Wednesday, November 14, 2012

my tips for christmas shopping year-round

i thought of this post because [in my book] it's officially christmas music season!  that season starts on veteran's day and in case you were wondering, christmas decorating season begins the day after thanksgiving.  oh, you cannot imagine how happy i am that thanksgiving falls so early this year!  mike and i are going on vacation starting december 1st, so luckily we have over a week to get our house decorated before we leave.

so, here are a few of my favorite tips for shopping and how i built the collection of gifts i talked about a few days ago.  

1. groupon and living social are the best.  look for deals to online stores as well as in groupon goods/the living social shop.  so far this year, i have bought half off gifts to and the body shop with which i plan to buy some fun gifts.

2. have gift cards for stores you don't go to often? turn them into presents.  for example: every year i get tons of dunkin donuts gift cards from parents.  there is no way i can use them all - so i go to dunkin and buy coffee, mugs, and trinkets to make my own gift baskets.

3. subscribe to your favorite online stores.  usually when you buy something, the store asks if you want to receive future emails.  if it's a store i might shop from in the future, then i subscribe.  the benefit is that you know about all of the best deals/sales first.

4. cafe press is a really cool place.  i do a lot of my shopping there.  they have every tv show, movie, or fun logo you can imagine.  i've shopped for gilmore girls and how i met your mother gifts in the past.  it's not just tee shirts; i love their canvas bags, beer steins, shot glasses, coasters, posters, ornaments, phone cases - you can find almost anything.  THE BEST way to shop there is with the funday flash sale.  sign up for their weekly updates and get an email every sunday around 8:30 with a special good through midnight.  last week was buy 1 get 1 on all drinkware.

5. use ship-to-store.  tons of online stores have it for free.  i've used it for payless and walmart recently.  i really enjoy not having to pay an extra fee while also having the convenience of shopping at home.

6. buy a few generic gifts.  if i see a really good sale, i'll buy a couple.  i have a stash of extra presents for yankee swaps, hard-to-shop-for people, or that unexpected gift-giver.  [this works well for groupon/living social too.]

7. scope out presents online then buy them in the store.  for places that won't ship to the store for free, look around online for what you want, make a list, and go into the store knowing what you want to buy. it cuts down on a lot of excessive and impulse purchases!

8. take notes! be observant.  when you go shopping with someone, notice what they gravitate to.  even if you can't afford that item, write it down.  it might go on sale or you might be able to find a similar one for a reasonable price.

9. dollar stores are great for cards, gift wrapping, and stocking stuffers.  all of their cards are 2 for $1, they have tons of gift bags/boxes, and they have so many stocking ideas: kitchen utensils, candy, holiday trinkets, and more!  [only thing to beware of is wrapping paper: look at the dimensions, it might actually be a better value to go to a bigger store and buy a huge roll rather than buying a few small roles.]

10. it's not about the money.  set a budget.  don't feel like you need to spend $100 on anyone to make an impact.  gift-giving is best when the person knows that you took the time to listen/know what they enjoy and act on it.


The Millers said...

I am loving all these great ideas! Thanks for stopping by my blog, following you back!

ChatterBlossom said...

The tip about ship to store is awesome! Thank you!

Jen said...

All of these ideas are awesome, especially buying generic gifts, I never thought of that. :) Thanks!

emi said...

best ideas!! i already love your cute blog and we are your newest followers! come follow along at Xo

Jamie said...

I love Groupon too. I always get restaurant deals. I feel so much better eating out when I am getting a deal.

Customer Satisfaction Experts said...

Practical tips for a worthy Christmas shopping all year round. Kudos for this well-written and informative write- up.

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