The holiday season is full of twinkling lights, cozy fires, and good cheer. Right?
You might be wondering why “stressed shoppers,” “diminishing bank accounts,” and “too many shipping boxes to fit in the recycling bin” aren’t on that list. Because truthfully, the season of gift-giving comes with its drawbacks.
If you’re hoping to make holiday shopping more efficient and less expensive, here are some tips for tackling that long gift list.
1. Make lists of recipients and gift ideas
Lists are a great organizational strategy to keep your holiday shopping more efficient and less expensive.
While making the list of people to shop for, Don’t Forget These 10 People During Your Holiday Gift Shopping. Next, jot down what you plan to purchase for them if you know. Be sure to ask or check their online wish lists too for ideas guaranteed to be a slam dunk.
Use your lists to plan trips to stores that carry several items, and cross the names off once you’ve purchased their gifts. You should be able to minimize shopping trips, browsing time, and forgetful moments.
2. Start planning early
If you wait until the last minute to purchase gifts, you’ll likely find empty shelves, higher prices, and lengthier shipping times. But if you start planning your gift-buying early, you can take advantage of seasonal sales.
Other benefits of early planning include spreading out your spending over several months and having more time to collect coupons.
If the holiday season is nearing, you can still do some planning to minimize your spending. Try comparison shopping to know which stores carry your gift list items for the least amount of money.
Black Friday sales start popping up well before Black Friday rolls around. Shopping online allows you to see which retailers are offering the best price.
3. Try making DIY gifts
Do-it-yourself gifts take longer than placing an online order, but they can be a smart way to save money.
If you don’t know how to make beautifully knitted scarves, don’t give up. There are still DIY gifts you can make.
Here are some ideas:
- Cookies, salsa, jams, or other homemade goods
- Photo gifts (what grandparent can resist?)
- Bath bombs, soaps, or candles
Don’t forget that sometimes the best gift is your time. Offer free babysitting or housecleaning to a friend or relative who could use your help more than they could use an object.
4. Use holiday wish lists
Sometimes the most time-consuming part of holiday shopping is carefully choosing gifts for everyone on your list. Encourage your friends and relatives to create wishlists to make it easier to pick the perfect gift.
Giftster.com is a two-way, online gift registry anyone can use to make and share their holiday wish lists. It’s free to sign up, simple to add items from online retailers (or offline gifts too), and easy to avoid duplicate gifts.
With a Giftster wishlist, you’ll pick the perfect gift, every time.
5. Organize gift exchanges to minimize your gift list
Are you purchasing gifts for everyone in your friend circle or all of the coworkers on your team? Consider organizing a gift exchange to save everyone time and money.
With a Secret Santa, everyone leaves with something, so your friends and coworkers will all be happy. And you’ll be even happier to know that Giftster’s Secret Santa Generator makes it easy to organize a gift exchange.
You can also consider a White Elephant gift exchange, which is less personalized but can be a lot more fun.