It’s the time of year when holiday cheer and holiday shopping don’t always go hand in hand, so it’s wise to have a game plan in place before braving the overcrowded malls or the Internet superhighway. With a few simple tips and a few shopping alternatives, you’ll be saving time, money, and sanity as you cross each gift off your list. Just be sure to check it twice. After all, the jolly fat guy does it!
Know Your Budget Before You Leave the House.
This is the simplest tip, and yet the one that gets ignored the most. Have a clear idea in your head of the amount you’re going to spend per person, and write it down or keep track of it in your smart phone. If you can’t figure out how much to allot for each person on your list, use an online budget calculator or check out Appolicious to find a holiday budget app to help you figure it out. You’ll have a clear goal in mind while you’re shopping, and that feeling of regret that settles in after over-spending won’t creep in!
Shop Local and Save
Buying locally in DFW is a great way to put money back into our community. Since so many of the independent stores are competing with national chains during the holiday season, many offer special discounts, coupons, or promotions. Local boutiques like Melanie Gayle allow you to subscribe to their email updates online and receive notifications about sales, discounts, promotions and special events. If you’re afraid of too many emails flooding your inbox this holiday season, create a temporary email box solely for combing your holiday discounts. Many retailers will accept the discount or coupon by showing it to them your mobile phone, so you spend less time printing out coupons and save paper at the same time. Check the Facebook and Twitter pages of your favorite local stores for up-to-the-minute info that may save you extra at the register. These sites sometimes offer discounts that stores do not advertise and have deals that could save you significant amounts of money.
6818 Snider Plaza
University Park, TX 75205
Save Time With Concierge Services
Many malls and shopping centers in Dallas have the advantage of a concierge service, which save shoppers time, trouble, and oftentimes the headache of carrying around heavy bags. For example, The Northpark Center Concierge has complimentary wheelchairs and strollers, and free coat, luggage and package check. At their front desk you can buy NorthPark Gift Cards, use copy and fax services, and buy stamps for those last minute holiday cards (this is especially good news for those of us too scared to brave the post office this time of year.)
8687 North Central Expressway
Dallas, Texas 75225
Perhaps you like to add a personal touch to your holiday gifts and you’re shopping for the right place to help you assemble something heartfelt. Dallas has a variety of shops that teach you how to create something with style that will bring joy to the receiver for years to come. If a work of art for the mantle or nursery wall would make the perfect gift, A Little Artsy in University Park offers classes for all ages, as well as private parties if you’d like to make your holiday party a gift-making extravaganza. Beads of Splendor offer beading and jewelry-making classes that can help you create a one of a kind pair of earrings or a meaningful charm bracelet. With some of their classes starting at $25 including materials, it’s an affordable way to make a personal present.A Little Artsy
3408 McFarlin Blvd.
University Park, TX 75205
Beads of Splendor
1900 Abrams Pkwy
Dallas, TX 75214
Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-6pm; Sat 10am-5pm