Our Christmas shopping tips grew out of our own huge shopping list! With four children, spouses, grandchildren and more we have to be organized! So here we share Our Favorite Holiday Shopping Tips!
To avoid ending overspending this year, prepare your budget and think creatively. Take a moment, grab a cup of coffee and a notebook and get yourself organized BEFORE you hit the stores or go online and use these Christmas shopping tips. The first thing that goes into your notebook is the amount you have to spend this season. It goes on page 1. Think about how much you can actually afford and then be prepared to assign a per person budget for each of your gift recipients. On the following page make a list of those people. Who do you need to buy for this year? Write down everyone. Yes, all those teacher and Scout leader gifts add up; so put down all your recipients.
take a look at that list. Jot down any gift ideas you already have
and be ready to add to those as new thoughts come to you. Before you go
to the store, look online to get an idea of the prices out there.
forget to always check for FREE SHIPPING. Always search online for coupon codes
before you check out on any site or at any store. Don't ever checkout
at a store without doing a quick search on your phone for any coupons
available! They all will accept them off your phone.
In terms of the gift recipients, are there some things you can do to narrow it down? If you have a numerous extended family members on your list, you may be able to approach your family members with the idea of drawing names. This allows everyone to get one nice gift. Our family draws names each Thanksgiving and we all agree on a set dollar amount to be spent. We always keep it a secret until the gifts are exchanged.
If your group is older, let each person draw a name and then before Christmas donate an agreed upon amount money to a charity in that person's name. Each person should think about their person and choose a charity that represents someone special about them. For example, if the person you picked loves to cook, you may choose to donate to a soup kitchen. If the person's favorite celebrity is Oprah or Brad Pitt, you may choose to donate to their non-profit foundation. The point is to put thought behind your choice. The fun here is that when you all gather at Christmas you make a game of it. You can hand out a list of each charity that received a contribution and then let everyone guess which charity received a donation in their name! After the guessing is done, let everyone give their recipient the donation card from the charity and tell all the guests why they chose the specific charity for that person.
For your immediate family think about gifts that they could use, would be fun, special or creative. A gift to our son one year hit all those criteria. He was planning his Acapulco spring break. Rather than pile shirts, sweaters or video games under the tree for him, we gave him a gift we knew he could use.. a Visa gift card to help defray some of the costs of his trip. I designed and made a t-shirt with a Mexican theme, picked up some great free travel books at the local Auto Club, wrote a poem and wrapped everything separately. I then numbered them so he opened the gift card last. He was thrilled with the money, yet this theme gift was fun to open on Christmas morning. See how did it here...
Following these Christmas shopping tips, you now have your list, your gift ideas and your budget. Next, gather all your store coupons or bookmark online coupons in your phone! Next, put the notebook in your purse, briefcase or car each day. Now you are
prepared to shop wherever you are each day. Just like that famous
American Express motto.. "Don't leave home without it!" Having your
list and ideas on hand will help you avoid impulse purchases, keep you
organized and help you to save time and MONEY. Always ask for a gift receipt.
Allowing your recipient the ability to easily exchange or return their
gift is the best present!
Our last Christmas shopping tip: SHOP EARLY. You will find the best selection of goods in all the sizes and beat the crowds. Plus there are great sales! I avoid Black Friday at all costs personally! Most stores their return policy to allow for post-holiday returns in early November. It will save you time and your time is valuable! The weeks before Christmas will not be so stressful if you have some of your shopping done. You may even have time to bake Christmas cookies with the kids or JINGLE the holiday spirit around the neighborhood! Two awesome traditions in our home!
More Christmas shopping tips with ideas you can order right from your computer!