(BPT) - The festive spirit of the holidays comes in all forms. From parties and traditional holiday outings, to elaborate family gatherings, there is a lot to celebrate. But, in truth, it takes a lot of work to make an unforgettable holiday. One of the biggest tasks on everyone's to-do list is shopping for gifts, which can be both time consuming and expensive.
Luckily for shoppers, a bit of strategy and planning can add ease to the daunting task of shopping. When you've got everyone's wish lists tallied, try these tips for making your holiday shopping merrier:
* Find the best prices: Holiday budgets need to stretch to ensure everyone gets the gifts they love. That means shopping for the best values on multiple items is most important. In some cases, retailers bundle gift items to help shoppers get more for their money. Office Depot, for instance, will offer accessory bundles for touchscreen devices like iPhones and Android phones, as well as for Windows 8 and Android tablets - predicted to be some of the hottest gifts this holiday season. Bundles truly make it simple to save without sacrificing on the quality of the gifts you give.
* Prioritize one-stop shopping: Dashing from store to store can cost a lot in terms of time and hassle and gas, especially with the heavy traffic and crowded parking lots during the holidays. With a bit of planning and research, you can cut the waste by getting your shopping done in fewer locations - or, ideally, just one place. Whether you're shopping for a business-driven workaholic, a plugged-in teen or family-focused grandparents, retailers are making the effort to help you cover all your bases in just one stop. Asking a store employee for assistance can also help save time, as they can point you to the right places and provide recommendations on products that might meet your needs better than others.
* Don't forget that shipping is a factor: The prospect of a trip to the post office during the holidays is daunting. If you can't get there during the middle of the workday, you'll be faced with long lines during peak traffic times - and that can eat up a lot of your valuable time. Instead of facing the wait, look for options that are kinder to your already hectic schedule. Shoppers at retailers like Office Depot can send gifts and packages without even leaving the store, as well as during weekends and late evenings once the Post Office is closed, at a full service shipping desk, with both U.S. Postal Service and UPS options. Online shoppers should also look for low-cost or free shipping, which will help cut back on both costs and time.
There is a lot that goes into smart shopping, but if you can incorporate these tips during the year-end craze, you'll be on your way to a happier holiday. Follow these tips and you'll be happy with the time and money you save while holiday shopping this season. For great gift ideas, visit www.officedepot.com.