Holiday Shopping - How to Make It Through the Gift Giving Season
So you survived Black Friday, and you’re making plans for Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday, but how do you make it through the gift-giving season without going crazy, broke, or both? Here are a few tips.
Shopping in the Stores
Make a List - Check it Twice
If you’re heading out to the stores, to save both your sanity and your money, have a shopping list and stick to it. Write down the names of all your loved ones, include a price point you want to spend on everyone, and list the items you want to buy for each person. To make it even easier on yourself, check the stores for sales on the items on your list and try to group together the gifts you plan to purchase at each store.
Take Care of You
Before you go shopping, make sure you get a good night’s sleep, dress comfortably, and eat well before you leave the house. Shopping while being well-rested will help with your overall attitude. Buying gifts for your loved ones should be a joyful time and being cranky from lack of sleep will only lead to resentment of the time and money spent.Dressing fashionably at the holidays is fine and dandy, but hold the tight shoes and fancy dress for the holiday parties. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes and clothing for your shopping excursion. Having to stop to take breaks just because your feet hurt will add more aggravation to a day that should be fun.Finally, making sure you have a full stomach before you leave as well as taking along snacks and water will help in a couple of ways. First, it will help with your state of mind. Second, it will help with your wallet. If you’re shopping on a tight budget, don’t add to your shopping expenses the cost of eating out.
If you are doing a great deal of shopping, plan ahead and clear out your trunk to store all your holiday goodies. Don’t tempt thieves with a backseat full of brand new gifts just ripe for the taking. While inside the store, keep an eye on your purse or wallet and try not to carry too much cash. When using your debit card, make sure to cover your hand while you input your PIN. And when walking to your car, be aware of your surroundings. When shopping at night, think ahead and try to park near a light in the parking lot. If you still feel unsafe, ask security or a manager to walk you to your car.
Timing is Everything
If possible, try to go shopping when there are fewer shoppers at the stores. Monday through Friday during the day is your best bet. Weekends and evenings are when most people are off work and hit the stores, so try to avoid those times.Also, watch how long you shop. Try not to stay in the stores too long as it can be tiring. When you get tired and aggravated you might try to rush your gift buying and purchase items just to get out of the store. It’s better to take a break and go back later or shop online.
Just like shopping in the stores, make sure you have a list of loved ones along with how much you want to spend and what the items are. See if you can group items together as most online companies will provide free shipping when you purchase a certain dollar amount.
One of the benefits of shopping online is the ease of bargain hunting. You can search for the gifts you wish to purchase and find stores offering sales, percentages off for signing up for newsletters, and other simple tasks.
Put it on the Card
Yes, your credit or debit card will get a workout if you are shopping online and not having a paper trail or pile of gifts may trick you into buying more than you meant to. Make sure you follow your list in order not to make too many purchases.
Double Check Your Information
Make sure the address and the name you have your packages go to is correct. There’s nothing worse than spending money on a gift only to find out you sent it to the wrong place. Before you shop, decide if you will have everything shipped to you and you will then send it out or if you will have the items sent directly to the recipients.It’s also not a bad idea to let the recipient know something is coming in the mail so they can watch for it. Finally, check your shipping method. Don’t get an unpleasant surprise with either a high cost of shipping or having the item ship after the holidays. Neither scenario is something you want to have to worry about.
Another thing to watch for online is whether or not you are shopping with a reputable source. Your big stores will be no problem and should all have secure shopping as shown by HTTPS and/or SSL. If you don’t see these security features it may be a good idea to shop elsewhere regardless (or maybe especially) if the price seems too good to be true.
What To Buy?
Of course, you can always buy a gift and hope for the best, but asking your loved ones what they would like guarantees your gift will hit the mark.
Sometimes this route can delight everyone. If you know that special someone is interested in music, a good set of headphones or a subscription to a music service might be just the thing. Of if you know your niece or nephew is three years old there are plenty of gift lists out there for specific age groups.
In today’s age, many people are trying to cut down on the amount of stuff they have. Instead of adding more, consider a donation in the person's name, a gift of an experience, or a consumable item instead. A membership to a museum, tickets to a local theme park, a favorite food, or even a gift card. CoffeeAM is an ideal partner in this sense.With a wide variety of gourmet, freshly roasted coffees and high-quality loose-leaf teas, as well as other coffee gifts, flavorings, and even hot cocoa and frozen drink mixes, we have plenty to choose from and something for everyone. If you haven’t already, sign up for our newsletter (the link is at the bottom of our homepage) and you will be the first to know about our specials and discounts.We hope you’re enjoying your holidays so far. Let us know in the comments how you survive holiday shopping.