I’ve always been a big advocate of shopping early for Christmas because of all the benefits. It not only helps you financially, but it can also help a lot emotionally. Here are 9 ways Christmas shopping now really helps you.
1. Spreads the cost over a longer period of time. This might seem obvious but doing a little shopping each week, rather than all in the 6 weeks before Christmas can save your budget and help prevent credit card debt. If you’re one who enjoys getting some things right before Christmas, wait to buy just certain inexpensive things such as stocking stuffers.
2. Special deals abound early. Every year deals and special offers, similar to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, are starting earlier and earlier. I expect this year to be no exception. As competition for consumer holiday dollars continues to increase, retailers are offering more and more early sales. Last year some, “pre-holiday” sales were advertised by the end of October.
3. Quality can be a bit higher. Although many retailers offer the same high-quality goods no matter the time of year, not all merchandise offered during special sales is as high in quality. This is because manufacturers create special “runs” especially for sales such as Black Friday so retailers can offer them at specific price points. By shopping early, much of the merchandise found on sale will be “normal run” merchandise, so the quality will be consistent with everyday offerings.
4. Time to find gift card deals. Getting any kind of deal on gift cards can be tough but one way to save is to buy through Swagbucks.com. Another tried and true way is to start watching early for deals. Retailers and restaurants alike offer discounts and special offers on gift cards. Grocers, in particular, like to offer them early. It’s a popular sales-boosting technique to give either a percentage off or an amount off on the cards themselves or toward an entire purchase. Traditionally, the offers vary from week to week, so it’s best to check weekly to see if the ones you need are offered.
5. Knowing what’s a deal and what isn’t. To help you make a list ahead of time, ask those you’ll be buying for to create Amazon wishlists. This method gives you specific information for wanted gifts, as well as giving you a way to have a list anywhere, anytime. It also serves the purpose of giving you information on the average or normal price is for each item. That way, you’ll know you’re getting the best price, whether it’s through Amazon or another marketplace.
6. Clearance is abundant. As retailers need to clear space for holiday merchandise, they put a lot of different items on clearance. You can find everything from clothing to small appliances from household goods to electronics. I recommend taking a few minutes to look through what is offered new each week. You can do this in-person and sometimes even online. Frequently check the websites of your favorite stores for announcements of clearance sales so you know when to go shopping.
1. Less stress. You can take your time and shop more leisurely. This helps you not make rash or impulsive purchases that can blow your budget.
2. More time. By shopping very early, you’ll have time later to do all the things you cherish doing with friends and family during the holiday season. Memory-making activities such as baking cookies, attending parties, and being involved in charitable efforts.
3. Joy in knowing you got the perfect gifts. By starting early, you have time to shop carefully to get those perfect gifts and save money.