Oh hello there, sorry for my brief absence….I will now be catching up on posts and reading blogs! As I mentioned, I had family in town for a nice long weekend and blogging was held to a minimum so I could spend time with the parental units!
So last year my mom, sister and I started a little mini-shopping weekend in early November to get all, or nearly all, of our shopping done for Christmas. We have the weekend, as well as, Monday and Tuesday to do all of our shopping. It was such a hit last year, we continued it this year but made it with the entire family! And for the record, I already have time off for next year as well. It is fun to have a couple days off during the week to get our shopping done.
Now when I say we have a long weekend of shopping I think I may need to clarify exactly what I mean by this as it may be slightly different than what you may think of for a long weekend of shopping. See, we don’t really shop for more than a few hours total during those 3-4 days but we do manage to get everything accomplished and buy for nearly everyone during those hours. We are some of the most efficient shoppers around and do not just casually walk around the stores to peruse. No! We have a mission, we get it done, and we save a lot of money while doing so.
See while we enjoy shopping together, we only enjoy OUR version of shopping. We do not enjoy crowds of people…nah we loathe them. We want to shop and get out. There is no just looking around for hours, if we cannot find something quickly then we move on to the next item and worry about that item another day. This kind of shopping works for us and is actually very fun. Actually, no other kind of shopping IS fun to us. This is just how we roll.
So exactly how do we shop? Well here are some of our rules for shopping.
1. Have a plan of attack. This may be the most important rule. We knew all the places before this trip that we wanted to shop and we knew what we wanted to get from all of those stores. We also knew what stores would be busier on certain days and at certain times….and avoided them during those specified “bad” times. We divided up the shopping so we were only really shopping a couple hours each day and we were shopping in certain areas of town and not running all around. Even our driving path is efficient, including very little or no backtracking. We also mix the shopping up with doing other stuff that is fun like eating….we need our strength. For instance: Sunday after a movie we hit The Andersons to do a little shopping and then had dinner. DONE. Monday after slowly getting around and making sure to have coffee & breakfast we did some shopping locally in BG, then went to an early dinner near Fallen Timbers, and went to Barnes and Noble. DONE. Tuesday we got up earlier (though not too early) and had our coffee then hit the Perrysburg area and shopped at Kohls, Best Buy, and Bed Bath & Beyond. We grabbed lunch and were home by 3:00. DONE. All 3 days we were not bothered by people, stores were not busy so we got through them quickly, and we got everything we wanted to get done efficiently and without getting annoyed. See, if you have a plan of attack you do not get annoyed with shopping!
2. Online shop as much as possible. This is HUGE in our house. We love the online shopping, especially this time of year when there are so many sweet deals that usually include free shipping. Hello Amazon. My mom and dad found some great online sales on items this year. It is crazy what my mom has managed to save on items that K & I wanted from certain stores. I am talking, like saving way more than was spent! I mean, the stores were practically paying my parents to shop with them ;) Suh-weeeet. And this past weekend they managed to save even more on Christmas gifts via online shopping. Plus, online shopping allows us to sit at home in our sweats eating cookies and watching TV, thus avoiding going out in public or interacting with people all-together. The best way to shop if you ask me!
3. Coupons, Discounts, & Sales – OH MY! It is rare that we buy something without some sort of discount….even just 10% off or free shipping. Chances are if it is not on sale, we will wait till it is. All the places we shopped, both in the stores or online, had huge sales. Saving money is cool! At Kohl’s mom and I both managed to save 40% on our total orders. HOLLA! It is so fun seeing that you saved XX amount and only had to spend XX. Granted, I am sure they bump up prices anyway so they have more room to discount…but whatever. I was going to buy the item no matter what, so it is nice to think I got a big deal on it! So we make sure we know what the sales are and have all our coupons in hand. And if you think to buy something last minute while you are out and there is no coupon, do like I did and take your parents phone and check sales on the internet to see where the best deal is!
4. No dilly-dallying. Now I am not saying we run into a store and don’t look around a bit, but we keep the browsing to a minimum. We pretty much know what we want to get people for Christmas, so there is no need to just look at everything in the store. We are not shopping for ourselves, we are getting stuff for others and we have a list and a budget and shop with that in mind. And don't really shop if we don't know what people want. We do skim items and see if anything catches our eyes but if not then we move on….and quickly. We got through Kohl’s, Best Buy and Bed Bath & Beyond in just under 2 hours and had a bunch of bags and bought everything we wanted. Quick shopping = Good shopping.
So that is how we shop. It may not be for everyone, but it works for us! And it is not that we don’t enjoy shopping, it is we just don’t browse much as we already know what we want or like. Get in, get out, and save....that is our motto!
How do you shop? Are you like us? Do you like to spend all day shopping? Somewhere in the middle? Do you have your Christmas shopping done?!?!
I love to get my done early....preferably before Thanksgiving.