plan. save. organize.

Holiday Shopping Prep Guide

When it comes to the holiday shopping season, the early bird gets the (sale). This makes October an optimal time to think about your plan of attack. Follow our tips on getting a head start on your shopping strategy and tame your holiday shopping before it starts.

Start NOW! Make a list of the stores you’re interested in and sign up for all their communications:  Subscribe to e-mails, like their Facebook pages, follow them on Key Ring, set Google alerts, etc. This way, you’ll be the first to know about any sales that might happen between now and Christmas. Way to be ahead of the curve!

Set a budget (and stick to it): Decide how much you want to spend on holiday shopping overall and on each individual item you’ve planned to purchase. Having this number in mind from early on will help you keep focus as sales teasers start to come in.

Keep saving those rewards… you’ll want them later: If you have rewards cards or credit cards that offer cash back, hold off on redeeming them until you begin your holiday shopping. Many of these rewards can be used in conjunction with coupons, which means even higher savings.

Start shopping now: October is so close to November that we might be tempted to hold off on shopping until the deals start coming in. However, there are some items that are actually a better deal in October than during the holiday season.

What’s okay to buy now:

– Summer furniture
– Yard equipment
– Jeans
– Airline fares for holiday trips

Hold off on these until the holidays:

– Winter clothes (other than jeans)
– Electronics
– DVDs
– Video games

Have some hot, in-demand items on your list? Tackle those first, and as soon as possible. Chances are there won’t be many sales on these items, and if you wait too long there might actually be a mark-up. Toy retailers have already released lists of their hottest toys. Check them! If you see something you need to buy, buy NOW. You probably don’t want your shopping to turn out like this:

Happy pre-holiday planning! Did we miss any tips? Let us know in the comments!

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