Do you wanna discover the secret of a stress-free holiday shopping? Holidays without debt, crowds and trying to wrap everything in a weekend? Christmas Shopping in July will change your life and create merrier holiday’s.
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Hallmark created Christmas shopping in July. For some, this means the excitement that Christmas is 6 months away. Sharing heartwarming holiday flicks in the middle of the summer. Even releasing keepsake ornaments every July.
But I have to tell you mamas while you enjoy the fireworks and eat the barbecue. Start your Christmas list & shopping in July!
Before you roll your eyes or even think to your self “yeah right, I am trying to survive the kids being out for school!”
I want you to stop for a minute and think about these questions:
- Have you ever had to use credit cards or go into debt during the holidays?
- Does the thought of wrapping a million presents two days before Christmas annoy you?
- Do you like shopping in the huge crowds, dealing with snow and the bitter cold?
- Do you ever get stressed out during the holiday season? You know you should be enjoying the festivities with family and your kids.
- Do you have tons of gifts to buy and are short on time every year?
- Do you miss out deals because you don’t have the money during Black Friday?
- Ever run into “OUT OF STOCK” for items you are looking for?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then keep reading.
When I was a single mom money was tight. When I got married, bought a house and had more kids life was/is non-stop and money is delegated to a multitude of things.
I adopted starting my Christmas shopping in July over 10 years ago. It has evolved over the years though.
Have you ever walked into Hobby Lobby during July? By the end of June and beginning of July, they have already placed out a good majority of holiday stuff. I am talking wreaths and ornaments on shelves.
Heck, go to your Walmart. Do you see the bright yellow clearance tags and swimsuits on discount? The regular clothing racks already displaying long sleeve shirts and pants.
These are the preparatory retailer signs that the time is now. Start your Christmas shopping early.
Create your Christmas Shopping List
Getting your Christmas shopping list together is the first step. You want to get an idea of how many people you will be buying for.
It also helps to take a review of your money situation and total gifts you will need.
Don’t forget to include the extras. Such as office gifts, teacher gifts or anything out of the ordinary then family.
You also do want to evaluate how many people should be getting gifts and if it fits in your Christmas budget.
Creating your Christmas list should have some basic information on each person. To help with gift ideas you can refer to your list. Record information like; children and their ages, clothing size or any other information related to them.
This list should also help you keep track of the items you bought, track what you have wrapped, etc.
Have you ever lost presents because you can’t remember where you hid them or lost them? Have you overbought because you can’t remember what you did get and find an awesome deal? You may find this printable Christmas shopping list I created handy. To keep you organized.
Creating your Christmas shopping budget
Depending on your household income most people spend between $400 to $800 on gifts each year. Dave Ramsey says you should spend no more than 1% of your income.
You can start by taking money out each paycheck like $20 to $40 dollars and save it for larger ticket items towards the end of the year. This is the power of starting your Christmas shopping in July. You can save money by finding deals or you can save money because of the benefit of time.
Be realistic with whom should be getting gifts the spirit of giving doesn’t mean going into debt.
Here are some guidelines I use. Typically those over the age of 18 from extended family members do not get gifts from us. When I do give we like to give one practical gift and one fun gift as general guidelines, anything else is extra. We also like to stick to a dollar amount per person to be sure things are fair.
Once you know your budget or your savings plan it’s on to the fun part.
Bargain Hunting Begins
Now that you have your shopping list and gift ideas down on paper. It’s time to get started and get to shopping.
Begin your Christmas shopping in July and keep your list handy during shopping trips. Check-out the clearance aisles/deals online at your favorite stores.
Target clearance items are usually tagged with red-stickers. They will have end-caps of clearance items. You will also find certain racks and aisles with markdown inventory.
Walmart loves to use huge yellow balloons that mark clearance. they have racks, and they have dedicated aisles too. I have found deals using the Walmart app and the price sometimes is lower than presented in store.
Jcpenny has fabulous deals right after the 4th of July. You can find clearance items at 70% off. They promote special deals and extra savings & coupons in July.
But don’t forget to check out your discount stores. Such as Burlington coat factory, Marshall’s, Ross, Nordstrom Rack, and T.J Max.
In these stores, you are bound to find extraordinary deals.
Remember to be cautious of buying certain items. Like items that may need to be returned until you near closer to October/November.
Everything has a return policy time frame. Be sure that when you are purchasing the items that you review the return policy and the number of days. For example 30 days, 60 days or 90 days.
Harvest the power of Amazon Prime Days
If you are new to Amazon Prime let me explain a bit why this is a must for your early Christmas shopping.
This year Amazon Prime is on July 15th & 16th. This means on those days Amazon will release new products and place selected products on discount or sale for prime members only.
Amazon Prime is a membership option. Which has many benefits. You get free two-day shipping, two hour delivery for a fee through Prime Now, streaming music and video, and other cool stuff.
