Shopping Tips for the Holiday Season

 PC: Levi Ventura

PC: Levi Ventura

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With the holidays approaching, we’re quickly reminded of all the shopping we still need to do. Here are some tips to help manage it all:

Shop Online:

Online shopping can be your best friend during the holiday season. You can avoid the crowds and cold weather, all without getting out of bed. Amazon makes it simple to shop for both family and friends on one site. You can also have packages sent directly to your house, which saves you the trouble of trying to fit gifts in your luggage.

Take advantage of Amazon Prime’s student discount. If you haven’t used your six-month free trial, Dec. is the perfect time to start it so you can use their free two-day shipping.

Buy an Extra:

One of my high school roommates taught me to always keep an extra gift on hand during the holiday season. This can save you if you realize too late that you’ve forgotten someone on your shopping list, or if you need a quick fix for an unexpected gift exchange. Something thoughtful and small, such as chocolates or lotion, work well.

Set a Budget:

It’s easy to get carried away with spending during the holidays. Before you start shopping, look over your funds, set a reasonable limit on your spending and stick with it. You’ll save yourself from unnecessary financial grief at the start of the new year and you’ll be able to shop without the worry of spending too much.

Make a List (and Check it Twice):

During the holidays, it can feel like our brains are constantly racing as we try to keep track of finals, travels and gifts. It can be easy to forget about someone during your shopping. Keeping a list on your phone of everyone you want to purchase gifts for can take some of the stress off your mind.

Write down gift ideas next to individual names as ideas come to you so your mind doesn’t go blank when it’s time to shop.

Remember that Price isn’t Everything:

Sometimes I worry about not spending enough money on each person on my list, or I feel like I need to spend an equal amount on everyone. It’s important to remember that no one is looking for a price tag when receiving a gift, or at least they shouldn’t be.

It’s cliche to say it, but it really is the thought that counts. When you’re shopping, keep in mind that the amount you spend doesn’t relate to how much you care about someone.


Amanda McCarter is a senior studying biomedical science.