With Christmas on its way, I thought it would be a good idea to discuss how to shop smart.
1. Know What You Need
Always have a list. It can be in your head but better yet, put it on paper so you're not overwhelmed once you reach the mall.
2. Be Sure About It
Ask yourself, "Will he/she love it?" and "Will he/she use it?" And don't buy it unless the answer is a "yes"!
3. Dress For Action
Wear a comfortable outfit and shoes. Bring some bottled water. Make sure you eat enough and eat more when you need to before low blood sugar strikes.
4. Avoid The Crowds
If you can sacrifice a weekday morning for shopping (before the lunch rush), you'll be rewarded with emptier stores and less stressed out salespeople.
5. Shop Early
I started my Christmas shopping in October. For those of you who haven't started, why not start now? It's just going to get busier and crazier the closer it gets to the big day.
6. Have A Christmas Storage Area
Designate a small part of a closet for Christmas gifts. Throughout the year when you see something you know someone on your list will love and it's a great price, buy it and store it in your Christmas area.
7. Feel Happy
Don't shop when you are hungry, tired, or depressed. Once again don't wait until the last minute.
8. Set A Budget
Figure out beforehand how much you can afford to spend on Christmas gifts and stick to your budget. If you have a tendency to max out your credit cards, then shop with cash only.
9. Keep Your Receipts
If someone ends up not liking something or the gift is defective you can easily return it. Many stores also offer gift receipts that don't show the price so you can include it with the gift. Remember that gift receipts are only useful for a return if you pay with cash. If you pay with a debit or credit card, the gift recipient will only be able to get a store credit because they won't have your card.
10. Buy Extra Gifts
Find some "generic" items on sale that can be for a man or a woman, and purchase a couple of extras. Wrap them up and put a sticky note on the box stating what the item is. This way you'll always be prepared if someone unexpectedly gives you a gift, and you can avoid any embarrassment or hurt feelings by returning the favour.