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Weekly Tips

Make a List and Check it Twice

If you're interested in staying within your holiday shopping budget this year, take some advice from the big guy in the red suit—make a list. And after it's made, check it twice before you hit the malls to brave the masses. A carefully prepared list is sure to save you both time and money this holiday season.

But what is a "carefully" prepared shopping list? Well, you can't just compile a list of all the friends and relatives for whom you feel obligated to purchase gifts, and then expect it to help you stay within your budget. You need to give the planning process some real thought, and not only list names, but also list gift ideas and retailers where the gifts can be purchased for the lowest price.

Don't forget to check online as well. Websites like pricegrabber.com or bizrate.com are great sites that can help you compare products and prices across a variety of e-commerce sites.

Armed with a well-prepared holiday shopping list that includes names, gift ideas, and stores, you'll then be ready to plan your shopping trip in a way that reduces travel time and saves the most money. You'll also be less likely to splurge on last-minute impulse buys charged to your credit card, which are often the biggest problem for those who decide to hit the malls without a trusty list in hand.

on Mon, 2010-12-06 16:00