According to ABC News, the four-day run-up to Christmas is the busiest for retailers nationwide. That means killer crowds inside the mall, traffic jams outside the mall, and not a parking space in sight. Once again you’ve procrastinated, and now it’s the eleventh hour. To complete your shopping faster, better and more affordably, we’ve got some savvy suggestions.
#1) Map out your shopping itinerary for speed, convenience, and gas savings. Allot a set amount of time for each shopping stop, and push yourself to stay on schedule.
#2) Stick to your gift list. This is no time to let your imagination run wild. Buy what you intended to buy, and then move on to the next item on your list.
#3) If your nerves can take it, turn your last-minute shopping into a windfall. On December 23 and 24, retailers are desperate to clear out their shelves, which means there are great bargains to be had.
#4) Shop online to avoid the crowds. And to find the best deals, visit user-based websites designed to point consumers toward the biggest savings.
#5) Put online gifts in your shopping cart and then cancel the order. In a few seconds, a pop-up will appear to lure you back at a bigger discount.
#6) Shop at off-peak hours, i.e. early in the morning or late at night. The merchandise will be more accessible, and the lines at the register will be shorter.
#7) Tapped out of gift ideas? Hit some local flea markets and garage sales. You’ll find a treasure trove of interesting, untraditional options. What’s more, it’s fun and you’ll save a bundle.
#8) Get crafty. Decorate a picture frame. Turn a lampshade into a work of art. Or string beads for bracelets and necklaces. After wandering through a craft store, you’ll find lots of handiwork that’s easy to do, and homemade gifts are always the most beloved.