If you haven’t already shopped your brains out on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, chances are you will be shop, shop, shopping your way through the holiday season.
Outside of the financial strain on your bank account, shopping for hours on end, weekend, after holiday weekend, can be taxing on your body. That’s why it’s important to shop smart, both for your wallet and your body, so be sure to check out a few of these tips before you make it rain dollar bills at the mall:
1. When heading out to shop, be sure you eat before leaving the house. Nothing burns through your wallet and your stomach like fast or food-court food. Walk off your meal, that’s a better option.
2. Bring a healthy snack with you so you’re not tempted to snack on trash. It’s also handy when you find yourself starving in a long line, with no end in sight.
3. Wear comfortable shoes! Nothing kills a day of shopping like blisters and a headache. You need supportive and comfy shoes for holiday marathon shopping. Plus it makes it easier to run from sale to sale!
4. If you’re shipping gifts that you are purchasing out and about, bring your address list with you. A lot of times, stores can ship for you directly from the store, so it saves you a step.
5. Speaking of shipping, know the cut off dates for packages to arrive on time. If you are a procrastinator, this tip will come in handy.
6. When shopping online, be sure that the sites you are shopping are secured sites. You can tell that it is secured if the address reads https: and/or there is a lock icon with a secure company logo on the bottom of your window. If uncertain, don’t make the purchase or you will have a nightmare before Christmas!
7. Be sure to add your coupon and promo codes at the right time, before check out. Once you hit submit, sometimes it’s a hassle to get your discount. Keep a window on your browser open to search for coupon codes of any store you are shopping at—you can save a pretty penny! Just cut and paste the codes into the promo window. Sometimes they don’t work but it’s always worth a shot!
8. Gift giving etiquette: don’t give a gift you wouldn’t like to receive. Sure, it’s the thought that counts however, if you re-gift some used, crappy odd n’ end or pick something up from the 99 cent store on your way to a party, maybe it’s best to just get a nice card instead. Words can sometimes be better than a tacky knickknack that screams “gas station gift rack.”
9. Shop all year long—sounds like fun right? Actually, it’s a smart way to ensure that everyone on your list get something they actually want or speaks to their personality. Ever see something and say “So-and-so would love that”? If you have the cash, buy it and save it in a special place, instead of racking your brains Thanksgiving weekend, wondering what you should get that so-and-so or where that cool thing was that you saw in July. Think ahead as it will save you time, money and you look like the hero. Also, keep notes of when the people on your list mention something they like or need—it really comes in handy during shopping season and your giftees will be overjoyed with your thoughtfulness.
10. When in doubt, give a gift card! You can get them virtually anywhere, in any denomination and the person on your list gets to go on a mini-shopping spree, thanks to you!
Have a very happy, healthy and green gift giving season!
Ed: Bryonie Wise
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