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Holiday Money- and Time-Saving Shopping Tips
by: David Arnold Livingston

When the Holiday season nears, people are all agog in coming up with a list of gifts that will fit their budget. Perhaps, one of the worst things about the season of joy is counting the remaining dollars in your wallet after a round of gift shopping.

Here are some ideas that may help you stick to your gift budget this year.

1) Shop before the season starts.

Shopping in December can be a budget buster, as everything is more expensive! Whether we like it or not prices of gift items skyrocket during the Christmas season. In fact, most establishments would not even think of offering discounts or conducting a sale during this time of the season because people will buy their products at the going prices.

Instead of waiting until the last minute, shop early as some stores will conduct a pre-Christmas sales sometime in October and November to get rid of old stock to prepare of the new stock. Take advantage of this. It is a good time to shop for gifts during the sale season as almost everything is marked down.

2) Make a list -- and stick to it.

List everything you need to buy and everyone that you want to buy something for. List them, according to priority. This way, you will be able know which people to scratch off your list in case you go over-budget.

Making a list will also help you plan how much to spend on each person. Often, people without lists will buy items that are bargains during a shopping spree only to realize once they get home they have no one to give that item to.

3) Taking the time to get organized saves tons of time in the long run.

Becoming organized can do wonders. Start your lists early before you hit a pressure point with either your time or your money. It is just like shoppping when you are hungry, if you wait until the last minute. It will always work against you.

And not buying gifts in haste will allow you greater flexibility in the budget. Another advantage is that you don't have to endure the long lines of customers during peak season. One thing you should remember though is to plan out just how much one gift should cost.

4) Don't discount bazaars and garage sales.

Who says you can only give gifts that are brand new or expensive? Bazaars offer so much in terms of variety and price range. You will find all sorts of great knick-knacks and special bargains that will fit any budget. Because the items are not currently sold in major stores in the area, you can be assured the gifts you will be buying are unique.


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