Tsue ~ That's What She Said: Top Five Last Minute Holiday Shopping Tips - Finishing Up Your List Just In Time

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Top Five Last Minute Holiday Shopping Tips - Finishing Up Your List Just In Time

Every holiday season, I vow to myself that I will start earlier for next year.  While I usually let myself down, finding myself yet again shopping for Christmas up until the last minute, I have gleaned some tips and tricks to ease my shopping pain.

1)  Know Your Deadline
Whether the lingering items on your list are many or few, take a few moments to explore online how late your targeted stores are open on Christmas Eve.  While most retailers start closing down between 5 and 6 pm, specialty and small business may shut their doors sooner.  Other retailers, such as Macy's, Kmart, Walgreens, Target and Toys R Us historically stay open later to accommodate straggling and struggling shoppers.

For the 2011 holiday shopping season, most Target locations will be open until 9pm, most Kmart locations and some Toys R US stores until 10pm.  Most 24 hour Walgreens stores will stay open throughout the holiday.  Confirm your local store's holiday hours before you head out, saving you from wasting time and leaving empty handed.

            Check Holiday Hours
Macy's       Target        Walmart       Kmart       Toys R Us      Walgreens

2)  Develop A Plan of Attack
Armed with your list and targeted store closing hours (if you don't have a list - see tip #5 and good luck to you!) develop your strategy for hitting each store, starting with those the close the earliest.  Additionally, you will want to consider travel time, as well as which stores will likely have the most traffic (those that offer general merchandise as well as grocery).  Although I've been hesitant to step foot in the mall, I've often found that the traffic is much more shopper friendly, with shorter lines than at single store locations, enabling me to knock out several items from my list in short time.  

3)  Do Your Research Before You Leave
Checking store stock levels online, as well as comparison searching for features and prices will save you tremendous amounts of time.  When your list is very specific, the last thing you want to discover is that the store is out of your desired item, after you arrive.  Just a few moments online and you'll be able to see who has it, as well as compare prices, leaving you time to alter your shopping game plan as needed.  If a store shows low stock levels, you may want to bump it up in your stop itinerary.

4)  For The Love of Pete, Grocery Shop Ahead of  Time
Nothing will drive the holiday spirit from your person more than trying to grocery shop and gift shop at the same time.  Although the draw of the possibility of killing two birds with one stone may be attractive during other times of the year, stores that allow shopping for both are the busiest during the last hours of the holiday shopping season.  If you find that you need to pick up groceries last minute, make that your first trip, as early in the day as possible, leaving the rest of your day free for stress free gift buying.

5) Conquer Gift Idea Crisis
Whether you are in short supply of great gift ideas or the gift you were hoping to grab is not available, no need to panic.  With retailers already anticipating your querying, simply browsing your favorite stores will inspire your gift giving muse, as all will have no shortage of gift themed displays.  Again, I highly recommend a mall or multi department store, supplying you with the largest variety to meet the most of your needs.  If this is the direction you select, be certain to check targeted retailers online sites, as many will offer special discounts and coupon savings to entice you to spend the last of your holiday shopping dollars with them.

Can't find the all important gift your recipient is hoping for in stock?  Is the present you ordered online delayed in shipping?  While having the actual gift in hand is certainly ideal, printing out a picture of the gift online, and including the anticipated delivery date in a handwritten note will certainly suffice and your recipient will appreciate your efforts.

Bonus Tip:
Most importantly, remembering the reason for the season will help you to put your last minute shopping into perspective and de stress your shopping adventure.  What to do for those on your list that have everything?  A donation to a local charity in their name is a wonderful way to both give, as well as give back.

What are your tried and true holiday shopping survival tips?
Share them with me in a comment below, I'd love to know!

 The opinions above are both honest and of my own experience.   Gift Image


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...