Tips for Holiday Shopping in 2021

holiday shopping tips

Curious – have you started shopping for the holidays yet? There are so many different ways people shop for the holidays and I’m curious to know how you shop. Do you shop early? Do you get all of your holiday shopping done on Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Or, are you a last-minute shopper?

Personally, I shop all year long and wait for Cyber Monday for those big ticket items. This year though, I am doing things a bit differently.


If you haven’t heard it yet, you’re hearing it from me now- shop early! Due to COVID-19, retailers big and small are experiencing manufacturing delays as well as shipping delays. Because of that, it’s not advised to wait until the last minute to shop as your gifts may not arrive on time. Some sources I’ve seen have recommended all shopping be completed by November 1st to allow your items extra time to arrive. So, if you only take one piece of advice from today’s post, it should be to shop early this year!

Tips for Holiday Shopping in 2021:

  • Set a Budget: This is THE most important shopping tip. Holiday shopping can easily get out of hand because you typically don’t do it all at once. So, I highly advise setting a budget for each person you are buying gifts for. Set a budget for grandparents, siblings, extended family members ,and your kids. Then, keep track of your purchases to stay in budget.
  • Plan Ahead/Take Note: One of my biggest tips for holiday shopping is to keep notes in your phone. I keep notes on all my family members. Every time someone says they like something or want something, I jot it down in a note on my phone. Then, when it comes time to buy gifts, I usually have several ideas per person.
  • Shop Online (now): Despite shipping delays, at this point in time I would still argue that shopping online is the way to go. It’s fast and can be very efficient if you know what you’re looking for. Shopping online is also a very easy way to monitor sales.
  • Don’t Wait for Black Friday/Cyber Monday: In years past I’ve purchased a lot of my “big ticket” items during the Cyber Monday sales. However, I am not taking the risk this year because of shipping delays. I think Black Friday and Cyber Monday will still be great for personal shopping, but I wouldn’t count on Black Friday purchases to ship in time for the holidays.
  • Track Online Sales: Knowing we have some time (not a ton, but some), you can wait for online sales to occur. What I typically do is add thing to my cart and then wait for a sale to purchase. I also flag retailers that I typically shop at for Christmas like Banana Republic, Nordstrom, and more. Knowing ahead of time what you want to get for holiday gifts will allow you the freedom to wait for sales to arise.
  • Buy Experiences: if you’re worried about shipping delays or looking to move away from more “things,” consider experiences as opposed to toys. Think of experiences that your family would enjoy such as theater tickets, museum tickets, etc. Or, buy a personal experience such as an outdoor projector and screen.
  • Get Gift Receipts: because shipping is so unpredictable this year, return time lines will be thrown off. So be sure to get gift receipts for all of your purchases.
  • Keep Track: Personally, I write down each gift I purchase in the notes app on my phone. Because I shop all year long, if I don’t write down what I’m getting I’ll end up spending more in the end because I forget what I’ve purchased previously.