Is it too early to start Christmas shopping? We don’t think so

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The same thing happens every single year. 

Around October, you tell yourself that you’re going to start your Christmas shopping early. You have grand plans to cross everyone off your list by Black Friday. I’ve got this!, you think to yourself. 

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Then, before you know it, Thanksgiving rolls around. A few days later, December arrives. All of a sudden, you’re 10 days away from Christmas Eve, and you haven’t even started your Christmas shopping! 

If this narrative sounds familiar, you’re not alone. We know what it feels like to procrastinate, which is why we recommend starting your Christmas shopping as early. That way, you’ll be able to lock in the deals and find the best bargains. Here’s how you can maximize your Christmas spending this year. 

4 Tips to Start Holiday Shopping Early

1. Make a List

First things first, you need to make a shopping list (and check it twice). Start by writing down the names of everyone you have to shop for this year. You can prioritize the list by how many items you plan to buy for each person. For example, you might want to get the single-item purchases out of the way so that you can focus on the assortment of Santa gifts you need to buy for the kids. Prioritizing your list will also help you figure out how much money you want to spend. We suggest writing down a budget and sticking to it. 

2. Shop Early & Often

It’s never too early to start shopping for Christmas. In fact, a number of stores are already hinting at deals for the holiday season. If you start planning as early as October, you’ll be able to compare deals, giving yourself more time to score the lowest possible price. Here are the many benefits to shopping early: 

  • You can compare prices. The thing we love most about shopping early is that you’ll be able to compare prices. If Macy’s is selling a designer handbag you really, really want, you’ll have time to see if Nordstrom is selling the same handbag for a lower price. And that’s called being a savvy shopper. 

  • You won’t be restricted by shipping. How many times have you waited until the very last minute and had to pay a ton of money for express shipping? Or worse — you’re not able to get the item you want because it won’t be shipped until after Christmas! These are all things that can be avoided. 

  • You won’t have to fight over items. Items sell out quickly. The earlier you shop, the more items you’ll be able to choose from, and you won’t have to fight over that limited-edition toy. 

  • You can enjoy the holiday season. Sometimes, we’re not able to fully enjoy the holiday season because we’re so stressed out about shopping. If you shop early, you’ll actually be able to watch your favorite Christmas movies, play in the snow, build a gingerbread house… you get the gist. 

Alert! Be aware of overbuying!

One of the things you have to look out for when it comes to shopping early is overbuying. When you allow yourself so much time to shop, you run the risk of buying more than you actually need because you have so much time. That’s where your list comes into play. Once you’ve purchased something for everyone, take a break from shopping. Unless an insanely good deal crosses your path, you don’t need anything else. 

3. Plan Out Black Friday

Black Friday is closer than you think! The post-Thanksgiving shopping holiday will take place on Friday, November 26, this year. Prepare for some of the best deals of the year by figuring out where you want to shop. Popular stores like AmazonBest BuyMacy’sTarget and Walmart typically host the biggest savings. You can check out our Black Friday guide from last year to get a better idea of what’s in store for 2021! 

4. Get Paid to Shop Online

If you’re getting a headstart on your holiday shopping, be sure to save money by earning cash back. Here at CouponCabin, we pay our members to shop online at more than 3,500 online stores. Essentially, all you have to do is click through CouponCabin, make a qualifying purchase, and you’ll receive cash back in your account. (Cash back is really just a fancy term for the money you’ll earn — we pay our members real money in a variety of ways, including check, direct deposit, PayPal and Amazon.com gift cards.) 

To be clear, anyone can earn cash back on online purchases, whether they’re shopping early or not. However, the advantage of shopping early is being able to compare cash back rates. Remember that handbag you were going to purchase from Macy’s? Macy’s offers a 2.5% cash back rate, but you just realized that Bloomingdale’s is selling the exact same purse and offers 5% cash back! Obviously you’re going to shop at Bloomingdale’s because you’ll be able to save more money. 

