Buying everything you need around Christmas – love it or hate it – it has to be done! To make it as stress free as possible – here are some simple Christmas shopping tips that will help.
There’s something lovely about going out and buying gifts for people that you know they’ll love – but it also takes a lot of time and can be quite stressful.
Whatever you feel about it though – you will probably have wondered how do you Christmas shop in the easiest way possible?
After all – it’s got to be done – so if there are ways that make it simple – that’s got to be a good thing, right?
If you’re wondering how to make Christmas shopping easier this year – these tips are going to help you loads!
Why Is Christmas Shopping So Stressful?
These tips will help, but the question first may be why Christmas shopping is so stressful? If you tend to feel under pressure with your festive spending, you’re not the only one.
Christmas shopping can be a really stressful part of Christmas preparations – for many reasons:
- Shops are busier than ever
- Costs are going up – a lot of people use their credit card to get ahead, with negative results for the next year…
- Expectations are high – people seem to want more and more each year
- Time is short – so finding the right gift can feel overwhelming
These tips will give you some ideas of how to alleviate that stress, one bit at a time…
Stress Free Christmas Shopping Tips
#1 – Have A Christmas Shopping Plan
Start with a plan and everything will be a LOT easier…
Think about WHERE and WHEN you will be shopping – so that you don’t waste time or have to go back to somewhere because you forgot something.
WHERE WILL YOU SHOP?
You may choose to shop in your local town, in the city, online, at an outlet shopping centre, or a mix of all these. Whatever you decide, work out where you will be shopping right at the start so you can plan when you shop as well.
The best idea is to check what you need to get, and try and pick a location that has everything in one place. That way you can be done in one session – fingers crossed!
WHEN WILL YOU SHOP?
Plan time into your diary based on what you can schedule, and stick to that so you don’t get stressed and end up in the Christmas rush. Usually a day or two of shopping works well, with a little online shopping done over a few evenings.
The best tip I can offer you for when to do your Christmas shopping is to do it as early as possible. Early Christmas Shopping will pay dividends for your stress levels because you’ll be prepared well in advance, and you’ll have time to make other arrangements if things are out of stock etc….
The more you can plan the easier it will be to get things done – and you won’t run out of time!
#2 – Have A (Detailed) List
I’m not just talking about a present shopping list, which of course needs a Gift List, but also a general Christmas list for EVERYTHING you need over the holiday season.
There will be things included on this list like: –
- Wrapping paper
- Anything for parties you are hosting or going to
- Anything for guests
… it can get very long, very quickly!
Write it all down, brainstorm everything you will be doing over the Christmas period and see what you will need. If you want some gorgeous printables to help with your shopping plans (for EVERYTHING) – then you can find them in the Christmas Planner
You can buy things ahead of time then you will lose the need for extra trips nearer the big day itself – and you may well need to shop for these things at the same place as you are going for Christmas presents as well, so you will save having to go to the same place a few times.
#3 – Have A Christmas Shopping Budget
One of the hardest things about Christmas shopping is working out a budget that will work for everything, without getting you into debt and paying it off well into next year.
It can get out of hand pretty quickly – even if you think you are being good with how much you spend.
There can be so many little things to get, along with the inevitable impulse purchases that you’ll find, and it all adds up quickly…
If you can set a Christmas Shopping Budget, and stick to it – then overspending shouldn’t be an issue this year.
The easiest way would be to work out what you want to spend (what you can afford) on your loved ones, and divide it up amongst what you need to buy.
Categories can include things like food / presents / cards / entertaining / decorations etc….
EXTRA IDEA – for presents, if you have a set figure for how much you will spend per person it will help you not go overboard.
Related: How To Create A Christmas Budget
#4 – Themes Save Shopping Time
Having a theme for all your present shopping can really save time and hassle when you have lots of people to shop for.
Themes could be something like the following: –
- Voucher / Gift Card
- Board game
- Calendar / Diary
Obviously some themes work better for younger people or older people – so it will depend on who you are buying for.
The best thing about doing things this way is that you will, of course, have to visit less shops – so shopping will be a breeze!
#5 – Time Your Shopping
The shops get busier and busier in the run up to Christmas of course – so try and shop as early as you can, and ideally on a weekday to save precious time in queues.
Unfortunately the one thing you can’t do up front is fresh food shopping – so I always suggest doing this out of hours (really early or really late in the day) to avoid really heavy queues.
#6 – Do Your Christmas Shopping Online
And to avoid queues altogether, why not buy your shopping and Christmas gifts all online? (There are also online discount codes to be found as well, which can save a few pennies here and there..)
Pretty much everything can be bought from the warmth and comfort of your sofa.
Remember though, that food shopping slots for Christmas week get booked up really quickly, so get organised and make sure you get one!
(At least get a slot in the week or so before Christmas for the bulky stuff so you don’t have to do a large shop in store, and then you can plan to go to the store to get the fresh food and anything else that crops up nearer the time).
TIP – If you don’t want to do online shopping, it may still be worth checking online for prices before you head out – so you know a good deal when you see it in the shops
TIP – Plan delivery and return times when shopping online – as you may not get what you want, or have to wait until after Christmas for some items – or the recipient may want to return something you give them (ill fitting clothes, for example). Most shops give long return dates around Christmas, and gift receipts etc… – but it pays to read the small print and see exactly what the time scales are so you’re not disappointed
#7 – Use Sales If You Can
Make the most of what sales there are in the run up to Christmas – the earlier you start shopping the better really.
If you’re REALLY organised, you may have shopped in last years new year sales for Christmas items for this year, or you may have done a little shopping throughout the year when things have been marked down.
And there are still some great sales on in the run up to Christmas as well. Days like Black Friday (usually the last Friday in November) have fantastic shopping deals available – if you can grab them!
These Christmas shopping tips should help you get everything you need with as little stress as possible (even given the queues!)
Remember to have a plan, have a budget, and shop at the right time (don’t leave it all til Christmas Eve for a start!) – then you won’t go far wrong!
And don’t forget to grab your FREE eBook with all these tips and 90+ more to help you get Christmas sorted! – CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO