Save Time and Money + Make This Christmas less stressful
3 Steps to Get Control of Your Holiday Shopping List
How do you usually feel over the month of December? Full of holiday joy or simply exhausted from the explosion that happens on your to-do list? There is so much extra on our plates – shopping, cooking, parties and that d@mn elf on the shelf. It can feel like you’re on a hamster wheel, which sucks the joy right out of everything.
This post focuses on 3 steps that will help you get control of the holiday stress by planning ahead for all your shopping.
It’s time to get ahead of the holiday, to spread out the work and find some simple strategies for gaining control of the holiday choas.
Here are 3 steps to get control of your holiday shopping list. A great way to hammer out the majority of your list is to take advantage of the on-line sales the day on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
But, you can’t wing it. You need a plan to take full advantage. Plus this plan will be great for anything you don’t find on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Here are the 3 steps to prepare now so that you can attack your Christmas shopping list, quickly hitting what you need and saving money at the same time.
1. Write your list
Captain obvious, right? Keep reading, I have some more ideas than just writing it all down.
Have you ever had a Christmas where you finished your shopping early and felt so calm and happy with yourself. Then, on Christmas eve, panic sets in because you realize you forgot Aunt Betty who will be at Christmas dinner the next day. You frantically try to figure out if you should go to the grocery store (the only store still open by the time you realize this) and pick out something resembling a thoughtful gift, or if you should re-gift something to her. Those one or two people who you forget can add so much stress!
Or, maybe you feel like your shopping is 100% under control and you start to relax. Then, your neighbor stops by with an awesome plate of Christmas cookies and you have nothing to give her. You feel so bad.
The key to success is to write out the FULL shopping list, put everything on there – include the obvious like the kid’s Santa gifts to the less obvious like hostess gifts.
Here is a checklist for you to use, it has everything on there ranging from the kid’s Santa gift to trays of Christmas cookies for the neighbor, and everything in between. I call it the Ultimate Holiday Survival Checklist, fun huh?
The Ultimate Holiday Survival Checklist
(As a quick bonus tip: have your kids capture their wants on their own individual Amazon wish list. It makes it easy to share with family, and for you to make final decisions on what to buy them and for Santa to bring).
2. Set up your cash back strategy (especially important for Black Friday and Cyber Monday)
I LOVE saving money, and feeling like I got a good deal, don’t you? Plus, it makes the Christmas budget go so much further.
Here are a few resources that I LOVE for saving money, and I’m guessing you will too. If you set these up now, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running when the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales start to pop up.
- Ebates – I start EVERY online purchase from Ebates. It is a free website that offers cash-back from its participating merchants. You start your shopping by going to Ebates. Then, you link to the store from which you want to purchase. These stores include favorites like Amazon, Target, and Shutterfly. They typically offer 1%-10% back for buying what you already planned. They often increase the % back significantly on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, watch for those. Then, they send you a quarterly check of all the cash you’ve earned! So, you can save $ by just adding one step. Try launching your shopping from Ebates instead of going directly to the store. Here’s my referral link for a $10 credit on your account.
- Earny – Earny is free service that monitors your credit card purchases and refunds you the difference if the price drops within 90 days. Most of us forget about this, but our credit cards have a price protection feature. Earnly monitors your purchases for you (on any qualifying cards you register with them) and then they process the price match requests for you. They take a cut of your refund, but it’s well worth it because this is money most of us would never even realize we’re owed back by our credit card companies! Woohoo, free money!
3. Execute on your plan
- Pace yourself – Don’t spend the entire Thanksgiving weekend online. I like to spend an hour after the kids go to bed on Thanksgiving night going through my list and checking for deals. Then, I repeat that early on Black Friday morning before the kids wake up and again throughout the weekend and Cyber Monday. This shopping can be really easy if you made your plan in advance and know what you want to buy.
- Consolidate your shopping by store to reduce the amount of time online and the trips to the store. Check out this downloadable ‘Ultimate Holiday Survival Checklist‘ which helps you to organize what you need to buy and from where. After you complete it, you’ll have a list of everything you need by store and so you can plan your shopping (both in-store and on-line) as efficiently as possible.
After you finish the checklist, you you can just hop onto Ebates, link to the store you want to search, look up the items you need to buy and, if the price is good, buy it and check it off the list.
I hope you are able to use these 3 steps to help you get control of your holiday shopping list. By following these steps, you can thoroughly prep for all your shopping, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the holiday season. I’ve included many more tips in the free Ultimate Holiday Survival Checklist, which you can download below.
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Thanks for reading!
Here’s to you crushing motherhood,