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4 Tips for Avoiding the Holiday Shopping Frenzy

by Freebies4Mom on November 24, 2015 9:17 am

4 Tips for Avoiding the Holiday Shopping Frenzy

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The deals are flying right now both online and in the stores, so this is a great time to remind you to avoid what I’m calling “shopping frenzy”. Don’t buy things just to buy them. Don’t buy things because others are buying them. Don’t buy things just to get a limited-supply “freebie” that you don’t even really want. And please don’t ruin your Thanksgiving holiday with your family to go shopping on Thanksgiving Day (aka the NEW Black Friday).

My mom and I were talking about the shopping she did on a previous “Black Friday” and she told me:

I returned every single thing I purchased on that day, because I realized that they were all impulse purchases. I saw everyone else buying these great deals and felt I should too.

But she didn’t need to buy these “deals”, and recognized she should return what she bought. But my mom is someone who plans ahead and I’m guessing she already had most of her gifts ready for the holidays. So for her shopping on that day of amazing deals was more for the fun of the experience and without a well-defined plan.

Here are my four tips to help you shop wisely this holiday season:

1. Have a Plan, Stick to the Plan
Make a list of gifts you want to get including a budget for each gift. When you get closer to making your shopping trip, then make a list of which stores you’ll go to and what you’ll look for at each store. Your plan should align with your budget. Overspending isn’t any fun because ultimately YOU have to pay that bill.

2. Don’t Shop Under Stress
That means don’t be tired, hungry, or stressed out while you shop. Because that could contribute to impulse buying that you may later regret. Crowded stores and waiting in long lines is about the most stressful situation I could imagine, so I avoid them. I only shop online on Thanksgiving and Black Friday to avoid the craziness in the stores.

3. Don’t Hesitate to Return
If you go shopping, and the next day realize you got two presents for someone who you only needed one for, then by all means return it! Doesn’t matter how good of a deal you got, if it isn’t an item you’ll use or that you have a specific recipient for then I say return it if you can. Some people keep a gift closet to stock with gifts for the upcoming year and that’s a great strategy. Just make sure that the gifts you’re stocking it with are good candidates for being given as gifts within the next year.

4. Spend Your Time How You Want To
Only you know what you want to do with your time, so spend it on what you want whether that be enjoying family, decorating your house, working on a home improvement project, or shopping. Just be sure you’re doing what you want to do and not following what everyone else is doing. Avoid the crowd mentality because it can be damaging to your budget.

What do you do to avoid the “shopping frenzy”? Leave a comment on this post!

My gift to you is a daily email filled with fun ways to save money!

reposted from November 2009

 

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous November 25, 2009 at 7:35 am

Great post! I don't get all wrapped up in the Black Friday frenzy. It saps every ounce of Christmas spirit out of me, so I stay home & spend the day with my family decorating our home & baking.

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Tracy @ Hall of Fame Moms November 25, 2009 at 7:51 am

We have to be frugal so I buy throughout the year when I find good deals. Right now the kids are young and aren't into anything expensive. But even then, my hope is that we raise them to not be greedy and spoiled, having to have the best of everything…we just can't afford to live that way. I hide gifts in the closets as we buy throughout the year and I've also gotten more involved in online sites that reward you for using them so maybe that will help out too!

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Tracy November 25, 2009 at 7:53 am

We have to be frugal so I buy throughout the year as I see good prices.I also don't plan on spoiling my kids into thinking they "have" to have everything "everyone" else has…expensive shoes, techy things, etc. They are young right now so thats not an issue. I want them to be thankful for what they get and that they have more than what they need already.

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Aunrea November 25, 2009 at 8:16 am

My husband worked in retail in electronics. He told me that on Black Friday the retailers make the deals look great but they are not. Usually it's a "great deal" on a lower quality product. You are better off waiting until December for better deals on good products. We always spend Black Friday at home setting up our tree and decorating the house.

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Stephanie November 25, 2009 at 8:31 am

Great tips!! I have most of my shopping done, so I have a list of the couple of things that I would like to get. My plan is: If the items are gone, then it wasn't meant to be. I just like the craziness of the experience. I can usually get great stocking stuffers for my kids.

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Laura November 25, 2009 at 8:46 am

I've never been before, but we're going this year, just because Toys R Us has some GREAT deals on things we want. But my friend who goes every year said some of the same things you said: Bring a buddy, pack some snacks, plan.Walmart is matching ads, so if you have an ad and can get things at Walmart (and you have other shopping to do there) you can go there. They also have a printable map so you can write down what you want and where it is.

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Lori November 25, 2009 at 10:55 am

I agree w/the others about not even going out on Black Friday. My mom and I used to do it but it's so crazy that it stresses me out. Now I just shop throughout the year or make gifts, knowing that I'm getting as good or better deals than BF w/out the stress!

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NeedANap2 November 25, 2009 at 12:32 pm

My husband used to work at Best Buy in the computer area. One year, a lady asked him what "this" was. He said that's a scanner, do you have a computer? She said no, but everyone was grabbing one so she HAD to get one too.My husband loves to go. But he makes a plan beforehand – he's great at sticking to his list so it works out great. I admit, I'm a little too impulsive and prefer to sleep instead! 🙂

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Liam and Lauren's mom November 25, 2009 at 2:05 pm

I am so not planning to go anywhere on black friday at least in the morning will all the craziness…Wierd question.If you buy something today at regular price, then go to Walmart (in this case) before 11am ask to have the price matched, will they do that…(They have some pijamas for the kids for $3 very cute)Thanks for your answer.

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Liam and Lauren's mom November 25, 2009 at 2:06 pm

I am so not planning to go anywhere on black friday at least in the morning will all the craziness…Wierd question.If you buy something today at regular price, then go to Walmart (in this case) before 11am ask to have the price matched, will they do that…(They have some pijamas for the kids for $3 very cute)Thanks for your answer.

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Anonymous November 25, 2009 at 4:37 pm

i used to do the crazy black friday shopping, but thinking about it, it's quite dangerous, especially if you have kids. the crowds can be overwhelming. i'm going to stay home and put up our christmas tree instead. try shopping online too. QVC is having a black friday event for 5 hours starting thanksgiving night.

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Angela November 25, 2009 at 9:36 pm

I have only done black friday twice and didn't like it much at all. People are so tired and rude it is crazy. I plan on doing my shopping online…I am on bed rest so I have no choice but I have already found amazing deals online in the last few weeks. You just have to know your prices so you know when a good deal is really to be found!

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Freebies4Mom November 24, 2015 at 8:35 pm

Robin left this comment via email:

“Oh my Goodness, Heather- you are SO right! I don’t shop on Black Friday. I plan ahead, like you mentioned, and it’s all good for the holidays.”

-Robin

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