Be prepared for Christmas shopping season
By Denise Nape The Shopper November 17, 2011 11:32AM
Updated: November 25, 2011 3:12PM
Black Friday is just one week away. The holiday shopping season is officially upon us and it’s time for us all to get to work. The “work” is the planning so that the job of shopping is not only easier but, gosh darn it, fun. The stress of finding gifts and staying in your budget does not have to ruin your holidays. There are just a few simple steps to follow.
Make a budget. Every year you hear this. The January blues will not hit so hard if you aren’t worrying over paying off gifts. Do not carry 10 credit cards with you shopping. Limit yourself to 2 cards and make them your lowest interest rate cards. Also, don’t fall for the “Buy now, pay later” ploy. If you can’t afford it now, then chances are you shouldn’t be getting it.
Buy online. I know that most of us, like me, enjoy a nice day out with friends holiday shopping. It’s fun! It can also be costly. You may not be getting the best price by walking through the store.
When you shop online, you can search for coupon codes, use cash back shopping sites and stay on task. You will be less apt to throw extras into your shopping cart online than in the store.
Black Friday is not for the disorganized. If you are going to hit the stores on Black Friday, get in and get out. Everything will look like the best deal that day. Know what you are there for, with the ad in hand, grab it and go.
Follow shopping blogs. When they find a good deal, they love to share. Dealigg, Bradsdeals and Dealcatcher are three of my favorites. Check them out before you shop.
Quality over Quantity. I remember growing up and there being so many presents that you couldn’t even walk into the room. It was just overwhelming. I don’t really remember what I received though. I’m at the point now that I would much rather have one nice high quality gift for someone than 10 cheap ones that won’t last. Have your family write out their wish lists and see if you can score one or two of those.
Instead of buying, do. I don’t know why but it’s always the parents that are so hard to buy for. They either have everything or don’t want anything. I remember buying shirts for my grandfather for Christmas and every year he tucked them in a drawer and never wore any of them. So instead of another pair of slippers or a robe, try doing something for them. Paint a bedroom, clean the garage, help clean out closets, etc. They would most likely love getting some things accomplished at home along with spending time with you.
Shopper’s tip: Try to enjoy the holiday season and don’t let the stress of shopping get in your way.