Holiday shopping tips

The holiday season is in full swing. Classic Christmas songs are playing on the radio, getting you in the spirit. However, here comes the tough part and that is holiday shopping. Christmas time should be a time of happiness, joy and should bring goodwill to all of mankind. However, for some it does not turn out that way.  For most people in America, holiday shopping can be stressful because of the long lines, the crazy traffic and limited income, which prevents people from buying.

Here some tips on how you can avoid the stress of holiday shopping and save some money:

One of the things I recommend is shopping for everyone on your list ahead of time. If you’re like me, you don’t like to walk into department stores when it is overcrowded, especially in the shopping malls where parking lots are crazy to the point that you might get into a car accident because no one is paying attention while driving or backing out of the parking lot. To avoid the mad house at the shopping mall or at any department store, such as Wal Mart, K-Mart or Target, your best bet is to do online shopping. Online shopping is the most convenient way to shop because you can avoid long lines and save money on gas, as well as wear and tear on your vehicle.  However, if you find the need to go during the holiday rush, I have a few suggestions for you.

It is always best to get up early in the morning and leave your house as soon as possible.

Never go shopping on a empty stomach. Studies have shown most people get cranky or frustrated when they do not eat before they go shopping.

If you are not one of those people who don’t like to wake up early in the morning and have the habit of shopping during rush hour, then here is another tip for you. Go shopping for 15 mins then take a break and get something to eat just to kill time. Then go shopping for another 15 to 20 minutes and then you are done. Just do a little each day and take your time.

If do your grocery shopping early in the morning before the rush, you can save a lot of time. I used to work for Lucky’s supermarket 20 years ago and the holiday rush is crazy when people are preparing for that last minute holiday dinner during Christmas Eve. I also recommend  shopping at the 99 Cent Only store or Dollar Tree if you are on a limited budget. Not only will you save money on buying gift wrapping paper, but you can buy a lot more for less when you need to buy items for your stocking.

If money is tight and you want to save money, I highly recommend shopping during the after-Christmas sale. To me, Christmas is not over until the end of December and you can save after, when you can find items that are half price.  For example, about six years ago, the day after Christmas, I bought my mom a brand new big-screen TV for her bedroom and I saved over $200 on it. This shows you can save money after the holidays and, to me, that is the best time to go shopping for deals.