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10 Tips for Holiday Shopping

It’s true. There are only [fill-in-the-blank] shopping days until Christmas!! Take a deep breath. You can do this! And I’m here to help.

Now that I’m a mom, holiday shopping has become, well… a bit more challenging!

Tips for Holiday Shopping

Here are some tips for holiday shopping

Don’t go it alone! Invite Grandma, Auntie, Bestie, or even hubby along to help with the kids. I just went shopping yesterday and having Grandma there to help hold the baby while we went store to store was a huge help! Or, DO go it alone if you can leave the kids at home – no offense to the littlies, but… you don’t want them seeing their Christmas presents anyway, right?

Make A List. Check It Twice. Every year I make a… guess what? Yep, an Excel Spreadsheet list. I have a column for every person I buy for, with some spaces. As I buy them items, I mark it down, along with the price. It’s easy to keep buying cute things for one person, and at the end of the day still have 10 more people to buy for. The list makes me stay focused and cover all the bases. It also helps me not to overspend.

Themes! Working around a theme helps make a set of gifts seem like “more.” For my niece, I am getting her several craft items; since all the presents will go together, it’ll seem like a bigger gift instead of a few odds and ends.

Shop Online. I’m sure you already know the advantages of chair shopping. But I can’t say it enough. Online is where it’s at to find deals on wooden and recycled toys and more! Do the online shopping FIRST to reduce the time spent in crowded stores.

Do Your Homework. If you DO decide to brave the Black Friday crowds (see #1!), research ahead of time to find out what deals stores are offering, times they open, and make a plan of action so you can make the most of your day.

Early Bird. Check out stores that are having sales and specials BEFORE Black Friday.

Earn Cash Back! Work those online cash back programs like MyPoints, UPromise, Ebates, or even Swagbucks by using their shopping pages to get to online stores. You’ll put a little money back in your pocket! Or use those points to cash in for gift cards that you can use as presents or stocking stuffers!

Buy in Bulk – If you have a large office or group of coworkers to buy for, consider getting them all the same/similar gift. Sometimes on places like Overstock.com, you can buy certain items in bulk for a better price.

Wrap it up! Get your kids involved by having them decorate brown or white paper with crayons and rubber stamps. It’ll make them feel part of the fun, give them something to do while you wrap presents, and also let them put their mark on the gift giving.

Give Yourself A Break! Make sure you plan ahead to stop during your shopping for a coffee break, or even just a sit-down spell. Nordstrom’s and other larger department stores have sitting rooms in their bathrooms, so you can just get away from the noise and bustle for a few minutes before getting back into the thick of things! 🙂

Whether these were totally new ideas for you, or just a good reminder of how to manage this busy season, I hope these tips will help you stay sane over the shopping season! Add your tips to the comments – I always enjoy getting new strategies!

Tips for Holiday ShoppingI wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Office Depot blogging program, making me eligible to get a $40 Office Depot gift card. Affiliate links used. 

girlsinwhitedresses

Thursday 18th of November 2010

The spreadsheet is a great idea! Actually, one idea I *love* for Christmas is that my husband's family exchanges $1 gifts. This makes it fun - what can you find for a dollar? - and very affordable. I'm trying to talk my side into doing it also ... Merry Christmas!

Crunchy Beach Mama

Wednesday 17th of November 2010

Why did I think of an Excel spreadsheet! :)Actually, I do write all that down the old fashioned way otherwise I forget what I buy.GREAT Tips! As much as I love the holidays, I think the shopping part is a bit of a pain. Hopefully I can do as much online as possible.

T Rex Mom

Tuesday 16th of November 2010

Great suggestions. I'm all about homemade gifts as much as possible and when I cannot make them I try to get them at a local bizarre or etsy. If we do go out on Black Friday, like last year, we hit the antique store. Lots of fun!By the way, really cute photo of you with Asher in the previous posting. Also some great photos of the shop. We get plenty of snow here. But I think it's time to make some snow flakes with T Rex!

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