Before You Go Christmas Shopping - Things to Do
If you're all set to go Christmas shopping, then you may want to make sure you have a game plan. Simply heading out to the crowded stores and hoping that perfect gift will jump out at you isn't always the best (or fastest) way to complete your holiday purchases. Instead, plan ahead and do the following things before you go Christmas shopping.
Decide Which Gifts You're Going to Get
Having a clear idea of what you are going to get everybody on your list is a surefire way to reduce the amount of time spent shopping. Start by asking your family members if they can offer any gift suggestions. If not, think about their hobbies or interests to come up with a gift that they will enjoy.
For easy reference, consider writing down everyone on your list and the one or two gift ideas you want to get each person. Then, look over the entire list to see which items might be purchased at the same store. If you can consolidate several purchases at a single store, then this can greatly diminish your shopping time.
Consider Calling Stores Before Shopping
Calling ahead to ensure a particular store has your intended gift in stock can cut down on unnecessary driving. This is especially true for hot-ticket items that you may have spotted in a store's sales flyer. The best sales tend to go quickly during the holiday season. As such, doing the legwork over the phone rather than in the car can greatly reduce the amount of time shopping.
Compare Christmas Gift Prices Online
The Internet is a great place to comparison shop and find the lowest price for a particular item. Generally, the prices listed online are the same prices offered in the actual store. Of course, simply purchasing the gift online may prove to be the most convenient and affordable options. During the holiday season, shipping charges are often waived. Additionally, buying gifts from an out-of-state retailer may allow you to get your gifts without paying sales tax.
Additional Tips for Shopping on Black Friday
If you plan to go Christmas shopping on Black Friday, then additional steps may need to be taken to ensure you snag the best deals. Start by reviewing the fine print of sales promotions to make sure you are aware of any limitations. This will help make sure you show up early enough to beat out everyone else looking for the same deal. Also, you might consider gassing up the car the night before. Planning your store-to-store route ahead of time can also minimize driving time.