Shopping Tips for Christmas 2008

With Christmas less than a month away, here are some shopping tips and suggestions that can save you money and help reduce the time you spend shopping.

Department Stores

* Before you shop, make your gift list.

* Assign a dollar value to each gift and stick to it.

* If you shop at department stores, plan on arriving early in the morning and at the beginning of the week.

* Go directly to the department where you’ll find your gift items.

* Try not to stray from your destination by browsing.

* Pay with cash whenever possible or use a debit card.

* If there are sales in any given week, arrange to arrive early and buy several of the same items in case you need an extra gift. Check your local newspapers daily.

* If you have to use a credit card, bring only one with you. Pay off the purchase when the bill is received.

* Give yourself two or three days to complete your holiday shopping.

Online Shopping

* Only shop on secure websites. Look for the lock at the bottom right hand corner of the website as well as the "https" in the URL on the payment page.

* Use one credit card only for all purchases.

* Go to coupon sites to check what merchandise is available with a discount.

* After you have placed your order, clear your history on the computer.

* Never leave your computer on after you have made purchases. Clear your cache, history, and shut it down. (This applies to cable modem users).

* Ensure that the website has an address and telephone and/or online communication in case there is a problem.

* Most well-known sites will send you an email immediately after purchase to confirm.

* Print out all purchases. Keep track of confirmation numbers as well as tracking numbers.

* Ensure that your computer has the most updated security software.

* Check your credit report in January. You are allowed free access annually.

If you carry cash, try carrying a pouch that you can wear either around your waist or around your neck. Never leave your purse open in a store and always keep your purse close to the front of your body. Make sure you leave the store with your credit card, and always be vigilant about the people around you, especially when retrieving money from an ATM machine.

These are just some tips and suggestions to think about during the Christmas holiday shopping season. You may have some other great ideas of your own that have offered you a pleasant shopping experience.

What are your some of your favorite tips for shopping for Christmas 2008?


Irene said...

That is an awesome list-- I especially like the point you made about turning off your computer and clearing the cache and history and turning it off. Great tip for safety!

Lisette said...

Those are all great tips. I just wanted to add that it's a good idea to make a budget before you start shopping. Decide how much you can afford (preferably w/out credit cards) and then figure out what the maximum is you will spend on each person.

We made a budget of $400 initially but upped it to $475 after my hubby got a bonus. We are spending $100 on each of our 3 kids (our 2 yr old daughter is done, 10 yr old son and 1 yr old son are both halfway done) and $20 max for each member of our extended family. We did split the cost of something for hubby's uncle that cost us about $48, but he's done so much for us this year and it's something he can get a lot of use out of. Mother-in-law is getting slippers, gloves and a framed 11x14 scrapbook page of her grandkids. For most of my family I spent significantly less thanm $20 but still bought things they can use.


EJ Cooksey said...

Irene: Thanks for stopping by.

Lisette: Great job on your Christmas budget!

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