Home / Smart Shopping Tips / 28 Expert Mommies Share Their Secrets for Surviving Holiday Shopping

 

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Holiday shopping is extremely stressful, especially if you’re already juggling all of the daily tasks of being a good mom. If you’re not going to have one of our staff members do your shopping for you (for free) this holiday season, we reached out to some of the most popular mommy bloggers for a little help.

Mommies everywhere rejoice! 28 bloggers (or “expert moms” as I like to call them!) responded with their best-kept secrets and advice to juggling the horrors of holiday shopping with the treasures of being a mom. We’re so grateful to all of our participants – make sure to check out their websites and follow them on Twitter/Facebook for more helpful resources!

Without further ado, here are some of the world’s savviest moms to help you survive holiday shopping this year:

Save Time, Money, and Your Sanity this Holiday Season

We asked our expert moms one of two questions:

What’s your #1 tip or piece of advice for shopping moms this holiday season?

-OR-

What’s your #1 tip or piece of advice for saving money when shopping this holiday season?

Here’s what they had to say:

“Take advantage of online shopping! You won’t have to hire a babysitter or try to go shopping with your kids in tow – thanks to online shopping, you can do it all from your couch during naptime!”

— Janessa from ThriftyNiftyMommy.com 

“Set a budget, make your list of gifts needed early and shop with a plan in mind. Watch those sales and check Amazon.com and Target.com often.”

— Karrie from HappyMoneySaver.com 

“Don’t forget what the season is all about. It’s not about having the most presents under the tree – it’s about spending quality time with family and friends and making memories that last a life time. Instead of stressing out over what to buy or standing in long lines for the “must have” toy of the season, why not consider other “gifts” you could give your family instead like a day out sleigh riding, going into the woods to cut down your Christmas tree, going caroling around town with neighbors and friends or other fun things you can do together. Years from now your child won’t remember that toy they opened on Christmas morning but they WILL remember all the great times your family had together, and that is the greatest gift you could give.”

— Kimberly from SheScribes.com 

“Start early to avoid the rushed feeling and long shipping times or long lines close to the holidays!”

— Scarlet from FamilyFocusBlog.com 

“Shop online – there are so many more options, shipping is likely free (if it’s not you can typically find the same item with free shipping elsewhere), you can use rewards, and more often than not I find better deals by shopping online.”

— Jennifer from JennsBlahBlahBlog.com 

“Stay organized! Keep a list of what you’ve bought or ordered, how much you’ve spent and so on. I use a spreadsheet with a section for each person. I have a columns for the item’s name, place it was purchased, amount paid, retail price (if I got it on sale), whether it has arrived yet (if I ordered online) and even whether I’ve wrapped it yet! It really helps me to see what I’ve bought and what I’m waiting on. I also keep a smaller version of the list in my purse with just item names so I can refer back to it when I’m shopping. I learned to do that after buying three of the exact same Skylanders two years ago!”

— Nicole from PrettyOpinionated.com 

“Start shopping early so you can watch for sales! Many of the top gift ideas go on sale in the weeks leading up to the holidays. Putting off shopping to the last minute means you may get stuck paying higher prices or miss out on the hottest gifts of the season as they sell out.”

— Janel from AMomsTake.com 

“Keep a watch on daily deal websites like Groupon and Pick Your Plum. We’ve been able to get great deals on gifts this way. We watch all year long with Christmas in mind.”

— Stacy from StacyMakesSense.com 

“Shop online as much as possible. Not only will you save time by avoiding traffic and crowds you’ll save money by having less distractions and more tools at your finger tips. While there are plenty of mobile apps you can utilize and the ability research products from your mobile phone, it’s much harder to do while standing in a store trying to make a decision. With so many free shipping offers and low price deals during the holidays, it makes sense to shop online. Plus, you can shop from your couch in your pajamas after the kids have gone to bed!”

— Holly from MommiesWithCents.com 

“Make a list, a budget, and shop early. This way you are not running around to find something that is out of stock or paying extra shipping fees.”

— Colleen from ShibleySmiles.com 

“Study the sales, research the ads, get to know the market, and do not wait until the last minute!”

— Katie from MommyKatie.com 

“In the past, family members send out a mass email with a “wish list” so we all have ideas. But then the child almost always receives duplicate items.

What I’ve done is create a list of a few things that my husband and I would like to give her, and we are not sharing those ideas with anyone. In terms of ideas for our family, we created a Christmas “Wish List” on the Toys R Us website. It works much like a registry where people can look up your name and view items on it. What has been purchased and what hasn’t will be indicted on the list, hopefully eliminating receiving several of the same thing. We also urge people to shop on Black Friday and look for online coupons or promo codes to save a few bucks.

— Sue from SueParke.com 

“Check out bloggers’ Holiday Gift Guides! Bloggers personally receive, use, and review products for the purpose of providing consumer opinions on new products.”

— Lisa from Planet Weidknecht 

“Set aside a fun day of holiday shopping with a close friend. You can reduce the stress of holiday shopping by adding fun elements, such as enjoying lunch and some spa time in between stores. Find someone to watch the kids while you go shopping, so you can enjoy a little “‘me” time with a friend. Holiday shopping *can* be fun!”

