How To Knock Out Your Christmas Shopping | Alyssa J Freitas: How To Knock Out Your Christmas Shopping

December 4, 2019

How To Knock Out Your Christmas Shopping

It's that time of year, where the world falls in love...and goes crazy with everyone buying gifts! I'm not one for gift guides (though I did create a Minimalist Gift Guide in 2016 that I still stand by) so that won't be my contribution this year. Instead I thought we could talk about how to efficiently and economically knock out your Christmas shopping so you can spend your time enjoying the holidays instead of spinning in circles looking for the perfect gift (unless that's your thing, then go for it!).
Click to read now or pin to save for later! Check out my top tips for doing all of your Christmas shopping efficiently and effectively
Photo by Ally Marcino

Let's talk money

First thing's first, budgeting for the holidays is important and essential. I've pretty much done away with big gifts for my girl friends as we've agreed to spend time together and forego the expense of a physical gift. When it comes to family we don't exchange gifts, or it's a small token, so we make things very easy! 

If it isn't possible for you to scale back the number or size of your gifts, there are a few ways you can save on your holiday shopping. I explain discount gift cards in this post, as well as searching for coupons and buying second hand. I'd recommend installing the Honey plugin to keep on top of available discounts. 

Now on to actually figuring out what gifts you want to buy

I am a huge advocate of spreadsheets because you can adjust them to your needs, but I know other people prefer to manage their lives on pen and paper or in a note app, so pick whatever floats your boat. If you go the spreadsheet method you can create a list of people you need to shop for, assign budgets and actuals, and keep track of your progress and spending all in one place. My recommendation is to have a column for your loved ones' names, what you want to spend, what you actually end up spending, and a link or description of each gift.

Some of the best gifts I've given have been experiences (like the best purchase I made in 2016), so you can brainstorm outside of the classic physical gift. Other favorite gifts have come from unlikely places, like Costco (high quality and you can shop for so many people in one place). Here are some videos you can check out for extended gift guides that I enjoyed watching - one and two

So where's this method for knocking it all that you promised?

There isn't one perfect way to get all of your holiday shopping done, so here's what's worked for me - take what makes sense for you and leave the rest behind! 

Try to get as much from one store as possible. Remember me mentioning Costco as an example? Finding places where you can get gifts for multiple people (pulling from the ideas you already have laid out in your spreadsheet) can be a huge help. 

Shop online from places you already know. One of the challenges of online shopping is not being 100% sure of the quality of what you're going to get. If you opt to shop online do so well in advance to avoid any shipping related fiascos and go with places you already know. 

Go early. Aside from making sure that items are in stock and you can get everything you want, I'm also referring to going early in the day. Everywhere is going to be crowded on the weekend and on week nights. There's no avoiding it. Since that's the case, going when the stores open will help you beat the crowds, have a better experience, and increase your chances of getting everything you need in one fell swoop. 

You still have a few weeks before it's time to exchange gifts, so get on it and use these tips to knock it out of the park!

What's the gift you're most excited to give this year?

-Alyssa J

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