How to shop smart for the holidays despite supply disruptions and shipping delays

The COVID-19 pandemic may once again hamper your holiday cheer.
Published: Nov. 15, 2021 at 9:00 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 15, 2021 at 9:15 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The COVID-19 pandemic may once again hamper your holiday cheer. When it comes to Christmas gift giving supply chain disruptions, higher prices and shipping delays are at the top of the list.

Trae Bodge, accomplished lifestyle expert and smart shopper, shares some tips and tricks to help you formulate a strategy for a successful holiday shopping season.

If you’ve always waited for Black Friday to kick off your Christmas shopping season you might want to rethink that strategy and try to start immediately.

“Shop early,” Bodge said. “I am suggesting that consumers get started early if they haven’t started already especially if they have very specific items in mind.”

The pandemic has drastically changed our lives, including what might be under the Christmas tree.

“My concern is that as holiday shopping heats up, as it always does, will be that we will have more issues; maybe some empty shelves, maybe some shipping delays,” Bodge said.

We’ve already seen empty shelves and shipping delays for the last 24 months and it’s likely nothing will change before we ring in the New Year.

“Maybe have a plan B,” Bodge stressed. “If you can’t find the gift that you’re looking for, consider sending a gift card or a subscription box instead.”

Make a list of what you are going to buy and plan before you get to your shopping destination. Use store loyalty cards that offer percentage discounts anytime you shop. Be on the lookout for free or discounted shipping for loyalty members.

“Look for ways to save using any memberships you may have,” Bodge said. “Credit card carriers often have exclusive discounts so I would go to your credit card carrier’s website to see what special offers they have.”

Also take advantage of the dozens of online deal sites.

Where can I find good deals online?

Online deals may include:

  • Coupon codes
  • Special sale days
  • Find free shipping
  • Buy discounted gift cards
  • Use apps for extra savings

“There are lots of coupon codes and cash back offers that you can take advantage of,” Bodge said. “Retailers are going to be offering lots of sales. They already are.”

To keep from overspending and over buying, make sure you have a list, and yes, check it twice.

“Consumers should try to be as organized as much as possible because if your shopping season is longer and you may tend to get a bit disorganized and forget what you bought,” Bodge said.

Local shops can also offer not only good deals but unique gifts. Some small shops even offer gift wrapping.

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