10 Savvy Christmas Shopping Tips
As Christmas draws near, the holiday shopping frenzy grows crazier with each passing day. It causes a great headache and stress to most people. In order to get your Christmas shopping done with minimal hassle, it’s crucial that you have a plan. Before you make the first purchase, do your prep work and then shop with ease until each gift is bought, wrapped and under the tree. With these smart tips your Christmas shopping will turn into one of the most stress-free things about this holiday season. Don’t focus on money, enjoy the Christmas spirit.
1. Decide who to buy for
Over the years, it’s easy for your Christmas shopping list to grow exponentially. When you find that your list has grown too long, it’s time to start crossing names off. While it’s nice of you to do so, there’s no reason to continue shopping for former coworkers, your high school English teacher or a neighbor who you no longer live near. This way you’ll be able to spend more on gifts for your kids, husband, parents and yourself. If you expect a lot of guests to come to your Christmas party, agree that you buy presents for children only. Or, opt for inexpensive nice presents for all your guests. After all, it’s about spending fun time together, not about expensive gifts.
2. Make a budget
Before you start shopping, determine your total Christmas shopping budget. Allot a dollar amount that you’re willing to spend on each person. Most probably, you’ll spend much more on presents for your children than aunts and cousins. Write that amount by their name on your shopping list and total those amounts when you’re finished. Ensure that the individual gift amounts do not add up to exceed your total shopping budget. One more way to make this holiday season more budget-friendly is to save some bucks during the whole year instead of trying to alter your budget in December.
3. Start early
Last-minute shopping is a bad idea if you want to find appropriate gifts and remain stress-free on Christmas. While we all know people who do their Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve, you don’t have to be one of them. The earlier you start shopping, the more choices you’ll have. Some people pick gifts all year round, starting from January. Others begin in the late summer or early fall and have their shopping finished by the time Thanksgiving rolls around. Come up with some ideas what you want to give each person and add it to your list. Keep this list in your wallet and buy one thing each time you do shopping.
4. Shop from home
If crowded shopping malls send you into a spasm, simply avoid them. Shop from catalogs and on internet websites instead. While you may have to pay shipping to get the gifts to your door, you’ll save an invaluable amount of time, effort and gasoline, which makes the cost of shipping worth it. Most items are usually less expensive when bought online. You can also compare prices on different websites to find the best quality-price ratio. Look for websites that provide free shipping to avoid overpayment.
5. Recruit a shopping buddy
When you do head out to brick-and-mortar stores, take along a shopping buddy. They can ensure that you stick to your budget, help you make gift decisions and offer moral support. When it’s time to take a break, the two of you can sit down for a relaxing meal and a chat before you resume shopping. However, try to avoid doing shopping with all your pals, otherwise it can turn into a crazy squander on clothes or it can just be a waste of time.
Read also – 10 New Ways to Celebrate Christmas Alone
6. Shop during the week
Instead of shopping in stores on the weekends when the crowds are massive, try venturing out during the middle of the week to do your Christmas shopping. If possible try to do shopping during morning hours when most people are at work. During the week most things can be found for a song, while at the weekend the prices can slightly increase. Shop after work or use a personal day to allow yourself to shop when the stores are less crowded and hunting for gifts is less fierce.
7. Re-gift when possible
Although re-gifting has received a bad rap in certain circles, there’s nothing wrong with passing along a gift that you’ll never use in certain circumstances. Sometimes people give each other absolutely unnecessary things that don’t correspond to their taste and needs such as accessories, collector’s items or souvenirs. Make use of these things if you know that someone from your gift list would appreciate it. Ensure that the gift is in brand new condition, there are no gift tags still attached to the present and you never pass the gift along to the original giver or their family members or friends.
8. Get gift receipts
Since there’s always a chance there may be a problem with a gift or that the receiver may already have the item you’ve bought them, ensure that you always ask for a gift receipt. The gift receipt does not contain the price of the item, but allows the recipient to exchange it for something else at the store where it was purchased. Gift receipts are especially useful when you give a piece of clothing, unsolicited presents or when you’re just unsure about the person’s preferences. Consider giving a person a gift certificate or a gift card. While this isn’t a personal gift, it’ll do the trick when you have no time to buy a more meaningful gift.
9. Purchase wrapping supplies
Part of getting your Christmas shopping done includes wrapping the gifts so they’re ready for you to give. Most department stores offer gift wrapping services, but you can easily do it yourself. While you’re shopping for gifts, ensure that you also pick gift wrap, ribbons, bows and tape. Select gift boxes and/or bags for any gifts that could be difficult to wrap. Not only will you save a sizable amount of money, but you’ll also add a personal touch to your presents. Surf the Internet to find out gift wrapping techniques and tutorials.
10. Purchase spare gifts
During the Christmas holiday, it’s great to have unexpected guests or to be invited to last-minute parties. Keep a selection of gifts handy that you can give when those occasions arise. Select gifts that are inexpensive and will appeal to most people and you’ll never be caught unaware. It may be a nice Christmas souvenir, a T-shirt or a mug with a cute inscription or a piece of jewellery. Giving nice and heartwarming knickknacks is a sure way to make your guests feel welcome and comfortable.
Read also – 10 Ways to Make This Christmas More Meaningful
Even if you’ve got stressed about Christmas shopping in the past, approaching it methodically can reduce your shopping-related anxiety. Start shopping early and relax when Christmas comes. Follow these go-to strategies to avert last-minute shopping, buying aimless gifts and breaking the bank. Have all your points crossed off long before the holiday fuss and enjoy your stress-free Christmas time.