Saturday, November 7, 2009

Shopping Shopping Shopping

It's week 6 over at 12 Weeks of Christmas do you know what that means? THERE'S ONLY 6 WEEKS LEFT UNTIL CHRISTMAS.  Jiminey Crickets Batman, I've got to get busy.  Normally I like to have my Christmas shopping done by the 1st of Dec but that's not going to happen this year.  I signed up for my first booth in a Christmas market and all of my time, energy, and money is going into that so until that's over I will not be doing any shopping.
But I do have my lists made out, my budget, and my survivor's guide to help me in the shopping process.  I love to shop and I prefer to go on my own, I like taking my time, deciding on my own and well that's just hard to do with other's opinions and time frame being thrown at me. 
So since I haven't officially done my shopping this year I thought I'd share a few tips for you to be successful and stress free in your shopping adventures.

Before you Start Christmas Shopping
1.  Start a Christmas club fund or open a separate account for gifts for each year. If you have money marked for Christmas it will not be a strain on your wallet.

2. Several months in advance or in September, make a list of people you are buying gifts for and identify what you intend to buy for them.

3.  Read circulars and the newspaper to find sales. Sale items can often be purchased online or via phone so make a phone call before you run to the store. Also, search online websites often because sometimes online sales are better than the store prices.  Clip coupons and coupon codes online.  Also check thrift stores as they sometimes have brand new items with tags for a fraction of retail price.

4. Shop as early as possible, you avoid crowds, rude people, far away parking, and you feel accomplished.  I try to shop all year round and put things away for the next Christmas.

5.  Keep a notebook and write down ideas for gifts as you think of them, this will help when you're having shopper's block.

While Christmas Shopping
1.  Try shopping during the week in the early morning when most people are at work.  I sometimes take a day off from work to do my shopping just to avoid weekend madness.

2.  Make sure you eat a healthy breakfast and stay hydrated, you don't want to get all tired out before you get to the 2nd stop.

3.  Take advantage of complimentary gift wrap, it will save you time and money later.

4.  Find places that give you incentives to buy their gift cards, like spend $50 and receive an additional $10.

5.  Shop ebay, craigslist, and online for added deals. 

6.  Pool your money with other family or friends to buy one large gift rathern than small gifts.

7.  Home made gifts and home made gift certifictes add a special touch and really let the receiver know you were thinking of them.

8.  Get gift receipts on all gifts and give to the receiver.  That way if they get 2 of the same thing or it doesn't fit they won't have any trouble returning it for something else. 
9.  Finally HAVE FUN!

So what's on your shopping list this year?
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