11 LAST-MINUTE TIPS FOR SHOPPERS
1) Make a list of everyone you still need to buy for and what you want to buy them. Have alternate gifts in mind as well. Note which stores have the items you want and the amount you are willing to spend. Try not to stray too much from your list, and you should stay in budget!
2) Shop during early or extended hours, if offered. It will be less crowded during those times. Some stores are even opening on days they don't normally open, so check their schedules.
3) Make a note of advertised specials from print, television, radio or Web sites. Even check your last bill from your favorite retailer, there could be a coupon for a Christmas discount.
4) Once you are in a store, check for unadvertised specials. Many stores are offering unadvertised in-store discounts and are extending sales past advertised deadlines.
5) Compare prices on the Internet before you leave to shop at the brick-and-mortar retailers.
6) If you are ordering Christmas gifts online, do so before Tuesday, Dec. 18th, as that is the deadline for most ground shipping expected to reach its destination by Dec. 25th.
7) If the big-box retailers are too crowded for you, shop at locally owned retailers. Those stores may be less crowded, and you'll get great service!
8) Don't forget your prescription drugs and medical supplies for the rest of the year. Deductibles start over
on Jan. 1, so get what you need now!
9) Be prepared to stand in line. Wear comfortable shoes and clothes. Keep your Christmas spirit by listening to your favorite holiday tunes in the car as you drive from store to store.
10) Lock your vehicle doors and lock your purchases in the trunk, or otherwise out of sight. Pay attention to your surroundings and keep your purse or wallet close.