Every year at Christmas, since my son's birth in 2002, we have travelled by car 15 hours away to spend time with my in-laws. And with kids, that 15 hours easily turns into 19, but we do it any way because we don't have the money to fly and how would we have gotten the Pack N Play and the swing and all the other baby necessities kids need while they are away from home, there, had we flown?
So every Christmas we pack up the car and spend two days travelling. When my son was first born I started to mull over my options about what I was going to do about Christmas gifts. There wasn't going to be any extra room in our mid-sized SUV to pack a lot of gifts and now that the kids are older we don't want to risk them seeing their gifts from Santa. We also weren't going to have time to go to the mall once we made it to our destination. So I turned to...online shopping.
I buy almost all of our Christmas gifts online. To minimize my headaches and the shipping charges I try to get as many of the gifts as possible from as few stores as possible. This year I did almost all of our shopping from Wal-Mart, Target and Amazon.com.
I used to decide on a gift item, check 5 or 6 stores online to compare prices and then put the item I chose in my shopping cart. This took forever and many times I would go back to my shopping cart only to find it had been deleted. I have also realized that the cost of most things aren't going to vary that much by store so it's not worth the hassle. Also, if you maximize the amount of money you spend at one store you will minimize your shipping charges. In many cases, if you purchase enough from one store you will get free shipping.
Over the last 5 years, I have realized that I shopping online is so much easier and more peaceful that fighting the crowds at Christmastime. And all I have to do when I get to my in-laws is wrap the gifts. And we have found that getting the presents home is a lot easier than we thought as well...It's much easier to pack a toy that has already been removed from the box!
I know this seems like a no-brainer but it works for us! Now head over to Rocks in My Dryer for more Works For Me Wednesday tips!