Summer might have just ended, but winter is coming on strong – and so is the holiday shopping season. This time of the year – although it is said to be the most beautiful – is a nightmare for our wallets. Besides the usual groceries and bills, people spend on gifts for their loved ones, as well as for party supplies for the upcoming New Year’s party.
Here are some tips that might help you save a few bucks (and lots of stress) on holiday shopping.
1. Make A List
Do as Santa would – make a list, and check it twice. Start with your total Christmas gift budget and divide it by the number of people who’ll be receiving a gift. Include everyone you plan to offer a gift this Christmas, and decide what to offer them and how much you can afford (or are willing) to spend on these items.
Don’t forget about people who you intend to tip during the holidays – postmen, doormen, the pizza guy, and so on. This will help you manage your holiday budget.
2. Start Shopping Early
Who said that holiday shopping starts only after Thanksgiving? Planning ahead can help you get the perfect gift for your loved ones even before the holiday shopping season starts – and sometimes for a very good price.
If you find an item that would make a perfect gift, go ahead and buy it. Just be sure to have a good hiding spot in the house so you can store it ’til Christmas.
3. Special Offers Weekend
The Friday after Thanksgiving is the darkest one in the world of retail: Black Friday. This day is the first official shopping day in the holiday season and is traditionally filled with incredible specials and discounts.
If you don’t mind waiting in line for hours before the shops open, and battling your way through crowds of discount-hungry people, you can save a lot on gifts during the Black Friday sales.
The Monday after Black Friday is a similar shopping event, only online. Cyber Monday, as it is called, has loads of specials offered by online retailers – but it also implies burning the midnight oil, staying up late with a finger on your mouse button to be able to buy stuff cheap in the first minutes of the day.
Although these two imply some effort, the money saved on specials might be worth it. But you must know where to shop and what you want to buy beforehand.
4. DIY Is The Cheapest
Take the effort and craft some of the gifts yourself for your loved ones. It is often cheaper than buying stuff, and it has that personal touch that makes the present special. Pinterest is filled with guides and how-tos, so it is quite easy to find the perfect gift idea and transform it in reality.
Besides, creating your own gifts can help you avoid the whole holiday shopping craze, and leave you with more time for yourself.
+1. No Stress
People sometimes lose themselves in the madding crowd of the holiday madness. The result – exhaustion, stress, headaches and illness. Avoid stressing about stuff and overthinking your choice of presents this time of year.
Instead, try to keep your mind off the whole holiday stuff. Sing a holiday tune with a cup of hot chocolate and relax. You still have time to buy presents for the family – unless it’s Christmas eve already.