Stressed about holiday shopping? These strategies can help

First, shop early

SAN ANTONIO – The holiday hustle is on.

If supply chain issues and microchip shortages have you stressed and worried you won’t be able to find what you want, some smooth moves can ease your mind and to-do list.

First, start early, well before Black Friday.

“Retailers want to try to make this easier on your by extending Black Friday,” said Consumer Reports’ shopping expert Angela Lashbrook.

For example, Best Buy is guaranteeing Black Friday prices through late November.

Walmart is offering early online shopping times to Walmart Plus members.

And, Target will offer partial refunds if you buy something early that later drops in price.

No matter where you shop, Lashbrook said to be flexible. And, consider alternatives to electronics, some of which may be in short supply due to microchip issues and high demand.

“Some of the items you’re going to want to x off your list, probably, are Playstations, a lot of TVs are going to be difficult to buy, basically anything with a chip. That can come in toy form as well,” Lashbrook said.

Another way to relieve your shopping anxiety?

“I recommend looking for experiential gifts,” she said. “Gift certificates to spas, to restaurants, homemade gifts, even donations to charities - these are all really great gift ideas and they allow you to completely forgo the supply chain issues.”

Shop locally is another strategy. You may find a unique gift that you don’t need to ship.

And, if you can’t find what you want, there are always gift cards.

About the Author:

As a consumer reporter, Marilyn is all about helping people stay safe and save a buck. Since coming to KSAT in 1985, she’s covered everything from crime to politics, winning awards for her coverage of the Mexican Mafia, Oklahoma tornadoes, children’s transplants, an investigation into voting irregularities and even a hit-and-run Santa Claus.