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Don’t get sucked into the consumerism of Christmas. It’s lovely to take opportunity to gift someone but shop smart. To maintain sanity, health, as well as money in your bank account for the new  year, check out a few of these tips before you flash your credit cards and get yourself into a wrapping frenzy:

1. Food Reserves

Read this if you actually prefer heading into a real shop versus the ease of online shopping. Bee sure you eat before leaving the house. And we’re not talking a sugary snack. If you are going to do this enjoy the experience. Don’t be light headed about it, only to reach out for fast food. And if you are heading into a shopping marathon, bring a healthy snack like our travel sized equilibrium to give you pep so you’re not tempted to snack on trash. It’s also handy when you find yourself trapped, starving in a long line with no end in sight.

2. Wear Comfortable Shoes!

I personally don’t like malls and rarely wear heals, so I cannot even imagine shopping with growing blisters because I wanted to “look good.” Dress for comfort and Nothing kills a day of shopping like blisters and a headache. You need supportive and comfy shoes for holiday marathon shopping. Plus it makes it easier to run from sale to sale!

3. Be Prepared To Ship

If you’re shipping gifts that you are purchasing out and about, bring your address list with you. A lot of the time stores can do the shipping for you. Or shop online.

4. Don’t Wait Too Late To Ship

Speaking of shipping, know the cut off dates for packages to arrive on time. If you are a procrastinator, this tip will come in handy.

5. Shop Securely

When shopping online, be sure that the sites you are using are secure. You can tell that it is secure if the address reads https: and/or there is a lock icon with a secure company logo on the bottom of your window. If uncertain, don’t make the purchase or you might have a nightmare before Christmas!

6. Save When You Can

Be sure to add your coupon and promo codes at the right time before check out. Once you hit submit, sometimes it’s a hassle to get your discount. Keep a window on your browser open to search for coupon codes of any store you are shopping at — you can save a pretty penny! Just cut and paste the codes into the promo window. Sometimes they don’t work, but it’s always worth a shot!

7. Gift Giving Etiquette

Don’t give a gift you wouldn’t like to receive. Sure, it’s the thought that counts, however, if you re-gift some used, crappy odd n’ end or pick something up from the 99 cent store on your way to a party, maybe it’s best to just get a nice card instead. Words can sometimes be better than a tacky nick knack that screams “gas station gift rack.”

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8. Shop All Year Long

Sounds like fun right? Actually, it’s a smart way to ensure that everyone on your list gets something they actually want or something that speaks to their personality. Ever see something and say “So and so would love that”? If you have the cash, buy it and save it in a special place instead of racking your brain Thanksgiving weekend wondering what you should get that so and so or where that cool thing was that you saw in July. Think ahead as it will save you time, money and make you look like the hero. Also, keep notes of when the people on your list mention something they like or need—it really comes in handy during the shopping season and your giftees will be overjoyed with your thoughtfulness.

9. When In Doubt, Give A Gift Card

You can get them virtually anywhere, in any denomination, and the person on your list gets to go on a mini shopping spree thanks to you!

Have a very happy, healthy, and green gift giving season!

This article was republished with permission from the author.

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