Saturday, September 6, 2008

Make a list!

OK, if you haven't read about it in earlier posts, I'm a little obsessed with the holidays. September is prime holiday shopping time, and we all need to make the most of this opportunity. One of the things that I do is carry a list with me all the time. I have a small notebook that fits easily in my bag and when I'm out shopping I can refer to it.

I use this list all year long, changing and adding to it as I need. For instance, I don't go out and do one big back to school shopping for my kids. I'll go through their clothes and see what they need, what size, what color and add it to my list. Then if I'm out shopping and see that there is a great deal on say socks, I'll pull out my list, check who needs what, and buy accordingly.

This works especially great during the holiday shopping season. I don't always remember who I need to buy for, or what I want to get in the heat of a good sale. Whip out your list and the problem is solved. An organized list will save you lots of returns, you won't buy the wrong color, size or item. You also won't be tempted to buy something just because it's a good deal. You have in writing who needs what, stick to it!

It will also eliminate what I'll refer to as missed sale regret. We've all been there, a fantastic sale is going on. You may figure out a few things to buy, you may not, but you know you'll never get this great a deal again. Then later on when you're relaxing at home it hits you, all the teachers you could have finished shopping for, the Aunt who would have loved that bag, Grandma's bowl the kids broke you could have replaced (yes, that's a personal one of mine) and so on. You get the picture. By the time you make it back to the store you know it will be gone. If you had your list this never would have happened.

In my notebook I have an everyday list and a holiday list. My everyday list includes what we need now; shoes for the kids, a birthday gift for Dad, an anniversary card, etc.... Like I said I change this list all the time. The holiday list is who I buy for only at the holidays. I also include things like charity, we donate to toys for tots and stuff stockings for the salvation army every year through the kids activities. I put these on my holiday list so if there is an amazing sale in July on toys, I won't forget about it and can stock up. It can be a little tough to store everything, I have part of a closet that I use and it does get a little stuffed, but come the holidays everything is cleared out and you can start fresh. You'll save a ton of money, have more time to enjoy the holidays and eliminate last minute panic shopping. One simple list that you tuck in a safe place and keep with you at all times can really come in handy.

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