Doesn't it seem like every year your Holiday shopping list gets bigger in bigger? Note to self: next year become a hermit, it's cheaper. But, alas, this year you have many friends/family members/coworkers/neighbors/vague acquaintances you might run in to...to shop for. So what do you do to keep your budget in check this Holiday season? Hunt for the best deals of course, which means you have to charge into the craziness that ensues immediately after (sometimes during) every Thanksgiving Day... Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday.
Here are 5 things you can do pre-holiday shopping to get the best deals on the best gifts for everyone on your list.
1. Sign up for email newsletters from the stores you might want to shop
Most stores will announce their Black Friday/ Cyber Monday deals beforehand via e-mail. Some may also do special deals only for people who get their newsletters. Signing up for their newsletters is a great way to get ahead of the game and check out the deals early, which leads to the next thing...
2. Check out the merchandise Ahead of Time
It's always a good idea to take some time just clicking around your favorite stores' website to get an idea of what they have and who it could be for. A lot of stores will have curated gift guides you can check out too if your stumped on what to get that random co-worker for your company's yankee swap/secret santa/ white elephant gift exchange.
3. Strategize your shopping Attack
Once you've received the Black Friday/Cyber Monday newsletters you can start deciding which deals you want to take advantage of and when. Some retailers will do certain deals at certain times throughout the day/weekend. By looking at things beforehand and making a schedule, you'll be one step ahead of everyone else running around like a chicken with their head cut off, which means you'll be the one to get that super amazing thing that everyone wants before it's sold out.
4. Follow your favorite companies on their social networks
In addition to deals via e-mail. Some companies might do special deals/giveaways for people that follow them on their social networks like Twitter. Keeping an eye on their updates throughout the day, may mean you could be treated to an extra gift from retail Santa.
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5. Last but most importantly...ENJOY YOUR THANKSGIVING!
It's all well and good to be responsible with your budget and shop for the holidays accordingly, but don't forget, time with friends and family comes first. 10 years from now you wont look back and remember that awesome deal you got, but you will remember all the laughs you shared when your wacky Uncle Norm showed up to the family dinner with a baby orangutan drinking hot cocoa. Everything is about balance, so make sure you chew slowly and enjoy that home-cooked meal in the company of loved ones, before heading into the madness of deals, sales, and savings.