The winter holiday shopping season heightens stress when you have numerous people for whom you need to buy gifts, including your kids. With all of the great sales and lots of new items, there are endless opportunities for gift giving each year. There are also endless ways to save money.
Being prepared and getting into an annual routine can help make the holidays easier. Try some of these practical tips to be cognizant of the holiday rush that happens each December to save time, money and effort.
Take some stress away from your game plan by taking time months beforehand to plan what you need to buy. If you hear something that children or family want for the holiday season, take a note and start planning your budget. Even if you can’t buy an item immediately, you can at least look for it online and get a decent idea of how much it will cost.
Start setting aside money a few months before the holiday rush. However you decide to save money, it’s up to you. Cutting back on unnecessary things like your daily fast food, working a few extra hours here and there or even saving room on your credit card can make room for a Christmas budget. When you get your budget ready, it’s important to stick with it.
Sales happen year round and not just on Black Friday. If you already know what someone wants, and it’s cheap in October, then by all means you should get it. It’s one less thing to buy in December.
Store coupons, manufacturer’s coupons and weekend sales abound in the retail world, especially if economic times aren’t going as well. Sometimes a cheaper price can be had before Black Friday if you know where to look.
Order items ahead of time and get great shipping rates from online retailers. The reason you order ahead of time is to get ground shipping, which at some places is free if you order enough stuff. Ordering online often has the benefit of no sales tax. If you get free shipping and no tax, you’ve saved money versus buying in a brick and mortar store.
Many internet retailers also already have discounts below the retail price. They also have deals if you order more than one of similar items, such as books and movies together as specials. It helps the online retailer sell more, and you save money.
Planning ahead, looking for the right sales, and shopping online are all great and simple ways to make your holiday shopping easier without drastically altering your life. Make lists, stay on budget, and gradually get all of your holiday shopping done, and by the time December comes, the holidays will be a breeze.