Use These Shopping Tips as a Guide to Surviving the Holiday Shopping Madness

December 3rd, 2018 at 5:00pm

Thanksgiving is filled with traditions, in my family these include watching the parade, eating green bean casserole, putting up our holiday tree, and heading out early the next morning to go Black Friday shopping. Black Friday named as the holiday that puts businesses in the “black” or helps them turn a yearly profit, always falls on the day after Thanksgiving and is regarded as the biggest shopping “holiday” in America. Now that it’s December, you might be feeling the pressure to get your gifts all squared away. Thankfully, that isn’t the only weekend where you can get some great deals on presents for family and friends. If you’re looking for some shopping tips on how to score the best deals this holiday season, we’ve got you covered.

Research before You Go

Try to put together a list of stores you must visit as well as what specific items you’re looking for. Prioritize based on which deals are most important, and try to get there first so that you’re not disappointed. Remember because of the holidays, it might not be very easy to shop around or try on different sizes. Knowing what you’re looking for ahead of time means you will have a much easier time navigating the madness.

Get Shopping Done Early, and Prepare to Brave the Crowds

Chances are you will have a better shopping experience if you head out a bit earlier. This will help ensure you get the items you want before they sell out, you might also have a better chance at getting “early bird deals” as some stores switch their ads over after a certain time. Once December hits, most stores and malls draw huge crowds. You’re going to have to wait in long lines and often deal with fellow shoppers who are inconsiderate. If you become overwhelmed, take a deep breath, and remember to enjoy the experience. After all, shopping should be fun.

Bring a Shopping Buddy

For those of us who love shopping, Black Friday and holiday sales are like our Super Bowl. You’re going to want your team with you to score their own deals and share in the joy of the experience. Plus, you will be spending a good amount of time waiting in line, and it helps to have a friend to keep you entertained. So, make sure you grab your bestie before you head out.

Splurge on a Piece You Might Not Usually

Since this time of year is known for having the best sales, it’s the best time to invest in pricier items. Whether it’s a handbag you may have been eyeing or a nice pair of jeans, treat yourself to a staple piece. After all, these deals only come around once a year.

Stock up on Basics

Holiday shopping is also a great time to stock up on your everyday essentials. Pick up a few layering T-shirts or bralettes at the lowest prices of the year. These basic pieces are really the heart of your wardrobe, so it never hurts to have a few extra favorites, especially for those days you just really don’t want to do laundry.

Look out for “Doorbusters”

Most stores have a few doorbuster items, these will be the best value of the day with discounts often over 50 percent. You might associate this with the flat screen televisions you witness people fighting over, but even Sephora and Macy’s have discounted doorbuster deals. These sought after deals typically sell out early, so if you can try to snag one.

Get Your Holiday Shopping Done

Let’s be honest most of us have probably been thinking about the holidays since the day after Halloween. But, Black Friday is known as the unofficial kick-off to the holiday season. It’s the time when it becomes socially acceptable to put up your tree and start prepping for Santa’s arrival. So, you’ll definitely want to be keeping your holiday list in mind during your Black Friday shopping outing. I’m sure even Santa would love a good deal. Plus, your friends will never have to know that the amazing gifts you got them came at an even better price.

Don’t Buy Things Just for the “Deal”

This is a piece of advice I personally need to keep in mind. We all get that urge to buy things just for the great sale price. Try challenging yourself to only buy things you really have a purpose for. Though the sales are often very tempting, this is where making a list beforehand really comes in handy. No matter the deal, it’s never good for your budget to buy things just because.

Shop at Box Stores, and Wait for Small Business Saturday

Most small businesses choose to take Black Friday off and instead celebrate Small Business Saturday. These companies also tend to have one or two holiday sales. I love shopping local and checking out the boutiques in my town. Local stores also tend to have personalized packaging and unique or handmade items. You can find gifts that you can’t pick up at just any department store.

Check out the Online Deals

Cyber Monday has definitely become a shopping holiday in itself. Keep this in mind if you’re looking at online stores, and perhaps wait out the weekend for the Monday deals. However, some stores do post their Black Friday deals online as well. This means if you don’t feel like venturing out into the madness, you can get the same great deals while lounging at home in your jammies. A lot of these sales continue into December, so be sure to keep your inbox and tabs open to your fave online retailers.


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Opening image by Emmy Zobitz