The month of December can often be more stressful than enjoyable for many, due to the holiday preparation… most stressful of all being the holiday shopping. During this time of year meant to focus on spending quality time with friends and family, we are overwhelmed with the short amount of time allotted for holiday shopping. Chances are your friends and family will remember the memories of what you did rather than what you bought them anyway.
Even so, it’s nice to buy those you love a little something that shows you care. However, you don’t have to necessarily brave the raging crowds of Black Friday shoppers to get those items. Here are some tips on how to shop stress-free on a budget this holiday season.
1. Avoid Black Friday
Unless you’re willing to waste days sitting at the front of the line at Walmart, then many Black Friday deals you’ll find won’t be all that great–certainly not the best of the year. In fact, many shoppers find better discounts right before Christmas than they do on Black Friday. Typically the items being sold on Black Friday are a popular brand’s more low-end counterparts, so what you lose in price you also lose in quality. If you do want to get your shopping done early, then Cyber Monday is a great way to get deals without having to battle the crowds.
2. Have a Plan
Write out a list of everyone on your shopping list, and then come up with some ideas of gifts that you might like to get them. Then, keep an eye out for discounts before you simply hit the mall in a frenzy. The earlier you create this list and seek out deals on the things you want, the more likely you are to see a nice discount to take advantage of. Join email lists for the stores where you can find each gift, and you’ll probably receive some nice reminders with coupons or deals.
Waiting to get gifts until they go on sale will save you money (even if involves more than one shopping trip), and if you do end up waiting until the last minute to find a good deal, then the item will probably be marked down the week before Christmas anyway.
3. Shop Local
Not only does shopping with small businesses help the local economy, but you can typically find more unique gift ideas and fight fewer crowds when you shop local. As a response to Black Friday, many small businesses have initiated their own “Plaid Friday,” which encourages shoppers to visit local retailers on the day after Thanksgiving, and often has the same great deals that can be found at major retailers on this day.
The Purple Peacock Gift Shop at Southwick’s Zoo will be participating in Plaid Friday this year. Each shopper will receive a free gift with their purchase, plus anyone who spends $50 will also receive a free admission ticket for the zoo’s 2014 season.
Or, if you plan to still be in your tryptophan coma from the day before, you can take advantage of the gift shop’s 12 Days of Christmas specials or half-priced Cyber Monday ticket deals in December. The Purple Peacock has a variety of unique gift items from around the world, many of them perfect for the animal lover in your life. Visit us this holiday shopping season!
What has been the best gift you’ve ever received?