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. Remember that the reason stores are opening earlier than ever, and the deals sound so hot is that retailers are trying to create a “shopping frenzy”. Don’t fall for it – be smart and stick to your budget!
My mom and I talked 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.” – Mom
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 (she’s an expert bargain-hunter and avid garage-saler). 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:
Tip #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.
Tip #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.
Tip #3: Don’t Hesitate to Return
Keep all of your receipts. 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.
Tip #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. (image credit: Ben Rushton)
Please share your tips, what do you do to avoid “shopping frenzy”?
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Thank you. I always avoid impulse buying and only shop online with coupons. I think, coupon codes is the best way to some money.
Thanks for all the awesome tips!! I will be avoiding the crowds, and doing my shopping online :) Your Mom is absolutely right, it’s easy to get carried away and buy things when you see others doing it. We will be spending our time putting the Christmas tree up, cleaning and organizing after Thanksgiving prep :) Maybe if I see some truly good deals on things my family needs, I may venture out to the store :) Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!
Thanks for all the
I live a half hour from a big city but only 5 from my small town. I shop only in my small town. It’s not crazy and it’s easy to get their deals – of which there are plenty. The prices aren’t as amazing but they’re still great. I’ll get going when I feel like it so I’ll be well rested after all the cooking and shopping preparing for Thanksgiving. I’m debating on some of the good online deals. My other plans will be to begin taking down my fall decor and putting up Christmas decor as the mood strikes. Happy Thanksgiving! :)
1. If It Doesn’t Fit, Leave It. Unless you’re certain that you or your gift recipient can wear it on Christmas, don’t buy it now.
2. It’s The Product Not The Price. If you’re not familiar with the brand, don’t be tempted by cute packaging at a bargain price unless your gift recipient collects cute boxes.
3. Don’t Drink And Shop. Remember why they give you free drinks in Vegas! After a glass of wine, think twice about shopping at a store or online.
4. Before You Check Out. Take a lap around the store and consider your items. It will make you more likely to discard impulsive picks, affirm your choices, and count towards your daily exercise requirement.:)
Great tips, Mary – I especially like “don’t drink & shop”
Enjoying the Thanksgiving with my family… Have a wonderful bless Day… Thank you for the tips…Doing my shopping online…(:
These are great tips. What do I do to avoid the frenzy? I don’t participate. :-) My oldest daughter and her best friend will be out of the house by 5 a.m., but she has a well-thought-out plan and list so she doesn’t do too many impulse buying. It helps too that she doesn’t like to let go of her money. LOL… I normally shop online and only go to the stores when absolutely necessary!
These are great tips! I do a lot of shopping online, and even then it’s hard for me to avoid impulse purchases. After an “impulse purchase” sits in my cart for several hours or days, it becomes something I “need.” Thank goodness for physical stores that accept returns for online purchases!