You’ve made your holiday shopping list – checked it twice – and now you’re ready to hit the stores in search of deals.
Whether you’re heading out immediately after you finish your pie on Thanksgiving or waiting until the wee hours of the morning of Black Friday, it helps to be strategic. You know from experience that you’re heading out on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
Early bird, night owl or anything in between, here are some tips, tricks and product recommendations for getting the most out of your shopping hours.
Take care of yourself
This is good advice for the entire holiday season. Keep your energy up with a good diet, lots of rest and daily vitamins. These steps will help support your immune system while giving you the stamina to accomplish everything on your shopping list.
Your smartphone is your friend
Use your smartphone to stay organized. There are lots of apps out there that not only keep track of your shopping lists, but other important details, too, like sizes of the people you are buying for and whether you are staying on budget.
Apps can also help with parking, not only paying for meters or lots, but helping you find the closest and cheapest available spaces. Some even allow you to reserve a spot in advance – a great perk!
Do your homework
Check ads online or in the newspaper and then map out your route based on the time window of the sales and locations, keeping in mind how waiting in lines to get in or check out will affect your schedule.
Most malls and outlet centers have apps with interactive maps showing the locations of all the retailers so you can efficiently navigate from store to store.
If you don’t have to worry about the weather, choose shoes with the cushion soles that absorb the impact of walking on hard store floors. Dressing in layers will make it easier for you to adjust to the changing temperatures as you move from outdoors to indoors throughout the day.
There’s no need to lug around your big purse on this shopping excursion. Instead, keep essentials like your driver’s license, credit cards and phone in a zipped-up coat pocket or a light backpack.
A few other essentials
If do choose a small backpack, consider stock it with healthy snacks, a water bottle and multi-purpose wipes. The wipes come in handy for sticky shopping carts, baskets or food court tables.
Staying hydrated will help keep you going during these trips, and the snacks come in handy as your energy can wane quickly when you’re waiting in record-breaking lines.
Plus, when your stomach starts to grumble, you’ll be less tempted to succumb to a high-calorie coffee concoction or the enticing smell of cinnamon buns and pretzels that waft through the malls.
If time is of the essence, choose meal bars that allow you to get your nutrients without waiting in yet another line for lunch.
Take breaks every 45 minutes to an hour to ensure you drink that water you brought. One strategy is to time these rests with trips to your car to drop off bags. It’s a good way to avoid being weighed down by too many bulky items. Consider bringing your own shopping bags to consolidate all the little ones.
Once you have your plan ready, mapped your route, and lightened your load with a little technology, you’ll be prepared to make this the easiest shopping season ever.
Need some product ideas to help you prepare? Check out these options: