I love to shop, so much so that hubby and I have a ton of stuff... everywhere! One thing I don't like about shopping is the rush during the holiday season. Call me crazy, but having 542 strangers breathing on me, pushing me, and running past me to get the hottest toy of the year, is not my idea of a good time :). Here are a few tips that get me through the holiday maddness, and help my loved ones get the good stuff!
1. If your going to brave Black Friday, make a game plan the night before. Know exactly what stores you want to hit, and how much coffee your going to need to get you through it! Bring a shopping buddy along, it can get boring standing in line by yourself. Also, they can be on the lookout for your hot items, and vice versa.
2. Shop all year long. I absolutely love after Christmas sales. I try to look for things I know my kids would love and put them in a tote. By November, that tote is normally over flowing into a gazillion boxes, but that's less shopping I would have to do during what I like to call "crunch time".
3. Use your stockpile! I know there are a lot of bloggers that use coupons and show others how to use them. You could end up with an amazing stockpile by December. Use some of your bath products and beauty products to make a cute basket for that hard to shop for sister in law. (Or whoever). Why not give them something they can use?
4. Online tools! There are tons of free shipping codes out there, and great cash back incentives at online shops. CSN.com (among others) has a ton of items with free shipping. Combine that with a coupon code, and your already saving time and gas!
5. Swagbucks! Save your swagbucks all year and cash them in for $5 Amazon gift cards. I have a little over $200 in Amazon gift codes from Swagbucks this year! That's all I will need for hubby's gifts (and then some). Swagbucks is a simple search engine that rewards you for searching on it!
6. Save those gift cards! I keep most of the gift cards I get all year from Birthdays or Anniversarys. I use them to get Christmas gifts. Hubby says I should spend them on myself, but I feel like I am, when I don't have to use our cashflow :). They add up quick, and can help in a pinch.
7. Do it yourself. A lot of my family members would perfer handmade gifts over something they really didn't want/need. If your crafty take advantage of that and make your gifts. Find your supplies at sales or clearance and you wont have to spend much at all. Plus, it comes from the heart. AWWWW!
8. Enter blog giveaways! I enter a ton of giveaways and I have won some really neat stuff for my kids. I save it back all year and use it for Christmas or Birthdays. What is better than free? Another plus is you find some really great blogs to follow and find a ton of cool shops that you never would have known about otherwise. I love blog giveaways!
9. Save those bags! I save all the cute bags and boxes from the Christmas before and use them again. By the next year people wont remember, and there is no harm in using them again! Tissues papers can be saved inside the bags so they don't get messed up. I hang them all in the back of my closet so they are out of the way!
10. Don't rule out a store based on it's name. Office Depot has a ton of great products that would be good for anyone of your list! Printers, supplies, you name it they have it!
I love shopping for Christmas but it's best to remember what's important. Your loved one! Don't let money come before the fact that you are together. There are a bunch of resources to use to ensure the best gifts for the best price! I hope I helped out and gave you some ideas for this year! Happy Shopping!
I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Office Depot blogging program, making me eligible to get a $40 Office Depot gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.” (make sure you link to http://officedepotsmartgifts.twittermoms.com/about )