Whether you love the holidays, or they drain you completely, chances are you have some holiday shopping you have to do. Do yourself a favor and make it as easy as possible.

Here are just a few ways to save you time, energy and money during the holiday season. And we could all save on all those things, right?

1 - Plan for the Gifts: Write down what you plan on getting everyone, and come up with some back-up ideas just in case you can't find what you're looking for. This saves you a lot of time, instead of just wandering the aisles of ten different stores hoping something will "jump out at you." Write it all down and be confident in your gift ideas.

2 - Plan for the Shopping: Don't just head out to a store, assuming they're going to have exactly what you're looking for. Search on store websites, and plan a few places to go as backups in case the store you're sure is going to have a gift, actually doesn't. Make a list of the places you want to go, and start planning your shopping trip so you're not running around in circles. If you're heading to Toy's R Us, Sangertown Square, and Hannaford, it makes sense to head to Hannaford, Toy's R Us, and then the mall. That way if Toy's R Us or Hannaford doesn't have what you need, Sangertown may. You'll have a lot more options, and won't have to head to the mall, then to Toy's R Us, then back to the mall.

3 - Make One Trip: If you plan accordingly, you can get all your shopping done in one big trip. If you don't have that kind of time (to dedicate a whole day to shopping), break it up so you can make each trip more efficient. Head to New Hartford one day, head to Herkimer another day. If you're constantly running out for odds and ends for gifts, you'll end up wasting a lot of time.

4 - Online Shopping: Most of us do a lot of shopping online as it is. If you can't find what you're looking for at a store (that you were sure they should have it), buy it online. You don't want to waste time looking in five different stores for one item on your list and coming up short. Honestly, if you want to save all the time and energy, you could do all your shopping online, you just may have to get rush delivery on a few items so they make it in time for Christmas.

5 - Wrap Your Gifts as Soon as You Get Them: This tip we stole from Deb Cabral, the DeClutter Coach. And she's absolutely right. Instead of putting all the bags in a pile and waiting until later, wrap them and get it done with. The sooner you wrap them, the sooner you'll be done. And you won't misplace any gifts (like I have already done this year). You can make your wrapping even easier by creating a "Gift Wrapping Station." Details are in the link below:

As you can see, you can save a lot of time and energy and even money by planning. Sure, it takes a few minutes to come up with a concrete plan, but those few minutes can save you hours in the long run. And gas money, so you're not running all over the place, ten different times. We hope these holiday shopping tips can help you out this holiday season and make things a little less stressful. Good luck out there.



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