Do you find Christmas shopping a little overwhelming? Then you’re not alone. For many of us, it’s all too easy to panic buy, overspend and get stressed out. Luckily, we’ve got some tried and tested Christmas shopping tips to get you through the season.
Christmas shopping tips to save you time & money
1. Make a Christmas shopping plan
With busy shopping malls, rising costs and supply shortages in many parts of the world, it’s no wonder you might feel under pressure this Christmas. But by making a plan, everything will be a whole lot easier.
Think about what you want to buy in terms of gifts, groceries, wrapping paper and so on, and try not to get way more than you need, especially with the current shortages. Also think about how much you’re going to spend and when and where you want to do your Christmas shopping, whether that’s a few days in-store, an evening online or a bit of both.
By making a plan (and sticking to it) it’ll be much easier to get things done – and far less stressful!
2. Manage your finances
Christmas can be an expensive time, but there are plenty of ways to turn it into a financial success rather than a financial shock. Start by drawing up a budget for your Christmas spending, taking into account all the extras like Christmas parties and socialising.
If you use a credit card, make sure you pay off the balance in full when the bill arrives. And try not to dig into your savings or overdraft too much. Cash in on money-saving apps as much as you can, and make the most of things like prepaid cards which are great if you want to avoid racking up huge bills, as you can only spend what you have.
3. Don’t leave it too late – a top Christmas shopping tip!
If you want your Christmas shopping to be stress free, don’t leave it too late. You’ve still got plenty of time, but you might want to get started soon if you haven’t already.
An ideal time to shop for Christmas gifts is during the Black Friday sales in late November when you will find amazing deals and discounts on all kinds of items. Many retailers have already started offering Black Friday deals, so you’ll find some great bargains as early as now.
There are some big downsides to leaving your Christmas shopping too late. You’ll face busier high streets and supermarkets, or higher delivery charges for online shopping. Or you might be tempted to panic buy and spend more than you can afford.
4. Make the most of shopping apps
No list of Christmas shopping tips would be complete without mentioning shopping apps. With a bit of forward planning, your mobile device can spare you a lot of stress this Christmas.
You’ll find plenty of shopping apps to browse deals and get personalized offers while you’re out shopping near your favorite stores. Many apps come complete with extra features like shopping lists to help you stay organized, price matching to save you money, and perks like cashback, rewards and even free groceries.
To make the most of shopping apps this Christmas, all you need to do is download the app to your smartphone, and opt-in to share your location.
5. Do a Secret Santa
For Christmas shopping tips to blow away the stress, why not do a Secret Santa? If you have a lot of people to buy for then a Secret Santa is a great option instead of everyone buying everyone a gift.
It’s easy. Simply set a budget that you will all spend, put everyone’s names in a hat and each pick one out, then everyone gets their chosen person a thoughtful, surprise gift. You might find it easier to organize your Secret Santa using a website like Draw Names which makes it easy to invite people, make wish lists and set everything up via email or WhatsApp.
6. Shop on the high street
With last Christmas spent in lockdown, many shoppers are eager to get out and about to do their Christmas shopping this year. Heading out on the high street has many benefits. You can shop in local stores who are likely to appreciate your custom, especially those who were hit hard by the pandemic. It’s also fun to check out the merchandise and take in the Christmas atmosphere.
What’s more, by going out shopping you can really maximize the benefits of those shopping and cashback apps. Use them to discover in-store deals, scan barcodes and even get cashback on what you spend. Simply keep your receipt, upload it to your cashback app and you will receive cash back into your bank or Paypal account.
7. Make the most of free delivery & curbside pickup
While shopping on the high street has many advantages, you might still want to do at least some of your Christmas shopping online. You can buy pretty much anything from the comfort of your sofa, plus you’ll find plenty of online discounts which can save you money.
By shopping online, you can also make the most of free delivery and curbside pickup at the supermarket, so you won’t be trailing around with heavy bags. Many retailers offer curbside pickup for goods purchased via their website or app. Just remember that slots get booked up fast, so get organized as soon as possible to make you get one.
Using free delivery and curbside pickup are both stress-free ways to streamline your Christmas shopping and avoid the long queues.
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