Last-minute holiday shopping tips to help you save time & money!

Chicas the holiday crunch is on and in just a few days Christmas will be here. Still behind in your holiday shopping? Don't stress! There is still plenty of time to shop and find some great deals, since most sites put out even better bargains as the days get closer to Christmas. Online shopping could be a lot easier than hitting up the stores, but it's not without its pitfalls. So to make sure you don't waste your time and money, check out a few of these last-minute shopping tips to make this experience just a little bit easier!

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Create a budget: It's very easy to splurge on gifts during the holidays, especially when you're shopping online. All it takes is a couple of clicks from your mouse and before you know it you've gone beyond your budget. Figure out how much you want to spend and then create a list that includes all the people you plan on shopping for.

Keep track of spending: I usually like to hold on to all my purchasing confirmation e-mails to keep track of how much I've been spending. I also create a document that includes my budget and how much has been spent so far. It's another great  way to prevent going over your budget.

Never pay full price: When it comes to holiday shopping, it really doesn't make sense to pay full price. In fact, the closer you get to Christmas, the easier it is to snag some great deals. I actually have had a lot more luck finding deals online than in actual stores. Look out for sites that are holding big bargains. A lot of them also include free shipping deals as well.

Try to purchase using just one credit card: This is another way I try to stay on top of my spending. Having all your purchases on just one statement makes is a lot easier to organize your expenses.  

Be careful with return policies: Make sure to read the fine print when it comes to returns. Not all websites have the same policies. In fact some sites only offer exchanges. So you want to be 100 percent sure you know what the policy is before you click "checkout."

Avoid paying for shipping: Like I mentioned earlier, a lot of sites include a lot of free shipping deals around the holidays, so it doesn't really pay to order from a site where the shipping fee is expensive. If what you want is only available on a site that doesn't offer free shipping, try to see if you can find a coupon thart will bring down the total a little.

Consider gift cards: Yes they aren't as personal, but for last minute shopping, you really can't go wrong with these--and a majority of stores offer them. Buy a gift card at the store you know the recipient likes or if you're not sure, choose a popular department store that offers a wide range of merchandise.

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Topics: savvy shopper  smart shopping  shopping