Christmas is a stressful and hectic time. It can be difficult to fit everything in and save money while you are doing it. If you are stressed about finding the money and time to get your shopping done, you may want to follow these tips to make Christmas shopping easier for you this year. With careful planning, you will be able to stick to your budget and get your shopping done with relative ease. If you need extra money, you can take on a holiday job to help make ends meet. You may also want to consider some these gift ideas with a financial twist.
One of the best ways to save money each year is to cash in on the sale items on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Some stores even begin the sales at midnight or at four in the morning. The best sales usually run out in the first hour or two, so you need to formulate a plan and stick to it. It can be difficult to score everything you need to, and the crowds can get crazy. I have seen fights break out in the stores on Black Friday. If you have never gone before you need to read up on the strategies to get the best deals and come up with a solid plan so that the time you spend out in the cold waiting to get into the store is worth it. However, you can get some really great deals, and it is worth the effort if you are going to be buying on of the loss leader items featured, anyway.
2. Don't Forget Cyber Monday
The Monday after Thanksgiving has been known as Cyber Monday for several years. This is a great time to score online shopping deals and finish up your Christmas shopping. It gives you enough time to have everything ship without paying top dollar for it. In addition to shopping for the best sales price, try to find the deals that offer free shipping to customers. This means that you will take the lower online prices and really save on your list. Some items may not go on sale, such as an iPod Touch or an iPad Mini, but you may able to get good deals on the warranty or shipping.
3. Ship Straight to the Recipient
Another way you can save is to ship straight to recipient, instead of shipping to you, and then back out again. If you are shipping primarily to children, you may have an adult in the house wrap the presents for you. If you are traveling to the house for Christmas, you may request that the person hold the boxes unopened, and you can wrap them when you arrive. There is the option to pay for wrapping on some sites, but it is up to you whether or not the cost is worth the wrapping. You may save by paying for the wrapping, over what you would pay to ship it twice. When choosing to buy online or at a store, you should consider the price of shipping into your price, because you may save money buying online and taking advantage of the free shipping.
4. Think About Bulk Options
Not every gift will fit into this category, but generally you do have a group or two where you can buy bulk gifts or assemble some sort of gift basket or cookie plate to give to coworkers or neighbors. You may want to combine with a group of friends and each bake a certain type of cookie and then assemble your plates together. It is easier to batch a really large batch of the same type of cookies or sweets, then it is do several smaller batches, and you will still end up with a variety. Similarly, you can buy in bulk together to assemble gift boxes or bags for your co-workers. This can save you money in the long run since buying in bulk makes the overall cost less expensive.