Unless you’re willing to swear off the holidays altogether, it’s impossible not to shop during this time of year. With so many gifts to buy, we all have to shop this holiday season. But, if we have to shop, we might as well shop smarter while we’re at it, right?
Saving money, reducing waste, and doing some good while you shop are all ways to shop smarter this holiday season and we’re here to walk you through how you can do it. We’re listing our five stellar and unique ways to shop smarter this holiday season… and make your holidays easier to boot! Let’s get started:
Shop with good brands & companies
It is so important to consider where you shop. The best thing you can do to shop smarter is to only shop with brands and companies that do good. Let’s face the ugly truth: many companies aren’t the best when it comes to their business practices. From companies that pollute and waste without a care to brands that might have poor working conditions or source materials unethically, it’s important to shop with brands that have really high standards for corporate-social responsibility.
At BLINQ, we are committed to reducing the 5 billion pounds of retail waste from quality overstock and returned merchandise that is dumped in landfills each year. We are so lucky to have shoppers that shop with us because they know they are doing something good in addition to grabbing a great item. But, we aren’t the only company that aims to do good— there are many companies who join us!
Ultimately, you can shop smarter by having confidence that your money will go a lot further than the item you bought with it, so long as you shop with places whose practices you respect.
Gift for the long haul
How many gifts have you given or received over the years that are used for a while before they are pushed aside for something else? The answer is probably a lot. With new trends always coming and going, a gift that isn’t in it for the long haul is a waste of your money and is truthfully, a waste of a gift if the recipient won’t use it overtime. Worst of all, short term gifts require a lot of material and resources and these are the gifts that really do a number on filling landfills.
If you want to shop smarter, really think about whether the gift will be useful to the recipient a year down the road. As an example, we know for a fact that there are many trendy children’s toys that fly off the shelves during the holiday but seldom are these toys ever routinely reached for after Christmas morning.
Aim to give practical things that will have use and, more importantly, that could grow or fit in with the future ahead. An example? If a child is almost about to hit a growth spurt, don’t buy a smaller-sized bike that will only have a few more months of use. Instead, grab a larger one that can be grown into and used for longer.
Organize your online ordering and place a mass order instead
We shop online because it’s so easy. That being said, we can get a little carried away clicking the ‘order’ button and that’s not a good thing. Cardboard boxes, plastic bubble wrap, and all of the gas that goes into miles of transportation, all of which stem from ONE online order are a real drag on our environment. An order for one item needs a box, packing materials, and transportation, but so does a box of 20 items together. Think about it. What makes more sense: ordering 20 items separately that all need their own box, wrapping, and shipping or ordering one mass order of 20 items?
Hold off on ordering from a vendor until you are absolutely certain that you have everything you need as to not create more waste and pollution. So too, make sure that you have everything you need before you order. We recommend organizing your shopping lists in this way so that you can truly shop smarter.
Additionally, if you plan on online shopping, try to buy as many items as you can from one vendor at the same time so that you aren’t wasting so much material on shipping seperate packages from different places.
Look for deals and coupons & consider price
Well, duh! It’s important to do your research, but you’d be surprised how many people jump on an item before looking to see if there is a better deal out there. To shop smarter, really research your gifts to find how and where you can get the best deals on them. From comparing different stores’ prices to searching for secret coupons, you can shop smarter and save money.
However, it’s important to note that just because something is on sale at one store might not make it a better deal overall when compared to another store that’s not having a sale, especially when it comes to online shopping. Why’s that? Let’s say there are two stores: one store has a sweater offered at full price but offers free shipping. Another store has the same exact sweater for $10 off but hides the fact that shipping costs $12 until checkout. In that scenario, you’d paying more for the sale item. What sense does that make?!
Remember: just because you see a deal doesn’t mean it’s always a steal.
Think about giving unconventional gifts
Our last tip on how you can shop smarter this season? Gift differently! Instead of gifting items, try gifting experiences for some of your gifts instead. From a meal out, trips, shows, and more, experiences are special and don’t involve a whole lot of shopping, which is totally a welcome idea during the busy holidays! We also love the idea of gifting a donation in your gift recipient’s name if you are looking for some other ideas. Material gifts are great, but it doesn’t always have to be that way!
As we said earlier, we all have to shop, so we might as well shop smarter while we’re at it! The holidays are stressful, busy, and often expensive. So too, this time of year can be very wasteful. By shopping smarter, you’re reducing the weight of all of the above and that might just be the best holiday gift of all. Happy shopping!