The countdown to Christmas is on- have you finished your shopping? If not, you may be in a panic to get it all done. Don’t worry! You still have some time and you can save money while doing the last bit of shopping on your list. Most people make the mistake of waiting too long then spending too much money in a panic induced shopping trip. Don’t be that person. Instead, follow these tips on saving money while last-minute shopping.
Make a list
It’s the first rule in all shopping and applies here, too. Make a list of who you need to buy for, then write down what you need to get for each person. Get as detailed as possible so you know exactly what you are looking for.
A few hours of research can save you lots of time and money in the long run. After you write down the things you need to buy, look for the best deals on the gifts you intend to purchase. Does Walmart have a better deal on the item than Target? Are there any promotions or Target coupons that can give you a bigger savings? Write that down! Next to each gift, write down the store that you need to visit, and use this as a guide to help you go to only the stores you need. This will save you time and ensures you get the best deals.
Can you make any of the gifts on your list? If so, get to work on DIY projects, first. Make a list of all needed items, find the best deals on the items you need (don’t forget to look for recycled and reused materials- they can be cheap or even free!), gather all the items, then get to work. DIY gifts may take longer, but they can save you money and are more sentimental.
Hit one store a day
Pick the store where you can get the most gifts, then go there first. Be sure to get everything on your list in the one trip. If you cannot find an item, skip it and then research another store where you can purchase the present. By going to one store a day, you eliminate stress buying. You can focus on the items you need for that store only and get the items on your list in no time.
Make a budget and use cash
After you’ve done your research on the things you want to buy, make a budget per store. Then, take out cash, divvy it up into envelopes labeled with each store name on them, and take only that envelope with you to the store. This will help you stick to the budget you’ve made. Take along $20 extra dollars, because you never know if you find something that you need to buy, but don’t allow yourself to go over that $20.