Holiday shopping and sales are here, but before you dive into the madness here are a few tips you should know!
The holidays are officially here which means bring out the hot cocoa and cheer for all!
Though holidays can be fun, oftentimes the stress of holiday shopping and budgeting can interfere. Here I’ve put together a list of five things to help guide you through the ease of holiday shopping.
1. Shop sales beforehand
Oddly enough the best time to do your holiday shopping spree isn’t Black Friday or even Cyber Monday.
In fact, most major department stores will hold annual sales throughout the year that will be a better deal than those shown during Black Friday. If you find a deal that’s too good to resist during the year, chances are it is the best deal of the year – so better to snag it then rather than later.
Don’t be afraid to check any kind of coupon or deals you may receive in the mail either.
A lot of department stores will send out coupons around or even before the holiday season in hopes for shoppers to visit and buy in-store as opposed to online.
Price check sales to know when to grab things online
There are so many resources out there that can track the best bang for your buck online now. One way to track holiday sales is with the browsing extension Honey.
Honey is great because it not only scans the entire web for sales and deals when you checkout, but it will also show if an item has the chance of being at a lower price on a competitor’s website, or even if it’s been lower on the current site.
This especially comes in handy if you plan to shop on sites like Amazon, eBay or department stores that are online. It automatically shows you the savings while giving the options to track items for a better deal.
And the best part? It’s free and super easy to use, once you install on your browser Honey will do the rest!
Now that’s smart budget holiday shopping.
2. Buy local if possible
The holiday season is often referred to as the “season of giving” so don’t forget to give back to your community by shopping locally.
If you know that a specific item can be found in your local store or mom and pop shop – buy it there! Not only are you crossing things off your list, but chances are you are helping grow their list.
Another great way to help your community or your network is by shopping through people’s individual links. This is especially true for the blogging community.
Buying through local consumer links
If an individual buys a product that someone recommends through their link that person can receive a small commission off it! This is always at no extra cost to the consumer but helps the person who posted it immensely.
Here are a few gift guides some bloggers in my network have posted.
These can help narrow down your own gift guides, or just help with your holiday shopping guide!
- Heath & wellness Holiday gift guide
- Affordable Eco-friendly gift guide
- Christmas gifts for him
- Harry Potter gift guide
- Board games for adults
- 10 minimalist Christmas gifts
- Budget-friendly Thanksgiving gifts
So don’t forget those around you, chances are you could be helping someone in your network or community save a little extra cash for their holiday season.
3. Don’t be afraid to DIY
While the rush of the holiday shopping sprees may be an adrenaline high sometimes the best gift is those made.
You don’t need to be a craft expert to give the perfect gift either, personally, I’m no expert in the craft field but my favorite gifts have always been those made.
My sister made me a collage of photos and framed it with a dollar store frame, and it’s hanging up in my kitchen as one of my most prized possessions (really!)
Here are some DIY ideas for holiday gifts:
- Photo albums or collages (these can be made at pretty much any photo center, I like using Costco)
- Hand made cards or jars filled with snacks and hot cocoa
- Holiday tree decorations or any hand made decoration
- Sewn or crochet items like hats or mittens
Creating experinces is another holiday shopping option
I’ve noticed more people are starting to shift from physical holiday gift items to actual experinces that can be done during the holidays or even after!
Experiences can run from anything from a scavenger hunt to a mini vacation. Keep in mind when holiday shopping that not everything has to be a “physical good”, and some of the best gifts are those made.
A fun holiday experince can be something as simple as spending time seeing lights around the town or neighborhood, attending a local concert (I’ve found most programs around the holiday season are free or donation-based), or just going out to have an epic snowball fight!
You may be thinking about what volunteering has to do with holiday shopping?
There are plenty of opportunities to help volunteer all while getting your own holiday shopping in.
Programs like Toys for Tots or your local Shop with a Cop helps get in holiday shopping for those in need while snagging a few last-minute items for your own list.
Helping wrap gifts at your local senior center is another way to volunteer some time while still getting in the “gifting mood”. Check your local area for ways to volunteer while still getting in your own holiday shopping done!
5. Be kind when shopping
Again, this may sound like it has nothing to do with shopping tips or tricks, but this one makes all the difference.
Nothing is worse than when you are trying to get together all your holiday gifts, guides, plans, or everything in between and someone isn’t being “kind.”
Kindness is something that goes beyond the holiday season, but especially remember it during the holidays. Chances are everyone is stressed about the shopping and worried about the same things you may be, so don’t forget to spread a little kindness with that holiday cheer!
To wrap up (literally)
No matter what or where you plan to do your holiday shopping this season, keeping these five things in mind can help for a smoother holiday season for sure.