This article originally appeared on Coupon Cabin and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

More from MediaFeed:

50 nifty & thrifty holiday gift ideas

50 nifty & thrifty holiday gift ideas

Every year, our group of friends does a white elephant gift exchange. We bring gifts that cost less than $25, then alternate between opening them and “stealing” them from others. It’s a fun way to conduct a gift exchange, and the joy is more about the process than the gifts. 

Whether you hold a white elephant with your friends and family or not, a holiday gift that costs $25 or less probably sounds like a good deal.

The following is a list of ideas for your next gift exchange. We even included Amazon links so that you don’t have to leave your house!

DepositPhotos.com

Dryer balls are practical gifts on their own, but cute dryer balls are both practical and charming. Gift a set of puffer fish or cactus dryer balls to anyone who loves soft laundry.

Kikkerland

Single-use plastics are expensive and bad for the environment. Fortunately, reusable Ziploc bags are a thing! Gift them to an eco-conscious friend who is looking to reduce their carbon footprint. 

Sure, these bags may not be as cheap as the plastic bags you use once and throw away, but can you put a price tag on a clean earth?

rezip

Whether you have a cat, dog, rabbit or ferret, your pet sheds. Save your loved ones’ time and sanity with a nifty pet-grooming glove. Pet your animal to remove excess hair — you can even use it to clean hair off of your furniture. 

These gloves can also help you look like a low-budget movie villian!

Pat Your Pet

‘Tis the season for hot beverages, but some weirdos (like me) prefer cold brew year-round. This coffee maker produces delicious cold brew overnight, satisfying even the most discerning coffee lovers.

Takeya

I know it has the word “useless” in the title, but this book is anything but. Your friends clearly need to know weird facts about presidents, animals and refrigerators. This book is the perfect gift for trivia nerds and anyone looking for an entertaining read.

Don Voorhees

Everyone is cutting their cable and moving to streaming services. If your loved one has finally said sayonara to their cable package, gift them a Roku device. You can use this streaming stick to watch Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and more.

Roku

I don’t know about you, but I easily spend the majority of my waking hours in front of a screen. While tech is convenient, the blue light it emits damages our eyes and makes it difficult to sleep. I’ve had this pair of blue-blocking glasses for six months and I absolutely love them. Pick them up for a loved one who’s glued to a screen!

LifeArt

Cartridge razors are both expensive and relatively ineffective. Let’s face it: Services like Dollar Shave Club are cool, but they’re still pricey. Give the gift of a close shave with a simple safety razor.

WEISHI

This sounds like a weird gift, but hear me out. 

One of my close friends moved to a cramped Chicago apartment after college. I jokingly gave her this drying rack because she said she had to dry her clothes on the patio — she loved it! This drying rack is perfect for college students, people in cramped apartments or anyone who’s trying to keep their utility bills low.

AmazonBasics

Remember the Tamagotchi craze from the 90’s? Gift that nostalgia with Tamagotchi’s revamped line.

Tamagotchi

It doesn’t matter who you are — your feet probably get cold in the winter. Slippers are one of those items that we always buy for other people, but never ourselves. Do your parents a favor and give them these slippers ahead of the chilly weather. They look a lot like L.L.Bean’s moccasins, but are a fraction of the price. 

You can find other comfy slippers here.

HomeIdeas

Knife skills are something you have to learn. People who are knife-challenged, though, may have an easier time with graters. I’ve gotten familiar with this OXO grater set, which can grate and slice veggies in seconds. It even comes in a carrying case!

OXO

I’ve had my Lifestraw for years, and it’s amazing. This doodad allows you to drink from streams and rivers safely, making it a fantastic gift for hikers or outdoor enthusiasts. Lifestraw is also an important addition to any emergency prep kit.

LifeStraw

I finally felt like an adult the moment my parents gave me a Cuisinart Waffle Iron. There’s nothing like the aroma of freshly made waffles wafting around your morning. Mmm. Gift this waffle iron to your family for breakfast deliciousness.

