Holiday Shopping Survival Guide 

The holiday season brings about record shoppers to area stores. With shoppers looking to buy the perfect present or shop for the best deals of the season, stores quickly fill up. There is no getting around the need to shop during the holidays and contending with crowds is bound to be part of it. Even if you have your shopping list filled for the year, now is a great time to score on popular items. If you are going out shopping over the holidays, these 5 holiday shopping tips will ensure you get everything you need without the hassle. 

1. Don’t wait until the last minute

Family window shopping at Christmas time

Many of us are procrastinators and before we know it the holidays are upon us and we still need to go shopping. The longer you wait the more stress will be involved as you will have less choice about avoiding crowds and dealing with out-of-stock items. Start your holiday shopping as early as possible. Once Thanksgiving rolls around it’s time to get a jump on it. But remember, the earlier you can start the better. 

2. Plan your shopping

Planning all the shopping you will need to do will help you stay on top. Make a list early of all the gifts you want to buy and make note of what stores are the best to buy each one at. Then you can start easily knocking gifts off your list as you run errands throughout the season. 

3. Be on top of sales

Woman online shopping

Saving a little money never hurt anyone. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are great days to run down your list and see if anything is on sale. However, holiday-season sales are sometimes even better than event sales, so be mindful of how much you can really save. Setting a  price alert on sites you use often is a great way to take the pressure out of searching for sales. Even non-gift items are good to look for this time of the year. Now may be the best time to buy something you’ve been looking at all year. 

4. Set a budget ahead of time

It can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of holiday shopping and over-spend. Especially when everywhere we look is a sale sign. Be realistic about how much you want to spend ahead of time and stick to that. Be sure to track all your expenses so you know when you are about to go over them. 

5. Shop locally-owned businesses

Woman shopping for clothes

If you need a unique gift, shopping local small businesses is a great way to find something you can’t get anywhere else. These small shops are less likely to fill up as much as big box stores with hoards of holiday shoppers and you can get great deals on specialty items. Supporting small businesses around the holidays boasts the local economy and helps out families in your area. Today, you can also shop a number of small-business and women-owned shops online, so finding the perfect gift is easier than ever. 

What’s your favorite place to shop during the holidays? Let us know in the comments below.

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