Holiday shopping can be stressful, overwhelming and costly if you don't plan ahead. You may find yourself a victim to flashing sale lights or impulse buying if you don't come equipped with a strategy. Here are some ways to enjoy the experience, stay on budget and not become the Grinch that Stole Christmas.
Create a list!
I am a pencil and notebook kind of girl with lists, thoughts and doodles everywhere. The only problem is that I forget to have them when I need them (shopping). Solution: Your smartphone! Use your phones notes section or even send yourself an email detailing the items you intend to purchase. List the names, multiple gift ideas in preference order, the budget for each person and places you can find them.
Although Black Friday is the biggest day for retailers and motivates them to pull out all the stops, it's not the only time to buy. Use the internet to browse the websites of your favorite stores and note the regular prices of your gift choices. This will allow you to truly know if it's really the "Sale of the Year". Start grabbing the Sunday Newspaper or viewing the digital ads to see if that beautiful blouse you wanted for your niece is marked down now, allowing you to avoid the crowds. A quick review of last years Black Friday sales can also be a great tool in predicting what will be on sale this year. Then you can decide if joining the Black Friday madness is club for you.
At home shopping networks, online merchants and popular brick and mortars with online options are great ways to stay on task and relieve the stress of shopping. Many of these retailers offer great promotions leading up to the holidays because they have to consider shipping times. Creating wish or gift lists are often offered for your convenience with online shopping stores and can be an amazing way to stay organized. Cyber Monday is the rockstar for the online stores but waiting until then is not necessary. Check return policies, fees and reviews before making a purchase. Online is a great way to shop - no gas needed.
Another quick tip for holiday shopping is to patronize merchants that offer price matching. If the price of your purchase reduces, many stores offer to match the price and return to you the difference. Awesome right?
The holiday season is a wonderful time to share with friends and family, so don't let gift giving cloud it with stress. It doesn't matter if your budget is one dollar or a thousand dollars, if it's from the heart and within your budget it will make the season brighter.