Cuisinart

Do you ever feel guilty when you have to toss a notebook into the trash? Rocketbook solves this problem with its reusable pages. Simply write with a Frixion pen and microwave the book to wipe away your notes (no joke).

Amazon

As more eateries ban plastic straws, it’s wise to have a set of your own. I got this set of metal straws on Amazon and have found them to be very useful. I keep half of them at the house and half in my car, just in case. They even come with pipe cleaners.

YIHONG

Everybody needs a little pampering! I’ve fallen in love with the weird-yet-cool Zombie facial treatment face masks. You look like the living dead for 15 minutes, but will have beautiful, glowing skin afterward. 

Pair it with the aforementioned pet-grooming gloves, and you’ll be ready to cameo in a horror film!

Skin1004

If you talk to any home baker, they use a lot of parchment paper, which can make baking cookies expensive. Gift your favorite baker this set of AmazonBasics silicone baking mats for no-fuss cooking.

AmazonBasics

While there’s a time and place for coffee shop drinks, it’s best to make your morning cup of joe at home. If your loved one enjoys quality coffee, consider giving them a French press by Cafe Du Chateau. It even has a French name to give it that ring of deliciousness.

Cafe Du Chateau

If your buddy has ever borrowed a safety pin or chapstick from you, they need a Minimergency kit. The company makes one for men and one for women. Both are designed to cover life’s ‘oops’ moments.

Pinch Provisions

This ain’t your grandma’s card game. Cards Against Humanity is an irreverent and adults-only game that is a must-have for any gaming closet. Remember that this game contains mature content and isn’t a wise gift for kids (or people who may be easily offended).

Cards Against Humanity, LLC

As a shake drinker, I love my blender bottle. However, that little blender ball doesn’t always do enough. The PROMiXX blender bottle has a literal blender blade at the bottom, allowing you to whirl your smoothie to perfection even while you’re on the go.

If the wire ball is all you need, your best bet is probably the BlenderBottle.

Promixx

Aromatherapy is an amazing way to unwind. If your best friend can’t live without her lavender oil, give her these roll-on essential oil blends. They’re small and secure enough to throw into a bag.

ArtNaturals

My husband is finicky when it comes to sleeping with headphones. After years of searching, he’s found and fallen in love with these sleep headphones. Whether your loved one travels frequently or needs to drown out the sounds of a snoring partner, they’ll love this device.

Joseche

Got a music lover on your holiday list? Gift them this portable Bluetooth speaker. It’s small and designed for travel, making it easy to jam out on the go.

Anker

There’s nothing more disappointing than a watered-down drink. Consider putting these whiskey stones under the tree for the booze connoisseur in your life.

Quiseen

Oh, yes! You can make your own cheese at home, and it’s incredibly easy. Gift this cheese-making kit to the DIYer or devoted home chef on your holiday list.

Sandy Leaf Farm

Zoodles are all the rage these days, but spiralized veggies can be a little pricey. Gift this spiralizer to any vegan or keto-lover to help them save a little cheddar on their grocery bill.

Lifestyle Dynamics

Do you have that friend or coworker who always loses their keys? They can use the Tile Mate system to track their keys (or any other object) and avoid that five minutes of panic each morning.

It’s on you to figure out how to tactfully gift it, though!

Tile

I avoided buying Pyrex dishes because I couldn’t afford them. Once I bit the bullet and switched to Pyrex, though, I finally saw the light. These dishes make meal prep and leftovers easy to handle. If your loved one is trying to streamline mealtime, Pyrex dishes are the way to go. They’re both microwave- and oven-friendly.

Pyrex

It’s a scientific fact that greenery makes us feel cheerful. For those of us with black thumbs, though, it can have the opposite effect. Give the gift of cheer to even the most plant-averse giftee with adorable succulents. Plant them in an cute corgi or whale succulent pot to make a real statement.

