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Shopping During the Holiday with Kids

I am not a shopper. I don’t know why I don’t like to shop, I just don’t. Every year around this time, I’m reminded of my shopping phobia as I fight the crowds to get gifts for my 5 children. Sometimes, when my husband is traveling with work, I have to take the children with me while I shop.

Once, I lost my blind child in the store. I thought she was holding onto the cart, but when I looked around a few minutes later and discovered that I’d lost her. We did find her a short while later sobbing in the next aisle. That experience prompted me to make some changes in our shopping routine.

During busy shopping seasons, I don’t take the kids with me. If my husband is traveling on business, I pay a neighbor to watch the children for me. If I have no choice but to shop with kids in tow, I go early in the morning or in the evening when the stores aren’t so crowded. I avoid the mid-day shopping rush and also the rush at the stores at 5pm when people are getting home from work.

I’ve found that it’s best to go shopping with a game plan. I make sure I know what I want and where I’m going to get it. This means that I research before hand to find out where the best sales are. If an item I want is not in stock during a sale, I ask for a “rain check” at customer service. This means that I can get the sale price on the item when the store gets the item in stock.

In recent years, I’ve found that I can find great deals online. This has cut back my shopping time and saved me a lot of stress! Many online stores offer free shipping deals during this time of year and that makes it worth my while to shop there. However, it may still pay you to shop at an online store even if you have to pay shipping. For example, how much gas and time will you spend driving to that brick and mortar store? How much will it cost you in “aggravation dollars” to have to deal with the kids and the other stressed shoppers? When you look at it that way, shipping and handling costs are a deal!

This year, will you do most of your shopping online, or at a brick and mortar store?

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