Picture this: It’s the Friday after Thanksgiving and you are snuggled up on your sofa watching movies and eating leftover pie. You’re not sweating it out at the mall, you’re not searching for parking, or even digging through newspaper circulars looking for deals. Your shopping is DONE. Your gifts are stashed (dare we say even wrapped?), and they have been since October.
Doesn’t this sound like a Christmas miracle? We want to help you make it a reality. Holidays should be a time for relaxing and celebrating, not stress and crowded big box stores. Follow the key tips below to beat these common holiday shopping challenges and you can be crossing the last item off your list by Halloween! Really!
Procrastinating because you don’t know where to start?
Make a list. Today. Sit down with a pad or your favorite smart phone list app and clearly define who you are shopping for and note any ideas for gifts you have. Heading to the store with no ideas or aimlessly surfing the web hoping for inspiration isn’t efficient and you’ll find yourself frustrated and burned out rather than making progress.
Stumped for gift ideas?
Be a social media snoop! Browse your friends’ and families’ Pinterest boards for hints at what they would love – there may even be links to the products! No Pinterest account? Facebook pages and Twitter streams can help too – they are ripe with info about a person’s interests and passions. Are they sharing recipes everywhere? That’s your cue to shop for kitchen gadgetry. Post after post about their favorite actors or musicians? Think movie box sets, memoirs, or even products from their idol – celebrities are designing everything from fragrances to clothing these days!
Pressed for time?
Start your shopping online. You’ll find more sizes, more colors and more variety in general, making shopping super efficient. And if you find that you are shopping at the wrong place, it’s much faster and easier to change course than if you are at a brick and mortar. Complete as much of your shopping online as you can and save the in person visits for purchases you just must touch and feel, or for stores that you genuinely love to visit.
Limited funds make big ticket items a last minute purchase?
Research financing options at a few retailers, pick your best bet, and make your purchase now. Waiting (and hoping!) for a great deal on Black Friday is too risky. You could end up paying way more than you planned or worse – discovering your must-have item sold out. You’ll finding some creative financing plans out there (check out Flexpay here – you can get your item now and pay over time with no interest!) that make shopping the big stuff easy and worry free.
A mile long list of people who need just a little something. Teacher, neighbor, coach…
Knock this list out early and save a little cash by buying value gift sets and bulk deals that can be broken up into multiple gifts. For instance, picking up a bath and body set can help you check off your son’s girlfriend, your office white elephant gift grab, and your daughter’s swim coach if you divvy up the lotion, body wash and salt scrub! This is a great tip for stocking stuffers too.