HO-HO-Hassle-free holiday shopping guide

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Still putting off your holiday shopping? Worried you’ll overspend or miss out on great sales and this season’s must-haves? Well, take a deep breath because LIB is here to make it easier. Here are six ways you can prepare yourself for the holiday shopping season and gift like a pro.

1) Sing with me; ‘tis the season to go thrifting, fa la la la la, la la la la! Thrift stores are a great place to find holiday decorations for a fraction of retail. Save big bucks on decorations and keep more money in your wallet for gifting. Savers even offers a five dollar coupon with the purchase of two ten dollar gift cards. Or stop by and visit our friends at Selden Thrift.

2) Living Social and Groupon offer deals every day for restaurants, bars, spas, comedy clubs, sporting events, theaters, classes, retailers and more. Be sure to sign up for their money saving emails and you’ll discover some great holiday gift ideas.


When you don’t know what to buy someone, a gift card says you care enough to let them choose what they want. Also, they’re great to use after the holidays when the “real sales” go down.

3) Gift cards – friend or foe? Best friend, I say! When you don’t know what to buy someone, a gift card says you care enough to let them choose what they want. Also, they’re great to use after the holidays when the “real sales” go down. However, beware the value of some gift cards decrease over time and some even expire. Make sure you read the fine print before purchasing.

4) Do your research before you shop! Check out consumer reports, websites and product reviews to decide what items are worth your cash. Remember, hot items sell out fast so try to get to them before everyone else is running through stores fighting for the last one on the shelf. And don’t let the multitude of holiday shoppers overwhelm you – march right up to a salesperson and ask for help finding what you want.

5) Do lines and crowds make you want to curl up and hibernate until spring? Do your shopping online! Many sites offer holiday specials and even free shipping and returns. Stay Zen this holiday and leave the stress at the stores.

6) Are you looking for ways to locate the best deals right at your fingertips? Looking to go green? Are you sick of clipping coupons? Do you want to organize your receipts and store cards? Well, for the most intrepid, tech-savvy shoppers among us, here are four great apps that you can download for your smart phone.

Best Holiday Shopping Apps

1. Red Laser or Shop Savvy are two barcode scanning apps. Simply scan the barcode of an item and the app will tell list the closest and cheapest places to find the item, both in-store and online.
2. Is your wallet going to burst from all the store reward cards jammed in it? Card Star and Key Ring are great for people who don’t want to tote around all their store reward cards in their wallet or purse. They consolidate all your cards to one simple app so they can be scanned quickly and easily from your mobile phone at any store.
3. Worried that a gift can’t be returned? Return Guru is perfect to find out store return policies and keep track of long you or your gift recipient has to return an item.
4. Are you a coupon clipper looking to be more organized? Coupon Sherpa is a great app for searching through mobile and printable retail coupons from your phone. Retailers can also scan these coupons right from your phone as well.

With the help of these apps, some research and a commitment to finding the best deals, you’ll slash through your gift list and be sipping hot chocolate by the fire before you know it.

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