There are holiday traditions, and there are holiday season traditions, like panicking and last-minute present buying. It isn’t always easy buying early, of course – that’s what holiday bonuses are for, after all – but if you plan ahead, there are some ways to make it easier on yourself to get your gifts ready well in advance of the holiday season. Here are five tips for making early holiday shopping just a little easier.
Lists Are the Key
Whether you have a tendency to make your lists on paper or on an app, get them ready, because the most critical step is making sure you aren’t struggling the second you get through the store doors. Make a list of each and every gift you need to get, to avoid over shopping or forgetting something or someone. This will allow you to make a mental map of where you’re going to save time, too.
Once you know what you need and where you’re going, you should make sure that any gift cards, ads or coupons you need to save the most money are all in one place. Clip them to your physical list or put them together in one spot so they can all remain with you as you do your shopping. Never be embarrassed about having a lot of coupons – that’s what they’re for, to be used!
Go Online First
Avoid the early tramplings and get as much as you can online before you head out into the retail wilds. It saves you time and you might just get a great deal or two. You can even do stocking stuffer shopping and find seemingly unlimited customized gifts if you look in the right places online.
Don’t Get Just One
Multiple gifts aren’t just for the times when you’re out there making your own holiday gifts. They’re for difficult-to-shop-for folks who will also appreciate a popular gift. Sometimes this is a group of kids, sometimes it’s some picky siblings. Whatever your group, buying multiples of the same avoids jealousy and makes it all easier on you.
Get Out There Early
This seems like a no-brainer, but there is a little nuance to shopping early. In fact, the earliest holiday shopping you do is just slightly too late for the last holiday – which means, of course, shopping on the first shopping day after the holidays. Picking the clearance and sale items that are still in ok shape and will be useful in 364 days is relatively easy, and if you’re buying a lot of small things – like stocking stuffers – you’ll find you have a lot of your holiday shopping done in a flash.
Getting your holiday shopping done early is supposed to make things easier on you, so make sure that whatever your method, you’re working toward taking a little of the stress off of your shoulders. Also, don’t forget to get yourself a little something while you’re out there, even if it’s just a nice coffee.