SUN-E

Got a friend that’s permanently hangry? Perfect! Give them fun (or weird) snacks to nibble on, such as these neat treats from Japan. Additionally, this beef jerky assortment is perfect for a voracious carnivore.

Nom Nom Box

A new year means more folks hitting the gym. Help your fitness-obsessed giftees with a gym survival bag full of nice toiletries. Here’s my favorite for women, as well as a great option for men. Both make awesome gifts for jetsetters, too.

Convenience Kits

Do you have a coworker who loves listening to his music on speakers? Nip that annoyance in the bud with these fancy-yet-affordable wireless Bluetooth earbuds.

Mpow

Instagram is hot right now. Most of its users are concerned about taking a perfect, well-lit shot. If you know one of these picture perfect-obsessed Instagrammers, gift them this cell phone lens. It can provide light and improved focus for a crisper, trendier shot.

AMIR

If you know someone who complains about bedhead or bad hair days, they’ll love this silk pillowcase. Aside from the fact that it makes your bed 1,000 percent fancier, it’s also easier on your hair.

ALASKA BEAR

I firmly believe that everyone deserves a good scalp massage. Unfortunately, a fancy salon treatment isn’t in many of our budgets, so we must make do with awesome tools like this head massager. It’s small enough to fit in an office drawer and discreet enough for a quick lunchtime massage.

Body Back

My grandma always said that there’s nothing like a good scrub… And she was so right. This face-cleansing brush helped me trade adult acne in for healthy, glowing skin. It’s a great gift for makeup lovers, but I’ve also caught my husband using it a time or two!

ETEREAUTY

Nobody likes fighting over precious charging outlets. Fortunately, with this nifty portable charger, your loved ones won’t have to. It’s saved my butt more than once on road trips.

Anker

While I’m a tried-and-true coffee lover, many people prefer tea. If your mom loves a mug of green tea in the morning, consider gifting her a loose leaf tea rig. You can score these tea diffusers and even this kettle for less than $25.

Fu Store

Winter comes with dry, cold air that does a number on your body. Give this humidifier (which also doubles as an essential oil diffuser) to keep your loved ones cozy in the cold.

VicTsing

Got a clumsy friend who keeps dropping his phone? Help him make cracked screens a thing of the past with a PopSocket. These handy devices attach to the back of your phone and also function as both a handle and a kickstand.

PopSockets

Cubicle jockeys around the world look for ways to make the cubicle life more comfortable. This foot hammock easily attaches to the bottom of your coworker’s desk so that she can rest her feet without a fuss.

HaloVa

If you’ve ever used smartphone GPS to navigate while driving, you know how treacherous it can be to switch from looking at your screen to the street. Yikes! Minimize distractions with this magnetic car dashboard phone holder

I use this model myself, and it’s much sturdier than air vent phone holders (especially if you have a large phone).

VAVA

Gratitude truly is the key to happiness. Gift this five minute gratitude journal to someone who seems like they already have it all. It’s hard to wrap happiness with a bow, but this is as close as you can get.

Intelligent Change

Got a Potterhead on your gift list? Great! This unofficial cookbook is perfect for Harry Potter fans who want to recreate iconic treats from the book series.

Dinah Bucholz

Whether you’re 9 or 99 years old, coloring is a fun activity. Give this beautiful coloring book with these pre-sharpened colored pencils to your grandma or at the next white elephant party.

Dan Morris

Whether you hate sleeping in silence or need to drown out your neighbor’s cat, a white noise machine makes all the difference.

Big Red Rooster

I mean, everyone poops. 

Poo-Pourri is the gift that everyone wants, even if they don’t admit it.

Poo-Pourri

Self-care and pampering are vital for surviving the hectic holiday season. One of the best ways to decompress without leaving your living room is with a sheet mask. Gift this expansive set of sheet masks to someone on your nice list.

This article originally appeared on WalletHacks.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

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Featured Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

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