Make a List
Who do you plan to purchase gifts for this year? List all your recipients and an ideal gift for each person so you can stay on track once you start shopping.
Set a Budget
Be realistic. Can you really afford to spend $100+ on each recipient? Be sure to set a total amount that you are willing to spend this Christmas–AND STICK TO IT! Remember, it is the thought that counts, not how much money you spend on each person.
Ok. This is a big one! Do NOT go into debt just to put a smile on someone’s face. Use only your available cash to make your purchases. Going into a new year with debt is not ideal and should not be your goal. If you cannot purchase gifts with cash only, get creative with your gift giving, i.e. give homemade gifts, gift food/desserts, request to have a one person gift exchange.
With the internet and online shopping, comparing a price for an item has become extremely easy.
- If you are buying toys you should almost always look on Walmart.com or Amazon.com to compare prices. You are almost guaranteed to find the lowest price on one of those sites.
- If you are purchasing clothes from a department store be sure to compare prices with Macy’s, Von Maur, and Nordstrom. These stores carry a lot of the same brands, but only two offer free shipping, no matter the minimum–Von Maur and Nordstrom.
Look for Free Shipping Promos
I have seen many stores this holiday season that have chosen to offer free shipping. The biggest surprise comes from Target, who has been offering free shipping for a few weeks now. If a store is not offering free shipping to your home, they will often offer free shipping to your local store. Driving a couple miles to the store sure beats paying $7+ for shipping.
- Stores almost always offer a discount to customers when they initially sign up for email offers. These coupons can sometimes be used both in-store and online, but are sometimes limited to only online use. I have seen these discounts range from 10% to 30% for new subscribers. If you are like me, I do not like to see my inbox full of promotion emails, so after you have made your purchase with the discount, simply unsubscribe from receiving the store’s emails.
- Never, ever, make an online purchase without using Google for a coupon. Many coupon sites will come up in the search results, but you can almost always find an online promo code to get a few bucks knocked off your purchase.
Do Not Procrastinate
If you have not already started on your Christmas shopping, get to it! Waiting until the last minute to purchase Christmas gifts can result in you settling for and purchasing whatever is left in the store, regardless the cost. You will not find the best deals this way.
I hope these tips help you to have lots of fun and victories while shopping for your loved ones! Happy Shopping friends!