Young woman using holiday shopping tips to online shop for the holidays.

10 Holiday Shopping Tips for Smart Shoppers  

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Ever feel overwhelmed when the holiday season rolls around?  

I know I did.  

Every November, you plan not to blow your budget.  

But by mid-December, you’re so burnt out by the traffic, crowds, and crazy shipping costs you don’t even flinch when you drop $100 on an electric foot massager for Uncle Ted.  

And it’s not just Santa who spends a small fortune. This year, consumers are expected to splurge $1,450 each on gifts alone.  

That’s why I came up with these foolproof holiday shopping tips. So I can finally enjoy the holiday season and avoid guilt-ridden overspending.  

Stick to these tips, and find yourself relaxing this holiday season, too! 

Top 10 Tips for Smart Holiday Shoppers 

1. Set a Budget (and Stick to It!)  

Yes, I know this sounds boring, but a strict budget will likely keep you out of debt.  

See how much extra cash you have after writing down your usual monthly expenses.  

For instance, if you save $100 every week starting in September, by December, you’ll have an extra $1,200 for holiday gifts!  

2. Make a List 

Write down every person you want to buy a gift for. Next to each person’s name, put a spending limit.  

Don’t forget to include things like 

  • Stocking stuffers 
  • Teachers’ gifts  
  • Ingredients/supplies for homemade gifts 
  • Gift wrapping 
  • Batteries (toys aren’t fun if they don’t turn on!) 

Once you’ve reached the bottom of your list, add up the limits. This total amount should be equal to or less than what you budgeted to spend.  

If it’s more, consider adjusting how much you can spend on each person. Remember, gifts aren’t about how much you spend. Rather, the thoughtfulness behind the gift is what says you care.  

So, be realistic about what you think something should cost, and don’t let yourself spend too much! 

3. Earn Money While You Shop 

Want to get paid while you shop? Drop gives you points while you spend.  

All you have to do is download the Drop app, and you can start earning points by shopping at your favorite stores through the app.  

Sign-up here and use the code DROPPARTNER10. This will let you take advantage of Drop’s extended $10 sign up bonus that is issued once you earn your first 1,000 Drop points.  

Download the Free Drop App to Earn Gift Cards While Shopping

Once you’ve reached a certain level of points, you can redeem them for gift cards to stores like Amazon and Target. Or, you can redeem points for Bitcoin. 

Even better, Drop’s partners offer “Stacked Deals,” meaning you’ll automatically get exclusive discounts simply by shopping through the Drop app.  

Still unsure? Check out our comprehensive Drop app review.  

4. Start Early 

Dread the holiday crowds? Consider starting your holiday shopping early this year.  

Join the 43% of Americans who say they begin holiday shopping before the end of October.  

Plus, you won’t get stuck paying extra for overnight shipping or stressing over shipping delays.  

5. Browse Before You Buy 

Remember when you spent hours in the mall tracking down a Super Mario Magic Eight-Ball for your favorite nephew?  

With this nifty little Google shopping tab, you could have saved yourself a couple of hours (and steps).  

The first step is to type the product you’re looking for in the search bar. Then the available options will pop up. Each product will show the price, where to buy it, and if the price has changed recently.  

I recommend checking this regularly to watch for any price fluctuations.  

Once you’re ready to buy, don’t forget to check if the seller is in the Drop app. This way, you can get the best deal and earn points!  

6. Take Advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales 

You’ve heard of Black Friday deals, but did you know US shoppers spend the most on Cyber Monday? Over one-fifth of consumers’ total budgets are spent on Cyber Monday deals.  
I also recommend subscribing to a store’s email newsletter. It’s completely free! Plus, this is where stores typically share sales first. 

Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales change every year. Major retailers will often give subscribers early access or at least share what the upcoming discounts are going to be. 

7. Have Kids? Use The Five-Gift Rule 

Tired of spending hundreds of dollars on the latest toys that don’t see the light of day come January? Try this easy system to spend money more consciously and reduce waste.  

