Christmas seems to come earlier and earlier each year, and while November seems to be too early for some to start thinking about Christmas, starting early and creating a strategy could end up saving you a lot of money.

Time
Generally speaking, people who start Christmas shopping early have some sort of a list. A list is extremely important when doing any sort of shopping because it helps you stay organized and only buy the things you need. Having time to compose a detailed and well-thought-out list will also benefit you because it will ensure you have decided on the gifts that people will appreciate. Creating a list will also help you stay focused on purchasing the correct items, rather than wandering through a store looking for something, only to be distracted.
Once you have created a list for everyone you need to buy gifts for, you can set a dollar amount for each gift. By staying within the price range you outlined, you will also stay within your budget. Without a list and/or budget you may end up spending an extra $10 to $20 per person, which could add up to you going a few hundred dollars over budget.

In the society we live in today, there are multiple outlets available to buy the same goods. Give yourself ample time to research which stores carry the product you want to buy and which stores offer the best prices. By implementing this strategy, you can save money this holiday season.

Black Friday
Black Friday is Nov. 23 this year and while shopping on this day can be quite hectic, there are definitely great deals to be had. Many stores offer huge discounts off their merchandise. The National Retail Federation estimates consumers will spend an average of $749.51in November and December. Many stores offer incentive to spend a certain amount. At Target, shoppers who spend $50 on select items can receive $10 back in gift cards, which is a 20% return. Many electronics are available for discounts of hundreds of dollars. With the ability to take advantage of sales and utilize money-back programs, consumers could save hundreds of dollars shopping at Black Friday sales.

Selection
Everything will be a lot less picked-over if you start your shopping early. The days leading up to Christmas are always the busiest and there generally isn't a lot left by Dec. 23 or 24. This may cause you to buy more expensive items because the products on your list are no longer in stock, and you will need to find an alternative. Avoid this by setting out to shop earlier.

Online Shopping
If you start Christmas shopping early you may be able to complete a great deal of your shopping online, which can be a lot more convenient. Eighty percent of consumers who took a survey from shopping.com said that they found online shopping to be much cheaper. By starting early you allow ample time for delivery of your purchases, and you will avoid the stress of not knowing if it will show up on time. This also leaves you with enough time to wrap the gifts for your friends and family, which will allow you to avoid paying for expensive in-store wrapping services at around $6 to $16 per package.

Avoid Procrastination
By starting your shopping early, making a list and implementing a plan you may be able to eliminate the stress you would have put on yourself when you only have a few days to round up everyone's gifts. The thought of not being able to finish all of your Christmas shopping causes many consumers stress. Start early so that you can avoid this.

The Bottom Line
Each year Christmas decorations appear in stores earlier and earlier. While November may be far too early for people to even entertain the idea of holiday shopping, for many getting an early start may be the key to successfully saving money this holiday season. Depending on where you shop, how you shop and what you are in the market for, there is potential to save hundreds of dollars by starting your Christmas shopping early.

Related Articles
  1. Economics

    The Problem With Today’s Headline Economic Data

    Headwinds have kept the U.S. growth more moderate than in the past–including leverage levels and an aging population—and the latest GDP revisions prove it.
  2. Investing Basics

    10 Companies That Yuppies Love

    Learn about 10 companies loved by the modern Yuppie, including how this demographic's impressive buying power has boosted these companies' earnings.
  3. Investing News

    How 'Honesty' Could Pay off for Jessica Alba

    Is it possible that Jessica Alba is one of the savviest businesswomen on the planet?
  4. Investing

    Top Websites to Start an Online Business

    The Internet offers nearly endless ideas and opportunities for new businesses. Here are some great resources to get your online business up and running quickly.
  5. Personal Finance

    Invest in Costco? First Understand Its Balance Sheet

    A strong balance sheet sets a company apart and boosts investor confidence. How healthy is Costco based on an analysis of its balance sheets from the last two years?
  6. Investing Basics

    The 5 Reasons Why RadioShack Went Out of Business

    Learn five reasons why RadioShack went bankrupt: store concentration, online competition, product concentration, management issues and financial missteps.
  7. Economics

    Understanding Forward Integration

    Forward integration happens when a business takes over functions that were originally performed by its partners farther down the supply chain.
  8. Stock Analysis

    What Puts the Dollars in Priceline's Bottom Line?

    The Priceline Group is more successful than it may appear and is on track to enjoy tremendous profits down the road.
  9. Active Trading Fundamentals

    How Groupon Makes Money

    Find out how Groupon makes money, including a rundown of how Groupon works and what benefits it provides to the businesses it partners with.
  10. Stock Analysis

    J.C. Penney: Identity Crisis or Buy Opportunity?

    With so many recent leadership changes, J.C. Penney might be suffering from an identity crisis. Here's why and what you need to know.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Substitute

    A product or service that a consumer sees as comparable. If prices ...
  2. Fast Fashion

    Definition of "fast fashion."
  3. Duty Free

    Goods that international travelers can purchase without paying ...
  4. Transaction Authentication Number ...

    A one-time code used in the processing of online transactions.
  5. Mail Or Telephone Order Merchandise ...

    A regulation that controls businesses that sell products over ...
  6. Online-To-Offline Commerce

    A business strategy that draws potential customers from online ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. How can I invest in electronic retailing (e-tailing)?

    Electronic retail is one of the fastest growing segments of the economy. Every year, more people are choosing to purchase ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the difference between JIT (just in time) and CMI (customer managed inventory)?

    Just-in-time (JIT) inventory management focuses solely on the need to replenish inventory only when it is required, reducing ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are some common ways product differentiation is achieved?

    There are many ways to achieve product differentiation, some more common than others. Horizontal Differentiation Horizontal ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What economic indicators are important to consider when investing in the retail sector?

    The unemployment rate and Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) rank as two of the most important economic indicators to consider ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What factors make it difficult to compare performance ratios between retail stocks?

    Companies that operate in the retail sector significantly differ in terms of their profitability and efficiency, making stock ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Which socially responsible retailers appeal most to ethical investors?

    Ethical investors have many reasons to consider companies in the retail sector. The sector is broad and features an abundance ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!