How to Shop Smart for the Holidays

merry christmas garland

Is it crazy that we’re already seeing Christmas decorations in stores and that I’m even approaching this topic so soon? Probably, haha. But, I wanted to share a couple shopping tips we use in our home that allow the¬†holiday season to be more enjoyable, more economical, and more intimate.

I remember the first couple of years that I was on my own, I would wait until after Thanksgiving to do all of my Christmas shopping. I’m not sure why exactly, but I guess I was waiting for that “Christmas feel” before I got in the mindset of the holiday and felt like shopping. What I found though, was that I was stressed because of the pressure I felt to make sure I found the perfect gift for everyone, I ended up buying gifts for the sake of getting someone a gift just so they would have one from me, and I ended up spending way more money than I had budgeted for due to the time crunch.

So, what’s our trick to avoid the afore mentioned scenario?¬†Shop all year long. Yes, it’s that simple. But, in case it doesn’t seem that simple, here is how we accomplish it:

  1. Keep a List – I keep a running list in the “notes” app on my phone called “Christmas” and it has everyone in my family’s name on it (immediate and extended). Every time someone randomly mentions that they like something or that this is something they have wanted but would never buy for themselves, I write it down. So, I’m never stuck come December thinking “oh my gosh, what do they even want or need?”
  2. Take note of big sales – if you have a running list of what someone wants, then you are free to purchase it whenever. So, take note of some of the bigger holiday sales – Labor Day Sale, Nordstrom Anniversary, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, etc., and grab some of those items on your list for a discounted price. You don’t want to be stuck doing last minute shopping the week of Christmas and spending top dollar on something you could have gotten for 40% off 3 months prior. NOTE: Shopbop is currently having their major sale with items up to 30% off with code: MAINEVENT16. See some of my picks for Christmas gifts below.
  3. Shop the basics year-round – while we all want some type of glamorous gift for Christmas, we can probably all agree that getting the basics is always a “needed” gift – things like boxers, socks, undershirts, etc. I mean, you can never have enough. And, the good thing is you can shop these all year round.
  4. Continually Buy Stocking Stuffers – while there may be some holiday-specific stocking stuffers that can’t be purchased early, there is a lot that can. For example, I keep a running stock of lip gloss, nail polish, gum, family members’ favorite candy, etc. This is stuff you can shop when they’re on sale or look for in places like the dollar section of target.

After reading my advice you might be thinking, this would have been nice to hear last January, but it’s not too late! We’re still 3 months away from Christmas and there are several big sales coming up! So, start making your list and start shopping strategically so that you can save money and enjoy the holiday season!


xx – anna