Survival Tips for Post-Christmas Shopping Excursions:

Amy Hannold,

On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you may not yet be contemplating a trip to the mall – but, before you go out there – when you go out there, follow these tips:

1. Keep the Packaging in Place: For gifts you may want to return, don’t tamper with the packaging. This includes tags, seals, and boxes. Hopefully, you were given a “gift receipt”, or have the receipt – which will make for smoother exchanges.

2. Plan to Return/Exchange After December 26th: Gather your expected returns, but hold off until after the weekend to get in return lines. An alternate strategy may be to get in line for those deep discounts (budget in mind, of course!) Cashiers and those in line behind you will be less frazzled and more apt to wish you a “Happy New Year” (complete with happy exchange) if you wait until after the holiday. Extra Advice: Before you head out, refer to the retailer’s return/exchange policy to learn just how much time you have to return merchandise.

3. Log Your Purchases: When buying at a discount this year, for next year’s holiday (or other gift), be sure to record what you’ve purchased. Keep the receipts too, if a return or exchange might be in your future, within the retailer’s policy.

4. Be Alerted of Online Price Drops: Sales will be great online too. Register your wish list at a “price-alert” search website such as You’ll be notified when your Items go on sale.

5. Don’t Create a Post-Holiday Spending Hangover: When you see great things, with prices deeply discounted, be sure you have a specific need before you buy. After the holiday, January arrives sooner than you think – and with those bills. For many families, this post-holiday game plan may be getting a jump on saving money, than spending on gifts for next year.

Online After Christmas Shopper Tip: has a list of coupon codes, some only valid after Christmas. For example, Kohls has a coupon code that is valid December 26 & 27. Find the codes now, and you’ll know where to save!

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