IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Ready, set, shop! 7 tips to brave mall madness

Whether you love it or hate it, the holiday shopping season is upon us. Jaimee Zanzinger from Real Simple  magazine offers pointers to help reduce stress and maximize efficiency.
/ Source: TODAY

It’s official — it’s holiday shopping time. Many of us will be running out to the mall this weekend to get our holiday shopping done. For some, it’s exhilarating. For most of us, it’s stressful and overwhelming. Jaimee Zanzinger from Real Simple magazine has some tips to help make it easier, so you can get what you need and get out of the mall quickly and relatively unscathed!

1. Make a list.Don’t arrive at the mall without a plan. Think about who you need to buy gifts for, and search online before showing up in person. You’ll cut down on a lot of the hassle, and save yourself a lot of time.

2. Get a map. Many malls have maps of their layout available online. You don’t want to waste time walking back and forth from one end of the mall to the next. Figure out which stores are near each other, and plan your route accordingly.

3. Divide and conquer. If shopping with a spouse or a friend, divide your list and designate a meeting time and place to cut down on time.

4. Keep energized. While stopping for lunch may sound like fun, you may just want to get out of there quickly. But you will get hungry, so stash some nutritional snacks — a granola bar, a banana — in your bag. And bring plenty of water.

5. Avoid rush hours. Lunchtime is generally the most crowded time at any mall. Get there early, or go late. Many malls will have extended hours during the holiday season.

6. Set a budget. Give yourself a range you want to spend on each person, and make sure you stick to it. Nothing spoils the holidays more than realizing you’ve over-spent. Take advantage of discounts and coupons.

7. Treat yourself. Give yourself a little incentive to get the job done. Whether it’s a massage at the end of the day or a cup of hot chocolate from Starbucks, having a treat at the end of it will make it feel worthwhile.