Holiday Shopping Guide

Stay on budget this holiday season and complete your list early. Check out our easy tips for getting your seasonal purchases out of the way ahead of time and affordably so you’ll have more time to actually enjoy the holiday season with the family.

Shop Early

Getting an early jump on holiday shopping doesn’t necessarily mean waiting in line on Black Friday. Easily peruse stores, various weekly discounts and sale items before and after the big day to keep within budget. More often than not, impressive sales are available throughout October, November and December — no sales are actually make-or-break status just one day of the year.

Pick up a few things here and there as you go and keep them organized. Stocking stuffers, host gifts and small, but thoughtful items are always a must. Keep smaller items together as a back-up for last-minute invites and interchangeable items for last-minute swaps.

For bigger, more expensive items, know who is getting what so you can avoid overspending and don’t buy more just because you’re getting a deal. The earlier you get your shopping done, the more crowds and last-minute purchases you can avoid.

Research

If you’re buying in the store, still do your research online and have confidence in your purchases to save time with returns and exchanges. Comparing prices online before shopping in the store is a great way to keep your budget in mind and some stores offer price matching. Keep all of your receipts and remember to (try) price adjust if something you already purchased goes on sale as the holidays get closer — this is a great customer service offering some bigger, name-brand stores supply.

Have a Plan

By putting together a shopping list and sticking to a plan, you’re less likely to go astray buying too much for one person. Set a spending goal for yourself under what you usually spend. Ordering your list from smallest gift to most elaborate will help you easily tick off the first few and help you feel accomplished by the time you’re halfway through. When you have an idea in mind of who will receive what gifts, it will be easier to shop around for the best price. Bring coupons.

Shop Online

Shopping from home is a simple and effective way to get the bulk of your shopping done early. You won’t need to spend extra on rush delivery and you can use online coupons and take your time shopping for the best deals available. Not only can you read reviews and feel confident about your purchases, but you have the added luxury of knowing exactly how much you’re spending prior to buying.

Making impulse decisions and purchases at the store can be easily avoided if you buy a few items online. Take advantage of online sales or newsletter sign-ups promising a percentage off and scour the internet for sales, deals and coupons. This way you save gas driving from store to store just buying one or two things and feel confident you’re getting a good price.

Pro-Tip: Unless your gift receiver is a die-hard Christmas fan, steer clear of the Christmas-themed gift. They will be out in stores early and be tempting, but anything covered in a holiday theme seems like a last-minute purchase.