THIS YEAR, A SOLID SHOPPING STRATEGY WILL HELP MAKE THE HOLIDAYS BRIGHTER
While the holiday season is a joyous time of year, it can also be stressful both emotionally and financially. Now add in the prolonged effects of the pandemic that include shortages for toys, decorations, groceries and more, stress levels can reach new heights.
But there are some solid strategies to help alleviate some of that stress, and help make your holiday shopping a little easier and more affordable.
- START EARLY & MAKE A PLAN
The first and most important step is time to make a plan as early as possible. Sit down and write a list of the friends and family you want to include on your holiday gift list, with a few ideas of that “perfect” gift for each. Then review your finances and set a budget. In the long run, this organized approach will make your holiday shopping much easier.
- DO YOUR RESEARCH
Now that you have a budget in mind and your shopping list in hand, it’s time to plan your shopping strategy to get everything on your list.
First, you’ll want to do some price searches to determine where the best deal might, and decide whether going to a brick-and-mortar store or an online retailer will be the best route to find those items at the best price.
Then identify those items that are predicted to experience shortages, and prioritize your shopping to find these as soon as possible to hopefully avoid empty shelves later. If you see an item you want now, don’t wait to purchase it because you don’t know if they’ll be there later. And many retailers will do price adjustments if they go on sale later.
Finally, you’ll also want to have a backup plan in place for the items on your list in case you can’t find them.
A little extra work before your shop can save you time, money and frustration later, best of all, allows you to snag the perfect gift with the best deals – making you everyone’s Holiday Superhero.
- SIGN UP FOR EMAIL ALERTS
While retailer’s Email Alerts can clutter your inbox, signing up for them could save you some cash this season. These Email Alerts tend to provide those who subscribe information on sales, discount offers and item restocks before the general public. This can be helpful during these shortages to ensure you are staying on top of the game and getting every item on your holiday list.
Hint: Consider creating an email address to use just for shopping and alerts, so your primary email address remains uncluttered.
- PAY WITH CASH
According to the Retail Info Systems, the average holiday shopping budget is $500 per household and an anticipated 8% increased spending rate with their Credit Card. Staying on budget can be easier when you only take out the exact cash you need for your holiday shopping trips. Note that online shopping and even some physical store locations don’t take cash, so be sure you factor this into your budget when pulling cash out of your account.
- TAKE ADVANTAGE OF CREDIT PROMOTIONS
While using cash is one of the best methods to stay on budget, some credit card companies have incentives and promotions that make using their cards beneficial by earning you cash rewards or points that can be used towards all sorts of things, including travel and gift cards. But keep in mind your budget and don’t spend over the cash you’ve already set aside so you can pay the bill in full when it’s due to avoid paying those high interest rates.
- BE CREATIVE! DO DIY
It’s truly the thought that counts, so why not channel your creativity to make your own, personalized gifts for your loved ones? With the robust internet today, you should have no problem finding a number of ideas. Try checking out Pinterest or check out Country Living’s ideas for 97 DIY Christmas Gifts to get you started.
- MAKE YOUR GIFT EXCHANGES MORE BUDGET FRIENDLY – AND FUN!
There’s no harm in proposing a monetary limit with family and friends to help you stretch your gift budget this year. Even suggest a fun gift exchange like a white elephant or homemade-only gift exchange. It is likely that they are in the same boat as you are and will welcome the limits, or the opportunity for some more creative gift-giving options to flex their DIY strength!
While we’ve already seen many shortages across retailers this year, using these tips can help you get ahead of the predicted holiday shortages and help you cross off all the items on your shopping list. And remember to get ahead of the crowds to have the best chance to score your ideal gifts!
Happy shopping! And as always, if there’s anything we can do to help, contact us today!