Money Saving Moves for Hot Chick Holiday Shopping
By Jodi Lipper and Cerina Vincent
It's that time of year of year again when people become so consumed with finding the best deals on the most perfect gifts that they'll stoop to anything from camping out overnight to literally stampeding over store workers in order to get it. But this self-inflicted pressure just leads to stress, OWL (Overwhelmed With Life) Syndrome, and can even contribute to the deadly cycle of LSE (Low Self Esteem), overeating, and guilt that too often plagues us during the holidays. This year, we want you to take a breath, take it easy, and learn how to shop for those holiday gifts like the savvy, confident Hot Chick that we know you can be. Here are our best tips for finding the greatest gifts at the lowest prices without so much as breaking a sweat.
1. Check Spontaneity at the Door
Hot Chicks know when it's time to throw caution to the wind, and that's definitely NOT during the holiday shopping season. Going holiday shopping without a strict plan is like going to the grocery store when your blood sugar is lower than your bank's interest rate. The stores are total pros at stocking shiny things near the register to try and distract you from your mission, but if you have a firm list of who you are shopping for, what you're getting them, and exactly how much you're spending on it, you won't be manipulated into buying a bunch of crap on impulse that will only leave you feeling guilty, nauseous and broke.
2. Make a List and Edit it Twice
Write out a list of everyone you're planning to buy a gift for and then cut about a third of those people from the list. This may sound brutal, but these are tough times and you shouldn't feel obligated to give a gift to your every acquaintance and Facebook friend. If you feel like being super generous, bake cookies for the people on the bottom third of your list, and we promise that they'll be more grateful than if you'd spent a bunch of cash on some tchotchke at the mall that was made in China and will most likely end up in their "re-gift" pile.
3. Spend Time, Not Money
Find creative ways to give gifts this year without spending money! Plan a fancy holiday brunch with all of your girlfriends and make that your holiday gift to each other, or cook your man a delicious candle-lit meal instead of going out on the town to celebrate. We're pretty sure that you'll remember the juicy girl talk with your friends and the juicy steak you managed to make yourself more than receiving items from Juicy that you'll probably wear once and then forget you even own.
4. Benefit from Bonuses
You should never buy something at a department store makeup counter without also getting a bag full of bonus goodies. If you're going to spend fifty bucks on an eye cream that probably won't work or eighty dollars for your stepmother's favorite perfume, please help yourself justify that expense by getting a cute makeup bag with a new lipstick, mini mascara, and travel sized moisturizer. Those extra goodies make great stocking stuffers and look really cute tied up on top of gifts. If things are tight this year, do not feel guilty about just wrapping up those bonuses and giving them as holiday gifts to co-workers or friends. They'll be just as grateful as they would if you dropped $100 at Sephora. (Well, maybe.)
5. Bask in Money Back
Please read the fine print and make sure that you're not signing away your firstborn or ten percent of your annual income, but if you do this correctly some of your favorite hotels and restaurants will give you money just for being there! Use this perk to buy gift certificates for the people on your list. Many credit card companies will also give you cash back bonuses every time you use their card, but only take advantage of this if you can actually control yourself and only spend what you can afford! It's not worth paying twenty percent APR on a flat-screen for your dad just to get two percent back, but we really hope you already know that!