It may still be early December, but what better time to knock out your holiday shopping than in advance, avoiding the rush of other last-minute shoppers vying for the same gifts for their loved ones as you are for yours? Contrary to popular belief, the search for thoughtful gifts doesn’t need to be a painful experience. Of course, early shopping isn’t the only line of defense you have when it comes to keeping things easy and breezy this holiday season. Here are just a few tips to help eliminate the stress of purchasing gifts.
Be on the lookout for free membership trials.
Amazon Prime isn’t the only way to get fast and free shipping– plenty of other sites also have membership programs of their own. Some are free, like with Target’s RedCard program, but even those that feature a subscription often offer a free trial to get a taste of that free shipping forbidden fruit that keeps people coming back for more. There’s just one thing, though– holiday shopping isn’t a year-round affair, and so now is the perfect time to take advantage of trials so you can save on gifts (and ensure they arrive on time, too) just in time to cancel before you’re billed if that’s your jam.
Check out a few price comparison sites before you hit ‘purchase’.
There are several websites that allow you to compare the cost of a given item across various sellers, taking the step of having to search the web for the best price out of the equation. You might be surprised just how wildly prices can vary for a given product, especially during the holiday season. Other programs will check the web for discount codes and sales you can use, too, and can automatically add these discounts to your cart while you’re shopping around.
Avoid the holiday rush through alternate shopping methods.
While this may sound like a no-brainer to stay away from weekend shopping around the holiday season, it’s easier said than done when we have busy schedules that make it difficult to shop during the week. By utilizing drive-up and in-store pickup options, however, swinging by a brick and mortar store on one of its less busy days can be a quick and easy process, however. Depending on the item and what nearby stores have in stock, you might even be able to take advantage of same-day delivery any day of the week, letting you stay inside and out of holiday traffic jams.
Making a simple list of all the gifts you need for each person eliminates a lot of stress and discombobulation, which is why the term “everyone on your list” is so ubiquitous. Keeping a notepad or even a small planner devoted to planning out and scheduling your holiday shopping can make the process even more streamlined, and allow you to block out exactly when and where to find what you’re looking for– as well as make note of shipping addresses, budgeting, and other useful information.