11 Shopping Tips to Help You Survive the Holiday Madness ...

If you’re planning on heading out this holiday season, be sure you follow some very important holiday shopping tips! If you aren’t a planned shopper, the madness won’t only stress you out, but also cost you money and tire you out. Be sure to follow these 11 holiday shopping tips so you can shop your way to savings all day long and actually enjoy it!

1. Get up Early

Every shopper knows that one of the best holiday shopping tips is to get up early. Most places will have a line that you’ll have to wait in, and you might miss out on a deal if you’re not there first thing.

2. Fuel up

If you’re going to indulge in Starbucks, that’s perfectly dandy, but be sure you also fuel up with some food. Good choices that won’t leave you sleepy and fatigued from heavy digestion are lean protein, possibly some low sugar fruit and keep your carbs complex so they don’t spike your glycemic index. The perfect choice are some egg whites, ¼ cup oatmeal and ½ cup berries, or a protein shake with protein powder, some spinach, berries and Greek yogurt. You’ll be fueled up and ready to go all morning long. Coffee is also a great option here as the caffeine will keep your energy up for a few hours as well.

3. Carry Your Coupons

Don’t leave home without your coupons! Many specials are only applicable when you bring in the coupons, or special flyers. Stores uses these as incentives to get people in their stores, and many won’t honor it without the coupon.

4. Check Online First

To avoid much of the madness with missing a deal that you saw advertised, always check online right before you leave. Many stores will send out e-blasts or better deals, along with updating you on what deals occur at different times.

5. Carry Shopping Bags

I always recommend carrying some of those fold up grocery bags or shopping bags with you. Most store bags are plastic and can be very uncomfortable to carry. They also hurt your hands after a while. Instead, carry larger shopping bags to put all your stuff in, but leave them in the original store bag and keep your receipt in case you get stopped by security.

6. Hold onto Your Bags

Holiday shopping is one of the worst times for theft, so be sure while you’re browsing around and getting your bargain that you hold onto all your bags, especially your purse. Thieves are pretty tricky and before you know, they may have stolen your goods.

7. Bring a List

If you don’t come prepared with a list, you might end up spending way over budget, or forget a gift. You might also take unnecessary time trying to remember who you’re buying for. I always jot down ideas for each of my gift recipients and write what stores I am most likely to find gifts for each person at. This way, I don’t forget anyone, and I don’t spend hours looking for a gift at a place I’m not likely to find one for a certain person.

8. Buy Your Supplies Smart

Last minute shopping can make you succumb to buying all your wrapping supplies at the department store, or at pricier stores that offer such things. Instead, plan ahead and get all your wrapping supplies at dollar stores, or supercenters. You’ll get a much better deal, and you won’t have to stress last minute over spending too much money on them, or forgetting them.

9. Park as Close as Possible

The best part about leaving early, is you’ll get a closer parking space. This isn’t just smart because it saves you walking, but instead, it’s safer if you know you’ll be coming out in the parking lot after dark. You never want to walk to your car alone at night in a far off place, or area that isn’t well lit. When you park your car, be prepared for the situation you’ll be walking into if it’s dark out when you leave.

10. Carry Healthy Snacks

You should also be sure to bring some healthy snacks with you so you don’t find yourself starving and fuel up on Cinnabon and pizza at the last minute. Good options include trail mix, fruit and nut bars, plain almonds, and even homemade whole grain muffins. Also be sure to eat smart when you do eat out during the day to keep your energy levels up.

11. Be Aware of Sales Tactics

Holiday workers will do just about anything to get you to buy something. I know, because I’ve been there. They work off commission for the large part, and prey on holiday shoppers looking for a deal. Avoid sales tactics that tempt you into getting a deal by saying you might miss out, or are too pushy. Instead, know what deals exist in the stores before you arrive, and what items you’re looking for so you don’t get jipped, or get pushed into buying something you don’t need.

If you have a holiday shopping tip, please do share it! We can all learn from each other and I’d love to know how you shop smart during the holidays? What’s your best seasonal shopping tip?