Holiday shopping is less enjoyable if it lasts the entire holiday season, unless you are a die-hard shopper. Most people do not have the stamina or the cash to shop for an entire month and prefer packing their shopping into one weekend. If this idea appeals to you, but you are not sure how to get it done, use these pointers to get the most out of your weekend.
Naughty and Nice
Create a gift list of family, friends and acquaintances that you want to buy a present for. To the right of each name, write down an amount you want to spend on their gift. Plan to spend more on close family members and less on coworkers or other acquaintances, such as your child’s teacher or your neighbors.
Holiday Decorations and Dinner
Write a holiday menu and then a grocery list from the menu. At the end of the list, include any extra decorations or wrapping paper you may need. Place a dollar amount next to the items. You do not need to itemize your entire menu, but you should have a specific dollar amount in mind for spending.
Pick the Weekend
Mark off your holiday shopping weekend on the calendar. Plan it well in advance so family members will know that this weekend is off limits. If you have small children, then you will need to think about hiring a babysitter or verifying that your partner will be home to tend to the kids. Plan quick or crockpot meals and resist the urge to take your child shopping. This will be a busy, power-shopping weekend, and children may find it challenging to enjoy.
You will get loads of sales circulars before the holidays. Browse the circulars to find items on your list. Make notes on your gift list as a reminder of where you found the items. Clip coupons and place them in an organizer that fits in your purse or pocket.
Cash or Credit
Using cash for your holiday shopping will save you from getting a credit smack-down later. Plan on carrying cash in a front pocket. Use a credit card if you must be keep a running tab of how much you are spending on your shopping weekend.
Prepare for Power Shopping
Dress for some power shopping. Comfortable shoes and clothes are important for getting the most out of your action-packed weekend. Skip style for clothes that will keep you in the holiday mood without causing you to fall or leaving you cold. Tuck a cooler in your car to hold cold groceries. Make sure your cargo or trunk area is empty and has plenty of room for holding holiday and Christmas goodies.