Organizing your Christmas List

Filed under: Holidays,Uncategorized — Colleen at 7:36 pm on Tuesday, November 12, 2013

iPhone Screenshot 1Last year on my Facebook page, I recommended an app called “Better Christmas List”. This app allows you to create a list of everyone you are shopping for. You can create groups and budgets for the list. As you shop, just enter what you purchase for each person, and it will tally how much you spend on each person and group and will tally how many gifts you have for each person. And to make this app even better, it is password protected for curious eyes. (But I did learn that you must close the app! I discovered last year that if you leave it open, it doesn’t time-out with inactivity. So be sure to close it! We had a close call last year that required some, uh, creative explanations to my Ipad stealing daughter).

My husband and I have established a tradition of shopping for our four kids on Veteran’s day. Since it’s a holiday for my husband from work and the kids have school, it’s the perfect day for us to get a lot of shopping done. Last year, we fell in love with the Better Christmas List app. After a morning of shopping, we entered our purchases over lunch and could see at a glance what we still needed to get.
Well, this year, the app got better. No, I didn’t notice any new features or frills. But we were able to open up the app, see what we spent last year so that we immediately could compare last year’s Christmas budget with what what we had planned to spend this year. And we discovered that the app allowed us to archive all of our purchases from last year, while still retaining our shopping list of people that we had created last year. This app is well worth the $1.99 price tag.  Click here for more information.

Another helpful app is Amazon Price Check. This free app allows you to scan the barcodes of items that you are planning to buy from a store and let you know if the item can be found cheaper online. We found that Amazon.com often had the cheapest prices. So while we shoppped in stores to get ideas, our purchases were often placed in a virtual cart instead of a physical one.

This year, we made the most of free-shipping deals. Target has free shipping if you use your Target card. If you are shopping at a store online, google for a free shipping code before you pay for shipping. I scored a free shipping code at the American Girl Store and Kohl’s. Or consider enrolling in Amazon Prime, for $79 a year you get free 2-day shipping, plus many other benefits. You can try it out for free here http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200444170

Whatever methods you use, be sure to start with a list of who are are shopping for and some general ideas.  It’s easy to get distracted by the Christmas music, sales signs, and lights.  And if you’re shopping for your kids, be sure to ask yourself what your kids need and whether there is space in your home for the item.   Happy Shopping!