time of the year always evokes varied emotions in people, some people are thrilled to see the lights go up and they feel oh so jolly, others feel overwhelmed and stressed….BAH HUMBUG. No matter what emotions you feel, it is officially time to get your gift shopping done. Here are some helpful tips for surviving the holiday gift shopping frenzy.
Set a Budget:
This is a really important starting point, it is so easy to feel overwhelmed and completely overspend. Make a list of each person, set a certain amount on paper and stick to it. You can even have a little fun and challenge yourself to see if you can find the cheapest price, reward yourself and use the money you saved to buy yourself something.
Do your research:
The internet offers great ways to price compare,even our cell phones have some great apps that allow you to scan the barcode of any item and see where the lowest price would be located. This may seem like a lot of work but in the long run the extra hour or so will save you buyers remorse. Get the newspaper flyers, they often have the best coupons. Pay in separate orders if your discount is only allowed on one order at a time, yes you may get an “are you serious” look, but we are talking about your money here, you’ll get over the look.
Whatever you do, don’t be that person that waits till the very last moment. This could leave you with little gift options because things could be sold out, limited color options available or higher prices. Retailers are aware that the last minute shoppers are desperate and will buy something no matter what. Plus, let’s be honest it’s so stressful to try to beat a deadline last minute.
Double and Triple Check:
Often, in the stores there are certain sale items that are out of stock or it seems that the item you want to purchase, is the only that doesn’t have a red tag on it. Don’t be afraid to ask, sometimes they just forgot to red tag that specific item. In some cases the business will still honor the discount even if it isn’t marked. If the item is out of stock, you can often request it to be shipped to your home FREE of charge. So, whatever you do, always ask!
Purchase with a purpose:
If you know you can get rewards or cash coupons(Kohl’s Bucks) make sure you drive the extra mile and try to get your items at that location. Often the rewards pay for the items bought themselves. The key is to remember to use those rewards,set the receipt or print out in your car. This way you won’t have any chances of forgetting them at home.
Giftwrapping? Yes, please!:
Don’t be a super hero if you know you don’t have the time to do so, let the store wrap your gift. If you feel guilty, go to those tables that are often set up around the mall, they usually have some charity that the wrapping donations go to. They do a great job and you’ll be grateful when you are stuck baking those last minute cookies you forgot about.
Pay a sitter:
Remember that money you are going to save from doing some research, clipping coupons and claiming your rewards? Well, trust me on this one, go ahead and get a sitter for a few hours. You will be able to get so much more accomplished without the ” But I REALLY wanted that!” or ” Can we go home now?” tantrums. Running in and out of stores will be much easier as well.
Yes, it seems a little unrealistic but you are stuck running around, why not make it enjoyable for yourself? Grab a cup of coffee/tea, take a buddy with you and put on some Christmas carols. For some of us this might be one of the only shopping trips you have without the kids, try to get as much accomplished as you can. Try to maintain a positive attitude, it will get you further than being a grump.
Have a wonderful holiday season and happy shopping to all!