Why Make a Holiday Shopping Plan of Attack?
As a lover of shopping, the holiday season is my pass to go crazy! Since I do 95% of the holiday shopping for my household, I can shop my socks off and not feel guilty about spending too much money, because I have so much to buy!
We can all agree that the holiday shopping season has become such a sideshow. Yes, there have anyways been the nutty people who trample each other on Black Friday for god knows what. But now, the way that Black Friday has spilled into Thanksgiving Day, Thanksgiving week, Cyber Monday, Green Tuesday, Magenta Saturday and Periwinkle Sunday (kidding, I made that last one up) and now all of November, it’s crazy. Walmart and Amazon started their sales November 1st. With all this craziness, it really does take some planning to make sure that you get what you need, get the sales that you’re looking for, and stretch your budget as far as it needs to go.
The holiday “creep” may be an annoyance to some people, but this craziness has only made it easier for consumer to get amazing deals. It also spreads out the insanity so you don’t feel pressured to get “that one great deal”. There’s deals everywhere! You just need to find the one that you’re looking for.
Making Your Plan
I’ve learned how important making a plan is to make sure I get what I need and that my budget survives the holiday season. In order to do this I HAVE to have a plan. I’m a notorious budget breaker, which drives my accountant husband crazy, but he’s taught me the importance of this over the years and *fingers crossed* we’ll make it through this holiday season without having to sell one of our children.
If you haven’t started your holiday shopping yet, now is the time to make your plan of attack. When I say plan of attack I literally mean, write it down and get organized! I have a little something to help you with this.Keep reading to find out what it is…
Consider the following:
- Who do you need to buy for?
- What are you buying?
- Where are you buying it?
- Are you waiting for a sale to purchase it?
- Will you be buying items online or in-stores?
- How will you be paying for Christmas gifts, credit card, gift cards, Christmas club?
To help I’ve provided some tips for you:
Stay Up To Date on Store Ads as They’re Released
More and more ads are rolled out every day, Kohls, JCPenney, Target, and Walmart as just a few that are already available online. You can download the app TGIBF to see all ads that are available and top deals! If you’re still waiting for a particular ad to be released, have no fear, without fail those “leaked ads” always pop up before Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It kind of seems like a big joke now, just release the ads early, people!
Black Friday used to be the kickoff of the shopping season, but with so many sales starting before Black Friday, if you see an item on your list that you HAVE to have (WTF is a Hatchimal anyway?) and it is on sale, don’t wait to purchase it. In previous years I’ve waited until Black Friday, thinking a better deal may come along at another retailer and have been seriously disappointed when, #1 no deal is found, and #2 inventory for the first sale I saw was out of stock. If you see it, and you need it, get it! Of course, this is not always the case so use your judgment and previous sale history (example, an iPad is on my list, I know they’re ALWAYS on sale on Black Friday at Walmart, Target and Best Buy for around $200. I can plan accordingly).
Look for Stores Offering Free Shipping- NOW
Target and Best Buy are two stores that are offering free shipping all holiday season (no minimum).
Don’t Forget About Price Matching
Check individual store policies on price matching. Target and Walmart are two great examples of stores that will match competitors’ prices (even Amazon’s prices!) However, you will have to venture into the store for this.
Sign Up for E-mail Lists
The best and fastest way to find out about sales is by signing up for store email lists. Even if you are someone who despises these, now is the time of year to sign up! You’ll find out about free shipping, upcoming sales, and get promo codes delivered directly to you. Read more about why you should sign up for email lists here.
Use Social Media
If you’re already following your favorite stores on social media, visit their pages to see if they are offering any sales or promos before placing an order. One social media outlet that I don’t utilize as much as I should is Twitter. I recently placed an online order with a big retailer, and used a promo code that was offered on Twitter, but not on any of their other social media accounts.
Take Advantage of Local Holiday Shopping Events
Want to buy gifts that are truly unique and meaningful? Support the local businesses in your area! I love local shops because they carry unique items you won’t find at just any store, the quality is always so much better, and most importantly, you’re supporting a local business owner! Supporting your local economy is so much more important than supporting a big business! Here in Syracuse we have the Buy Local Bash each year presented by Syracuse First. I can’t wait for November 21st to enjoy this event again this year! (P.S.more local posts will be coming your way soon!)
Use my tips, collect those lists for Santa, and write down that plan! To help you do this, I’ve created The Ultimate Holiday Season Checklist for you! This resource will help you track all of your holiday shopping needs, as well as anything you may need for the many holiday gatherings you’ll attend throughout the season! Trust me, if you use this you won’t forget any thing or anyone! I make this checklist for myself each year and thought it could be helpful to other people like me, who have the memory of a gold fish. You can use it digitally or if you’re more of a paper and pencil kind of person, print it out and stick it right on your refrigerator. Make your list and check it twice and you’ll rock this Christmas season!
The resource I have created for you is very general so that you can include all of the information that you need. Below is an example of what I use each year.
Subscribers were the very first ones to receive this in their inboxes! Not a subscriber? Darn! Make sure to sign up! You can follow the links below to get yours now. Let me know in the comment section how it works for you!
Have a friend who could benefit from these tips? Spread the love! Share on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest!
Don’t let the holidays stress you out. Follow my self-care strategies here.