Holiday shopping tips

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Lighten your load to best enjoy the holiday
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A holiday is stressless when some easy shopping tips prevail

An award for the best in holiday shopping tips must always go to those tips that save time, money and energy. The holidays too often crest in a hectic confrontation between merchants and money spenders. What size? What color? What’s the cost? How big is too big? How small is small enough to be appreciated but big enough to be noticed in the annual cascade of brightly wrapped gifts? Holiday shopping tips worth noting can bring a touch of peace and quiet to the foray. Sometimes, such tips are conducive to making one’s silent scream of no-no-no into the joyous exclamation, ho-ho-ho. The first priority preceding the distribution of beribboned packages to all who need them is to plan, plan and plan ahead. Whether the recipients are youngsters, teens or adults, consider ways to complete the shopping list in one swoop. Utilize malls and multi-department retail stores. Better yet, shop online for things you can decide upon at leisure—things you don’t need to carry in your arms. Online items ranging from gift baskets to apparel to electronics and healthy home gizmos such as counter-top water distillers and ecologically advanced home water purifiers are shipped quickly and can be returned with little hassle. If holiday shopping tips encourage planning ahead, go with the flow. But, do things early for the least amount of stress.

Tips to keep you sane

It takes a rested and relaxed consumer to make the wise choices that result in buying high-quality gifts at reasonable prices. Consider some holiday shopping tips that prepare you physically and mentally for battle. When planning a day of shopping, get enough rest the night before. If getting a comfy, deep sleep is a problem on the night before a big shopping trip, consider adding to your bedtime rituals some relaxation music, meditation music or other effective sleep solutions that will help you wake refreshed. Realize too that some holiday shopping tips are related to physical comfort. Don’t attempt a rigorous shopping spree on an empty stomach. Wear comfortable shoes. And drink water. Experts agree that a sense of fatigue often can be traced to a lack of hydration. So drink up—and pep up. The advice and other hints are among the best of holiday shopping tips.

• Get plenty of rest before a shopping spree
• Drink water and hydrate your body and brain
• Try to get a full night’s rest before shopping day
• Bring roomy fabric tote bags to avoid overloading
• Wear gloves to cushion hands from the handles of bags
• Agree on a rendezvous point if shopping with others
• Leave kids at home if time is of the essence
• Take a snack rather than taking time out for lunch

Tips to keep you solvent

Holiday shopping tips that help consumers avoid overspending are among the most welcome tips. Some revealing trends are reported by the American Research Group (ARG), an organization that has conducted telephone surveys since 1985. Some of the group’s highlights could help formulate effective holiday shopping tips when applied to individual habits. What seems apparent in the reports is that holiday spending is deeply curtailed in recent years. People buying on the Internet and through online catalogs tend to save money on purchases. Others may wait for retail sales at local stores, yet there are those who prefer the quick-and-easy convenience of paying full price instead of bargain shopping or waiting for a sale. The ARG report on holiday spending might serve as a heads-up for shoppers tempted to ignore holiday shopping tips whose intent is to help them save money. The goal always is to buy the best for less.

• Seek out 2-for-1 deals to get an extra gift, free
• Investigate discounts if buying a dozen items
• Ask about irregulars that are fine but marked down
• Use Internet searches to discover discount coupons
• Ask if there are discounts for senior citizen buyers
• Think about buying hand-made, local art or craft items
• Buy gifts throughout the year and beat the crowds

When in doubt, get creative

The danger of getting in over one’s head is a real one at holiday time—a time when others seem to be spending dollars as if they grow on evergreen trees. When money is tight, creativity hatches other plans. What are your skills? Are you a kitchen whiz? How about making some homemade candy recipes and presenting the tasty treats in decorated gift boxes? Can you teach piano? Are your wood carvings in demand? There is a way to do anything at a modest cost, especially if you are a good cook and a little imagination is brought into the mix. Hmmm. Cake mix…cookie mix…trail mix.

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