1.) Make a List (and check it twice)
If you need to shop for a lot of people, you may start to second guess yourself when you remember that there are people you have forgotten about. In order to make sure that you don’t go overboard, stick to your list no matter how you think that person will feel who has been left out. This is the single most understated way that holiday budgets get blown on a yearly basis!
2.) Centralize your shopping
If you have friends and family with a great deal of interests then you fall in the same boat as 99% of us. This presents a huge problem for most shoppers. It is almost impossible to find a lot of gift items in the same exact place. This is where Lakeside.com excels (see #5 below). For instance, you may be able to find apparel online, but you’ll have to go to a home improvement store to find the right tools etc. This can blow your budget in a few ways. First, it will increase your shipping cost because almost all retailers provide an incentive to buy all of your items in one place by providing low shipping costs.
It also hurts your ability to locate the best deals, as they are happening. So make sure to try to get your online shopping all done in the same place.
3.) Always have a plan B
You may know that someone is looking for one very specific item. If it’s a high demand item (Think of the Furby from several years ago), it becomes impossible to find one. If you do find one it will cost you up to two to three times the amount. If you buy a hot item like this, you can be sure that your budget will go right out the window. You have to be careful because some items do not start off extremely hot, but become incredibly sought after because of the short supply, or the unique and “wow” factor of an item.
So how should you prepare? Ask yourself if there’s something that is much more attainable that your loved one would be just as happy with! (Chances are, there is!) Also, combine #2 with this thought. If you do all of your shopping in one place you won’t have to worry about an item running out because of increased demand. After all you’ve consolidated all of your shopping into one place like the smart shopper you are!
4.) Timing is everything
Ask any Black Friday veteran what the single most important factor is in holiday shopping, and they’ll tell you: time is of the essence. Be the first one in, and get the best deals. 10 minutes late can mean the difference between 80% off and regular price. Shocking right? Still it’s the reality of holiday shopping.
5.) Discover Lakeside.com
If you’ve never heard of Lakeside this is the season to give them a try. You’ll be astounded how much of your shopping can be done in one place, and how many items they have! You might actually be able to find a plan A, B, C and beyond. Ever since I’ve discovered this gem, I’ve reduced my holiday stress, (and my budget) by more than half! Most of the seasoned veterans already know about it, but I couldn’t find a reason not to put them in at #5 as one of the top ways to save money during your holiday shopping this year.
This is a Guest Post.
Elizabeth Lampman is a coffee-fuelled Mom of 2 girls and lives in Hamilton, Ontario. She enjoys travelling, developing easy recipes, crafting, taking on diy projects, travelling and saving money!