Make Christmas Shopping Easier

5 Great Simple Tips

Christmas can be a stressful and hectic time, especially when it comes to shopping. It can be difficult to find the time to shop for the perfect gift for everyone on your list—not to mention fit the cost of gifts into your budget. 

If you're stressed about finding the money and time to get your shopping done, try these tips to make Christmas shopping a bit easier this year. With careful planning and our Christmas survival guide, it is possible to stick to your budget and get your shopping done with ease. Maybe you'll even experience some Christmas cheer. 

Create a Shopping Plan – and How to Pay For It

Woman at a cafe during the holiday season

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Start with a list of the people for who you need to shop. Then you can calculate how much you will spend on each person and how much you will need to allow for gifts total. 

Once you have a list, you can also plan where and when you are going to buy them gifts, making it easier to seek out the lowest prices and any potential deals. Review bargain and sale sites to search for gifts first. Amazon, RetailMeNot, and Ebates are all great ways to save money when Christmas shopping. Taking the time to plan carefully can help you avoid forgetting someone on your list or buying too many presents.

Take Advantage of Black Friday

Shopping cart on nighttime street

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One of the most effective ways to save money on Christmas shopping is to take advantage of major sale days like Black Friday, which takes place the day after Thanksgiving. (Though some stores even begin sales at midnight on Thanksgiving or in the early morning hours of Black Friday.) 

To get your money's worth on Black Friday, you'll have to plan. Many of the best sales usually run out in the first couple of hours, so you need to formulate a plan and stick to it. Research strategies to employ, tactics to fight the crowds, and where to get the items you need. Coming up with a solid plan is essential to making all those hours spent waiting out in the cold worth it. 

Some examples of Black Friday strategies include: having different family members hit different stores at the same time or planning your shopping when a store opens, starting with the earliest, and moving through your list from there. 

Don't Forget Cyber Monday

Woman Christmas shopping online with a wrapped present in the foreground

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The Monday after Thanksgiving, also known as Cyber Monday, is another great time to score online shopping deals and finish up your Christmas shopping. 

In addition to great deals on must-haves on your list, Cyber Monday doesn't require you to fight the crowds, since it's centered around online shopping. In addition to shopping for the best sales price, try to find the deals that offer free shipping to customers, which will save you big. 

Don't Pay Double Shipping

A Person Wrapping a Christmas Gift

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Another way you can save on Christmas gifts is to ship straight to the recipient instead of having the item shipped to you, wrapping the gifts, then having them shipped to their final destination.  

If you are shipping primarily to children, ask an adult in the house of the recipients to wrap the presents for you. If you are traveling to the house for Christmas, you may request that the person hold the boxes unopened, and wrap them when you arrive.

If the above isn't an option, weigh the cost of paying to have the retailer wrap the gifts for you before shipping. Paying for the wrapping may still cost less than the cost of shipping an item twice. When choosing to buy online or at a store, you should also consider the price of shipping into your budget. 

Consider Bulk Options

Woman making Christmas cookies with ingredients spread on the table

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Not every gift will fit into this category, but if you have the option to do a bulk gift, it will almost certainly save you money. Try assembling gift baskets or cookie plates to give to co-workers or neighbors. Try getting some friends together and having each person bake a certain type of cookie. Then you can all assemble cookie plates while mixing and matching the varieties. 

Similarly, you can buy in bulk together to assemble gift boxes or bags for your co-workers. This method can save you money in the long run since buying in bulk is almost always cheaper.