This holiday season the question of the moment is do you want a stress free holiday shopping experience or be overwhelmed shopping with the masses?
I don’t understand the last-minute shopper. Why on earth would you wait until the very last-minute to purchase your Christmas and holiday gifts?
Just thinking about it gives me stress.
I love having a stress free Christmas. I strive to ensure my family has as peaceful of a holiday as they can. I’m usually done shopping by now and am wrapped too.
I mean why wait until the last-minute?
My mother always waited until the last-minute. She would head to the attic with her heater and wrapping supplies on Christmas Eve and spend a few hours wrapping our gifts. Bless her heart what she endured putting gifts under the tree for us.
If you think heading to the mall on Christmas Eve is going to get you a stress-free holiday experience, you’d be wrong.
Instead, follow my five simple steps to make your holiday shopping experience a breeze.
How To Accomplish A Stress-Free Holiday Shopping Experience
1. Make A List
Don’t rely on your noggin to keep this all straight particularly if you have a large shopping list.
Instead, create an actual shopping list or use the one I developed in my Holiday Planner.
Grouped together by the stores you will be shopping at first, and then list out items you plan on purchasing. Be as detailed as possible so you don’t miss a thing. The last thing you want to have to do is to head out to the stores more than you planned.
Of course, you’ve planned ahead and checked the circulars and money-saving websites to ensure you are getting the best deals.
If you want to save the most money this season, check out the article How To Save A Boatload of Money This Holiday Season. In it I detail how you can save the absolutely most money by using the step-by-step strategies I share with you.
2. Don’t Wait To The Last Minute – Start Now
You already have your budget established, and your list has been created. The credit cards have been tucked away because you’re not using them.
Avoid the crowds and shop now instead of at the height of the holiday rush. It can get tough to focus on who and what you’re buying when you are getting pushed, shoved and fighting with other shoppers for that last pair of slippers. Do yourself a favor and start now.
3. Shop Early In The Day or Late, Late In the Evening
There are many reasons for shopping during the off hours; fewer people in the store, more sales associate help available, and the stores are usually neater and consequently, it makes finding what you’re looking for that much easier.
If you have to shop during peak hours and weekends, realize it will be more stressful and probably a lot less fun. Just be prepared.
4. Leave the Kids at Home
My friend and I have this saying, “no one thinks your kid is as cute as you do.” Whether we like to admit it or not, that statement is true. And, it’s even truer in a store where other shoppers are trying to focus, concentrate and get things accomplished.
I was a single parent, so I know it’s hard to get someone to watch your kids. But at no other time is it more important for your sanity to keep the children home and out of the stores. You will have a miserable time taking your children and so will everyone else.
5. Break Out The Sneakers
Wear sneakers or other comfortable shoes so you can move about easily and without your feet killing you.
Leave the big purse at home and instead, put your cash and ID in a secure pocket. Lugging around a heavy bag is a real drain when you’re shopping. Plus your arms will thank you for leaving it behind. If you must bring a purse, consider something you can put over your shoulder and across your chest to keep your hands free.
6. Don’t Forget the Coupons
Make sure you take the time to check out the online websites that provide links to coupons and coupon codes so save the most amount of money. Sites like, How To Shop For Free will provide links to coupon and will spell out where to find the best deal.
www.RetailMeNot.com is another excellent resource for codes and coupons.
Never leave home without your coupons!
7. Put Yourself In A Good Mood
Christmas time is very stressful for retailers and store associates. Frankly, they don’t want to deal with people’s bad moods, yelling, tantrums, or just plain bad behavior. They’ll be even more than willing to help you if you can be extra nice to these folks who are breaking their backs to give you a great shopping experience. Treat them with respect and courtesy.
8. Use Our Holiday Planner
If you plan ahead and use these tips and strategies I’ve outlined here, you’ll find it much easier to shop stress-free. Remember to leave the kids at home, don’t forget the coupons, and wear comfy shoes.