How to holiday shop on a budget


The Catalyst / Lauren Fitzgerald

Students search for the perfect gift, but also for the perfect price.

As students gather in passing periods to shelter from the cold, there is a reminder that the holidays are just around the corner. The warmth of the fire and the smell of cookies are all gentle reminders of the holidays to come. But perhaps one of the most exciting holiday-related activities is gift shopping. Although shopping for gifts can be chaotic, with high prices, shortages and large demand for sought-after gifts, there are certainly still ways to save time, money and stress when buying your gifts this year.

Another impacted group, parents, have found ways to combat the holiday shopping stress. Many propose to shop early, look for deals and buy small presents throughout the year to spread the spending out. Some have perfected their techniques for shopping, down to the day and the dollar. Meanwhile, others seize the days leading up to the holidays to do the bulk of their shopping in order to maximize their savings.

“I’m typically a last minute shopper,” said NDB parent Kristine McCoy. “I try to take advantage of the Black Friday deals.”

Regardless of the timing of shopping, there are many ways to optimize the experience. Gauging prices online and taking advantage of price trends helps consumers to buy at the cheapest possible price. Also searching for substitutes to popular gifts can take financial pressure off of buying high-demand items. Furthermore, big-ticket items can be bought with Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, or throughout the entire year, to mitigate holiday markups. And of course, while a late Christmas Eve shop is still a feasible option, putting together a list (and checking it twice!) early on will help to avoid missing packages, sold-out presents and in-store chaos.

The holiday season should be a time of joy and rest. Enjoy the holiday season and let the only “green” that is lost be the needles on the tree on December 26.