"The best times you are going to have in life are at the dinner table and in bed." Old Italian saying. So relax, and enjoy the simple things!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

10 Ways to Reduce Holiday Shopping Stress: Simple Living in Practice

Christmas stocking fireplace


Holiday shopping season is upon us, but there is no reason to get stressed out about finding the perfect gift for everyone on your list. The more you think about what you want to get everyone before you hit the stores, the less likely you will overspend and waste time walking around in circles at the mall.

1) Reduce the number of gifts you give. With your immediate family give one present per person, and say one Santa gift per child. If you visit with relatives have a Secret Santa exchange between the adults, and the kids can have one between themselves. This way you are only purchasing one gift for a relative, which can then be something nicer... and probably something more of what they really want, instead of giving a lot of smaller, not so special gifts. 

2) Through out the year keep a gift folder of catalog clippings or a wish list on a site like Amazon, so when you see gift ideas you can store them and not forget them by the time December comes.

3) Get a credit card with the department store or the on line site that you purchase most of your presents from. Usually you will get free shipping if you use their credit card, so shop on line and save the gas, the bad fast food, and  the increased chance of impulsive purchasing that happens when you physically go into a store.

4) Map out your trip to the mall or your downtown. Go shopping with a gift list that includes the stores you think you most likely will find your gifts, include a walking plan for hitting each one of these stores in the least amount of time. (Hint: Malls usually have maps on line that you can download.)

5) If you are bring kids shopping make sure it not close to their nap time (unless being wheeled around knocks them out.) or meal time.  Bring healthy snacks for them to munch on, so you don't have to stop at the unhealthy and expensive food court.

6) Keep your purchases organized. If you are purchasing more than one gift per person, i.e. stocking stuffers etc., keep all the gifts for that one person together in a shopping bag or a box, so you will not loss track of what you bought and thus end up over shopping for that person.

7) Keep all receipts in one place for all of your purchases. This way you will know were to look for a receipt if you need to make an exchange. Plus by having all of your receipts together you can tally them up and know how much you spent on your holiday purchases.  

8) Never assume your gift will not be returned. Get a gift receipt for every purchase and include it in the box. Without a gift receipt a person will only get the markdown price back for your gift which can be less than half of the original price you paid for the item.

9) Don't purchase items you like, purchase items your recipient will like. You may not love gold shoes, but if that is what your mother is into: buy them for her!

10) Make your own gifts and or buy from local merchants. Save money and touch someone's heart with the time and effort that is needed to create home made gifts: bake cookies, make vinegars or jams...etc. If you don't have a knack for making your own presents buy something that has been crafted with care from a local merchant and/or artesian food purveyor.

Happy Holiday Shopping,
Diane


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14 comments:

  1. Great list! Love #2.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

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  2. All good ideas, Diane. Your first one, cutting back on gift-giving, is the best idea, in my opinion. This Summer our family pledged to cut back gift giving. There does come a point where no one really needs anything and it gets to be "work" to find items to give. No one is deprived and no one is suggesting a Scrooge-moment but enough already. Speaking of enough is enough, we have prepared too much food for tomorrow. How about you? Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

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    1. You really don't need much do you...now that my kids are over toys they don't seem to want or need as much anymore either. I say a few good things is best, but it does get touch to even find those. We are in good shape with food... my WASP husband has taught me over the years to cut back on food and load up on ice. Happy Thanksgiving to you.

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  3. Good list (and I love the smaller trees flanking the fireplace.) We're cutting back in one area this year, and I may cut back in others. I feel like we rushed through fall. I want to slow down and savor the season, and enjoy making food gifts for friends and family.

    Thank you for sharing this at Motivation Monday!

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    1. I agree food gifts and homemade crafts are so much more special because you are giving your time.

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  4. I like this list! I've tried to talk my family into the secret santa thing a million times. I only wished I was successful. Seems like I am the only one with a small budget. lol.


    ~FringeGirl

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    1. We had the hardest time convincing my sister. For a few years after we agreed to the secret santa she would show up with gifts for everyone until eventually she got the message that we weren't going to buy for everyone.

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  5. There are some great tips here, Diane! I must admit I'm one of those weird people who loves shopping for gifts, but I do always get it done very early :)

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    1. Oh, I like shopping for gifts too, especially little things like stocking stuffers... there fun, but you can get excessive and then too much is not appreciated.

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  6. Great tips! Thanks for sharing them with the Gallery of Favorites. April and I will be featuring your post tomorrow on the Gallery.

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  7. Hi.Diane I love your post! It is so inspirational and informative. I think my readers would really enjoy reading this. I would love for you to come share it at Seasonal Celebration I really hope that you will put Seasonal Celebration on your list of carnivals to visit and link to each Sunday/Monday!
    http://naturalmothersnetwork.com/
    Rebecca x

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    1. Hi Rebecca,
      Thanks for the invitation. I will put your party on my list. Great idea, love your blog too.
      Diane

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  8. Diane, thank you so much for popping by Seasonal Celebration- it's a pleasure to have discovered your blog! Rebecca x

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