How to Shop For the Holidays Like a Pro (and NOT Overspend)

11:47 AM

Today is Cyber Monday which means millions of people are pulling out their credit cards to scour for the best gifts online, especially if they are particularly phobic of messy Black Friday crowds. And maybe, just maaaaaybe some of those people are also picking up a couple gifts for themselves too. :)

I always find myself falling especially hard into that last trap, so I thought it would be helpful to share my game plan for how to best attack holiday shopping without unintentionally breaking the bank.

1. Make A Wishlist

It's easy to get distracted by all the flashy % OFF!!! sales and minimums met to get free shipping (Ugh, I'm the worst at this! I hate paying for shipping!) so I like to physically write down what I plan on getting before the big shopping times hit. This also helps organize my thoughts of what to get for each person and determine what I actually want for myself.

2. Set A Budget

Sometimes I find myself being surprised at the end of the season just how much all of the gifts purchased were, when individually they didn't seem that crazy. The number may be different for everybody but it's always a good idea to know around how much you want to set aside for each gift and also the total amount you can handle. You can also keep tabs on your running total so it's never a shock when the Christmas food coma wears off. ;)

3. Stick to your Favorite Stores

As much as I love hunting for the best deals, I find that I often get lost in rabbit holes of stores I'm not used to navigating through. What's their shipping policy again? How long do I have for returns? I know, for instance, that Nordstrom has an insane return policy (you can return with a receipt or shoebox even years after you purchased) plus they will price match with other stores.

Instead, stick with what you know so you can easily plan ahead for what you want, which leads me to the next point...

4. Add to the Cart Early

This is a tactic I like using when I know a favorite shop will be doing a certain coupon code or discount like the Sephora VIB Sale which I covered in this post. Pre-load your cart with favorites when you aren't starry-eyed for the next tier of "rewards" and check out as soon as the sale begins. This will also help you get items before they sell out!

5. Avoid Unnecessary Doorbusters

Yes, these are the deals that may be "saving" you the most money but were you really planning on gifting your mom another computer monitor before you got that deal? Many doorbusters are made with inferior quality parts and you don't want to end up with the bragging-rights present that broke down in 2 months. If you see a doorbuster you LOVE then plan your cart around that one item or avoid them altogether.

And in case you still have some shopping to do, here are some Cyber Monday coupons and sales that caught my eye:

All Saints: 30% off sitewide with code CYBER

Anthropologie: 20% off Full Price Items / Extra 30% off Sale with code STACKS

ASOS: 20% off sitewide with code GOGOGO

Express: 50% off sitewide + free shipping

Macy's: Extra 20% off sitewide with code FEAST

Nordstrom: Extra 20% off selected sale items / Designer sale 40% off

Paula's Choice20% off & Free Shipping + Free gift when you spend $65+ with code DAILYGIFT7

Shopbop: Save up to 25% off sitewide with code GOBIG16

Sigma Beauty: 30% off sitewide with code CYBER30

T3: 25% off sitewide with code T3CYBER16

Topshop: Up to 50% off select items

Ulta: NYX 40% off Eye Makeup 

Urban Outfitters: $50 Off $150 or $15 off $75

Happy Shopping and holiday decorating everyone! Hope you drink lots of apple cider and let me know in the comments if you scored anything fantastic today!

photography: Kassia Phoy

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