This means amazing deals and opportunities for you. Allowing you to start your Christmas shopping in July and keeping your budget on point.
If you don’t have a membership but want to take advantage of the special deals. You can actually join Amazon Prime for a free 30-day trial. That way you can experience the awesomeness and savings with no strings attached.
Sign-up for a full month then cancel at the end of the trial. But take it from me, mama, the prime membership is so worth it.
Most importantly, you should set a calendar reminder and also use the Amazon app to get updates on Prime day. You can do this by going to your settings, then notifications and turn on personal notifications.
Finding the deals on Amazon Prime Days for Christmas
Once you are in your Amazon account you are going to want to begin to watch for new items & exclusive deals for prime members.
A great tool to use to help you keep track of items you are searching is using the list tool. Amazon allows you to save items to a list. You can watch those items & check-in on the price adjustments as they happen.
How to access the list tool in Amazon is by clicking “account/list” then “your list” then ” create a list”.
To take is step further on the Amazon app you can find an item and click on the “watch this deal” to get updates on when the item goes on sale during prime day.
Remember members will get a sneak peek on items/deals before they go live. But these items could also have limited quantities.
I make/use list and I also use a chrome extension called Honey, By using Honey you can get price change alerts. Honey is the best tool for finding coupons & codes to save you the biggest discount. The amazing part is that Honey gives tracks the history of price changes too! It is so great that you even earn points which turn into what they called gold. You redeem this gold for increments of $10 gift cards.
Like a $10 gift card for signing up for the Amazon app and another $10 gift card after you make your first purchase. You can install Amazon assistant and get a $10 gift card off your next $50 order. And more $10 gift cards by reloading your Amazon gift card balance or shopping at Whole foods.
That is free money ladies!!!
Prepare for Black Friday in July & Cyber deals
Now that Amazon Prime Day has passed you created your list and have made some purchases. Be sure to record them on your Christmas shopping list.
You may also want to keep a receipt keeper like this to stay organized.
Christmas shopping in July is not only Amazon Prime deals. You can find Black Friday deals in July too. That’s right you read that right, black Fridays in July.
So here is the scope hop on over to Black Friday.com and you can see live deals already happening in July. This year stores like Macy’s, Target and Dell will have deals going. Offering shoppers an alternative to Prime Day. There are many more places too.
Some retailers will advertise their deals and some won’t. Black Friday.com has created an awesome list of retailers and items.
Let the Christmas shopping continue, with shopping holidays
The following holidays are your next game plan for getting great deals for Christmas. The object of the game is to be done shopping before Christmas has even arrived while saving a great deal of money.
One of the best things you can do is know when seasonal items go on sale and watch for those sales. I love shopping for things off-season and find true savings when I do this. I like to shop for winter items in the middle of the summer. If you want a great list of when is the best time for certain items you can find that U.S Money news site.
If you are new to the tax-free weekend is when temporary reduction or elimination of a tax is given. Not every state participates in the program so you will want to be sure to verify your state does.
You can do this by checking out the list of states here.
Labor Day Sale
As we near the end of summer you will want to watch for labor day sales. While this weekend is not the most powerful of the sales. You can still find some great deals.
Columbus Day sale is the last official sale before Black Friday begins. You will still find deals on clothing, shoes, beauty products and home goods.
But what about the actual Black Friday?
Alright, so you have already done a lot of prep work. You already have a gift list. You created a list on Amazon and know the budget you are working with so prepping for Black Friday will be so easy now.
Black Friday deals are some amazing deals. But as the internet has changed the way people shop. This has also changed Black Friday. It now has Cyber Monday and Cyber Week sales.
You can also shop the Black Friday ads and check-out this a bit beforehand.
Black Friday is in November this will be around the time you should be about 80-90 percent done with your list.
Black Friday online is the best if you get online at the best times. Retail history use to have people camping outside store parking lots days before. Those days are long gone. While you still might find a few people do this, you are a busy mama and who has time for all that.
You may need to sacrifice a little bit of sleep. But if you are strategic with shopping online you will enjoy the sales. So grab some coffee or tea. Your blanket and laptop & watch for when the sales go live online.
Wrapping it up
Once the last gift has arrived at your doorstep and you have finalized your wrapping. You can sit back and enjoy the holidays.
Review your gift list, wrap any presents you need to and be sure to label all your presents. Need gift tags? You can download free gift tags here for easy at home use.
You will want to review your total out of pocket cost and your receipts.
You will find that the entire month of December will be a month of joy. Enjoying festivities, lights, decor, and hot cocoa.
All your gifts purchased and wrapped. If you find stocking type stuffer items those can be fun to shop for in December just because. The stress is gone though.
Think of fun things can do now with all the time you will now have during the holidays.
Do you have a Christmas shopping strategy? Do you choose vacation/destination gifts over actual gifts? If, so let me know in the comments below.