Do you hear that? It’s the sound of Christmas jingles in the distance, combined with our hard-earned pennies being tipped down the drain.
Oh yes, it’s the time of year that makes most women sweat bullets – but it doesn’t need to be.
Thanks to Kathy Sheeran – shopping aficionado and mastermind behind ShoppingConfessions.com.au – our nights of stress-filled late trade shopping are numbered. So please, crack open the champagne and hand me a Xmas BonBon.
With these five simple, bloomin' SMART shopping tips, we're all set to make this Chrissy a relaxed, money-savin' affair.
1. Make a list and check it twice.
It sounds obvious, but hear Kathy out.
Making a spreadsheet which lists every person you need to buy for, and the budget for their present, "will not only save you time, it will save you money," Kathy says.
"If you go shopping with a list and a number, you will stick to that budget."
Going in unprepared is a cardinal sin as far as Christmas shopping goes.
"If you don’t make a thorough list, you will impulse buy, and you will spend more than you had originally planned."
You heard the woman, hop on Excel and get prepared people!
2. Start early. (Like... right now.)
If you have any hope of snagging a bargain, get shopping RIGHT NOW. Kathy explains that the closer we get to Christmas, the more prices are hiked up.
“Things are on sale now," Kathy says. "As we get closer to Christmas, retailers don’t need to discount items. Stop procrastinating and just do it."
The last thing you want is to spend the few days leading up to Christmas fretting over gifts, so Kathy advises you get your present shopping out of the way ASAP.
"Knowing that you’re organised allows you to focus on the good stuff, like food and alcohol... and celebrating."
3. Shop online, not in-store.
Yep, in utterly delightful news, the shopping expert says you need to ditch traditional shopping altogether. (Anything I can do in my pyjamas while drinking a glass of wine is A-OK by me Kathy, say no more.)