Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Ready, set, shop
Many just HAVE to do it. I have friends who have their lists made, their alarm clocks set for four in the morning in order to get the head start on all of the bargains that are advertised. Some don’t want to buy the door-busters, they just want to be there when the doors open and they can rush with the other folks into the store. It seems to be in their blood.
I have a few pointers or advice on how I shop.
Start your list with names, color likes, sizes. Use a large sheet of paper, preferably colored, you can find it easier in your purse. Small pieces have a tendency to get lost or set aside and you don’t discover until you need it again. Jot down ideas opposite each name; try not to go shopping without something in mind.
Sizes can be easily obtained from grandmothers or mothers. They make a business of knowing all of the family members’ sizes, especially at this time of year.
If you are going shopping, rise early, eat a hearty breakfast and be there before the stores open. I have found that people gather an hour before the doors open, so if you are early you can park close to the entrance, making it easier to put your purchases in the trunk. That is if you are successful in obtaining what you planned to purchase. I try to do most of my shopping that one day, which means I’m there for the whole day. I always save my shopping bags from the various stores and use them the next time I plan to go shopping by taking several so that I don’t have to empty any when I take some to the car.
By arriving early you save time, too, because you find the stores are not crowded, you can easily grab a sales person. You won’t be standing in long lines at the cash register. If you can’t go shopping early, try shopping at weird times - many have learned as I have that the 4-7 p.m. hours are good, everyone is home to dinner at that time or just getting out of work. Saturday nights also seem to be a good time, when there doesn’t seem to be so many shopping. The stores that remain open all night are a possibility and also evenings on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday you seem to be able to find space to park. I guess those people are the ones that have shopped on Saturday and Sunday and are all tired out.
Have a special drawer at your house or a particular bag or box that is delegated for ALL receipts. I have the sales clerks put receipts in all of the bags I purchase and when I finally get around to remove the purchase, the receipt goes into the bag that I use for receipts; that way, when I’m asked by the person who might need it to exchange one of my gifts, I have it. That saves so much time and makes exchanges so much simpler. It seems there is always someone who needs a receipt.
Also, if you plan on shopping more than half a day, you will need something to put back from that early breakfast to replenish your energy. Remember to eat early, like shortly after 11 or 11:30 a.m. If you wait, you will never get anything to eat as the lines in the food court or restaurants are so long you can drop from hunger and lose an hour’s time of shopping.