— Jennifer from EightyMPHMom.com 

“Don’t stress! The holidays are about more than just gift giving, so don’t go frantic trying to find something that might seem unattainable. Check out some popular blogs for other gift ideas instead! “

— Melissa from Outnumbered3-1.com 

“Have a plan for gifting and stick to the plan as much as is reasonable and possible. If your kids are anything like mine, they will be adding to their wish list every day between now and Christmas. Save your sanity and make note of the things they desire, but don’t rush out to get every last thing they mention. Stick to the plan.”

— Virginia from ThatBaldChick.com 

“Shopping during the holidays can be stressful if you are going to shop in traditional brick and mortar stores opt for early afternoon during the week. If you can avoid shopping in store opt for online shopping you can easily compare prices and there are no lines and no fuss. I always recommend finding it online first because the time and money you can save is invaluable.”

— Danielle from FitnessFashionista.com 

“Choose shopping days that aren’t busy. This may mean missing out on some of the better deals, but it also saves a lot of stress. Who wants stress on Christmas?”

— Renae from MostlyTogetherMommy.com 

“Take advantage of black Friday and cyber Monday prices but also explore the idea of using coupons on other shopping days leading up to the holidays. Some stores allow you to combine store coupons with manufacturer coupons to get great discounts on the products you’re looking to buy.”

— Cristen from TheNaptimeReviewer.com 

“Even if you have a gifting budget for each individual, don’t feel like you have to spend it all. Let’s say you find a great gift your recipient would love on a sales or clearance rack — instead of counting that sales price toward your final total, swap out the regular price instead. This gives your budget a bit more breathing room, and your friends and family won’t even know the difference!”

— Kalyn from CreativeSavingsBlog.com 

“Don’t get caught up in the Black Friday masses in-store. Amazon normally waits til the last minute for their best deals and price matches each stores door buster deal. Not only will you save gas, but you’ll avoid the headache that is lines and people. And always always make sure to price check other websites to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible. If you like to shop online, check out camel camel camel and it will tell you what the lowest price was/is for Amazon, and you’ll know whether or not it’s a good purchase price point.”

— Jenny from TheFreebieAddiction.com 

“Stick to your gift budget no matter what. You’ll be tempted by huge deals and discounts but you’re not really saving money if you overspend.”

— Fanny from LivingRichlyOnABudget.com 

“Don’t be afraid to shop second hand stores for holiday gifts. You can find like new items your family will love at a fraction of the cost.”

— Gina from MomsLifeboat.com 

“Tip #1: Hit up your local dollar store for stocking stuffers – you can pick up great items for the whole family without breaking the bank.

Tip #2: For snagging online deals, keep a watchful eye on deal sites like MoneySavingMom.com and SlickDeals.net. Check RetailMeNot.com for coupons before placing your order so that you don’t miss out on any additional savings, and make sure you complete your purchase through Ebates.com so you can earn a rebate. These strategies can help you get great deals on holiday gifts!

Tip #3: Don’t stress out too much. There is way too much pressure on moms to get the newest, biggest, most expensive gifts – don’t feel pressured into racking up your credit card or making yourself miserable.”

— Beeb from MomStart.com 

“Price shop from home before heading to the stores. certain stores allow coupon codes online and then offer in-store pick-up. This can save you up to 25% off!”

— April from FirstTimeMomAndDad.com 

“This time of year, everyone scrambles with their last few paychecks before the holidays, often whipping out the credit card in order to make the holidays truly “happy”. Christmas spending doesn’t have to be back loaded-like this. Shop for presents throughout the year, picking up things as you see them. You’ll be surprised to find that stores actually do have sales on days other than Black Friday! Taking this approach takes the stress out of December, and allows you to watch for sales on specific items rather than paying whatever price retailers are asking because you’re scrambling at the last minute. If you haven’t implemented this strategy for 2014, don’t stress. Just get prepared for next year’s holiday season. Some of the best sales start December 26!”

FemmeFrugality.com 

“Don’t leave the house without your list. Write down every single person you will possibly buyfor this year (including teachers, hair dressers, etc) and don’t make a purchase unless you have someone on your list that could benefit. This will prevent overbuying and ending up with gifts that were cheap but aren’t a good fit. There are so many good deals this time of year and it can be hard to not be an impulse shopper.”

— Melody from BeautifulFrugalLife.com 

“Don’t go overboard! I stick with this method: get something my kids want, need, something to wear and something to read! It helps keep me organized and on track! If they are lucky, I’ll throw in a few extras ;)”

— Chanity from ChanityDawn.com 

Happy Holidays – We Hope This Helped You!

I want to extend our deepest gratitude to all of the incredible bloggers that participated above. I hope this collection of tips/tricks is helpful to all of the mommies out there. Don’t forget to check out our free shopping service this year if you get a little too overwhelmed and need a free shopping assistant – happy holidays!

 
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