This year, buy: 

  1. Something they want  
  1. Something they need 
  1. Something they wear 
  1. Something they read 
  1. Something they don’t know they want yet (but you think they’ll love) 

Here’s a deeper explanation of each category 
Something they want – You buy a big-ticket item you know they love for the first gift. It could be that Hot Wheels Garage they covet or the Harry Potter Hogwarts Secret Chamber LEGO Set they won’t stop talking about.  

Something they need – This might be a bookshelf for their room, a tennis racket, or a larger cage for their pet gerbil with the big appetite.  

Something they wear – Choose an item of clothing they’ll love.  

Something they read – Find out what new books are out that you think they’ll like. Keep it fun! 

Something they don’t know they want (yet) – Flex your creativity! This is where you come up with something they probably haven’t thought about or knew existed, but you could see them really enjoying it! Maybe it’s new golf clubs. They’ve never been golfing, but you can totally imagine them loving it! 

8. Be Thoughtful 

A recent Vistaprint survey revealed that “62% of Americans prefer gifts that come from the heart and feel more personal.” So, take time to think about each person on your list to consider what they enjoy most.  

For instance, when you think about your best friend, ask yourself: 

  • What is something this person would never get for themselves? 
  • What does this person not get to do regularly?  
  • How can I spend more time with this person? 
  • Is there an activity they would love to do? 
  • Has this person recently taken up a hobby or interest? 

If your friend has just become a parent, why not create a voucher for a few nights of babysitting so that they can go on date nights with their partner? 

Thoughtful gifts will mean more than any price tag ever could.  

9. Personalize Gifts 

The great thing about personalized gifts? They can be relatively cheap yet scream thoughtfulness.  

People love things with their names or initials on them. The same Vistaprint survey mentioned earlier found that “55% of people keep personalized gifts a lot longer than generic, traditional store-bought gifts.”  

Also, don’t forget about all the new parents, aunties, uncles, and grandparents in your life. Take a photo of their bundle of joy and turn it into a jigsaw puzzle, framed picture, mug, or blanket they can cherish for years to come! 

10. Consider a Gift Exchange 

Ever heard of Secret Santa? This year, instead of buying gifts for every family member, consider a gift exchange.  

Each person will buy one gift. And each person will receive one gift.  

Earlier in the year, ask everyone to draw a name out of a hat. The name they draw is the only person they need to buy a gift for this year!  

Collectively decide on a spending limit everyone is comfortable with. This way, no one is breaking the bank or having to buy multiple presents.  

Commonly Asked Questions About Holiday Shopping Tips 

How Do I Save on Holiday Shopping?  

Wait for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. Make a budget and stick to it. Try the free Drop app using code DROPPARTNER10. You’ll earn points for your purchases that you can turn into gift cards. 

How Do I Shop for the Holidays Without Wasting Money?  

Holiday shopping tips to avoid wasting money include sticking to a budget, making a list, starting early, and watching for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. You can also earn points for shopping through the Drop app! Sign up using the code DROPPARTNER10 to take advantage of the extended $10 sign-up bonus. 

How Can I Be Good at Christmas Shopping?  

Follow these 10 holiday shopping tips: 

  1. Set a budget 
  1. Make a list 
  1. Earn money while you shop (using the Drop app) 
  1. Start early 
  1. Browse before you buy 
  1. Take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals 
  1. Use the “five-gift” rule 
  1. Be thoughtful 
  1. Personalize the gifts 
  1. Consider a gift exchange 

Holiday Budgeting Tips 

One of my top holiday shopping tips is to make a budget. Start early and make a list of everyone you plan to buy gifts for. Also, download the Drop app to earn points while you shop. Sign up using the code DROPPARTNER10 to get the extended $10 sign-up bonus. 

How to Save Money This Holiday Season 

Late November each year there are Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. You can save a lot of money by doing most of your shopping on those special discount days. Another terrific and easy way to save money this holiday season is to download the free Drop app. You earn points for shopping that you were going to do anyhow. Just sign up using the code DROPPARTNER10 and you’ll get a $10 sign-up bonus.