Raise your hands if you like long lines, searching for a parking spot, sitting in traffic, walking across the parking lot in the cold, and impulse buying way more than you bargained/budgeted for during the holiday season? I do not believe I have found the magic bullet, or the holy grail when it comes to Christmas shopping, but I do know that without a doubt this year has been much less stressful than years past. I have still gone to the store for a few odds, and ends, and did enjoy the hustle and bustle of the mall, but am glad I had a short list with only a few items to retrieve from the mall. My Christmas shopping was completed the week after Thanksgiving (99% online shopping), and all of the gifts I ordered will arrive on time, or way before Christmas. Online shopping was definitely the answer for me this year, and I believe will be my go to method in years to come. My formula is simple, I started an excel spreadsheet by family, annotated what I was thinking of getting each family member, and my approximate budget. Then I started searching online for the best deals, days different sites were having deals, searched quickly for any coupons (i.e. 15% off, free shipping etcâ€¦), and then spent a few short hours completing my list. If you can manage to use coupons, and get free shipping, you will actually be ahead with not having to waste time driving to the store, as well as precious gas driving there as well. In addition, there are quite a few sites that offer cash back for just signing up on their site, and navigating to the site you want through their portal. For example, I shopped online at Sephora through the site www.ebates.com
and got 8% cash back on my total purchase. When they send me a check it is usually less than $5 every few months, but hey it is better than nothing, and I did not even have to clip coupons. Another site for current coupons is www.retailmenot.com
, their site has come in handy for free shipping and other deals countless times. So, it is not too late this year if you want to knock out some Christmas shopping, but keep it in mind next year right after Thanksgiving, and come December 1st you will be done, and able to enjoy the Holiday season! I hope everyone has a happy, and stress free holiday season! While you are out shopping just try to remind yourself that the season is not about how much you spend, or how much you get someone, but about love, family, and being thankful for what you already have! Only 19 days until Christmas! Enjoy!