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The Christmas Shopping Challenge -- get organized to get it done!In another week or so, the Christmas sales begin in earnest. Let’s take a little time to get organized this week so we can take advantage of them.

#1 Make gift shopping list

I will admit that I get a little excited when I see things on sale–sometimes to the point that I buy things I don’t need. Before we start our search for deals, let’s make a list of exactly what we need for gifts. Use the planner links from The Christmas Plan Challenge or grab this AMAZING free planner from HEDUA.

What gifts do you need for:

  • immediate family
  • extended family
  • homeschool friends / groups / teachers
  • church friends / groups / teachers
  • mail carriers / hair dresser / other service providers
  • charity

#2 Make clothing & other shopping list

Now we’re ready to make a list of clothing needed for the holidays, but don’t limit yourself to that. This is the time of year to buy any type of clothing. Many stores have summer clothes on sale as well, so shop now for next year.

This is also a great time to purchase other items you know you will need in the coming year. Is your computer nearing the end of its life? Buy one now on sale, so you’re prepared.

Are there any non-perishables you need for holiday baking and cooking? Add them to the list and avoid the long lines.

#3 Research flyers & sites

Is your mailbox full of catalogs? If you don’t have any gift needs that can be met by a particular catalog, recycle it right away so you’re not tempted. Do the same with sales flyers that come with the newspaper if you get it. If you do find something you need on sale, add the particular sale price information (and any coupons) to your planner so you can compare.

I’m not one to shop the stores on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, but I love to shop online. When it comes to clothing for myself (I purchase most of my clothing this time of year), I usually order only from stores that have a physical location nearby. It makes returns much less of a hassle. Check out your favorite websites for deals and check out bfads.net. This website does a great job of sharing the best deals. I also love to check Amazon’s Lightning deals at this time of year. I already scored a great deal on a Christmas gift for my college student!

I highly recommend you start your online shopping with Ebates. Doing so can earn you significant cash back. Just set up an account and click on the store of your choice. Shop as usual and get money back!

#4 Add sale dates to calendar

Once you know where you want to shop and for what, it’s time to add the days and times to your calendar. I like to set reminders on my iPhone for lightning deals.

The great news is the window for getting good deals has expanded greatly. Last year, for example, the online sales started the week of Thanksgiving. This year, you can already get great discounts. Gone are the days when you had to sit by the computer on Thanksgiving night waiting for the clock to read midnight. Happy shopping!

Are you a Black Friday shopper at the stores or online?

Follow Dr. Melanie Wilson @psychowith6’s board Organized Homeschool on Pinterest.

Here is the November printable Organized Homeschool calendar and a list of previous challenges:

Get organized with the November 2014 homeschool calendar.

Organized Homeschool Challenge

Week 1: Daily Devotions Challenge

Week 2: Daily Routine Challenge

Week 3: To-Do List Challenge

Week 4: Memory Keeping Challenge

Week 5: The Decluttering Challenge

Week 6: The Organized Computer Challenge

 Week 7: The Marriage of Your Dreams Challenge

Week 8: The Confident Parent Challenge

Week 9: The Extended Family Challenge

Week 10: The Bring on the Spring Challenge

Week 11: The Spring Cleaning Challenge

Week 12: The Organized Easter Challenge

Week 13: The Serve the Church Challenge

Week 14: The Chore Challenge

Week 15: The Organize Your Finances Challenge

Week 16: The Curriculum Challenge

Week 17: The Friendship Challenge

Week 18: The Family Celebrations Challenge

Week 19: The Organized Clothing Challenge

Week 20: The Organized Vacation Challenge

Week 21: The Organized Summer Challenge

Week 22: The Outdoor Activity Challenge

Week 23: The Used Curriculum Challenge

Week 24: The Homeschool Space Challenge

Week 25: The Goal Setting Challenge

Week 26: The Homeschool Planning Challenge

Week 27: The Bible Time Challenge

Week 28: The Special Study Prep Challenge

Week 29: The Extra-Curricular Challenge

Week 30: The Core Curriculum Prep Challenge

Week 31: The Elective Curriculum Challenge

Week 32: The Back to School Challenge

Week 33: The Fall Bucket List Challenge

Week 34: The Organized Bedroom Challenge

Week 35: The Clean Out the Pantry Challenge

Week 36: The Meal Planning Challenge

Week 37: The Grocery Shopping Challenge

Week 38: The Organized Kitchen Challenge

Week 39: The Freezer Cooking Challenge

Week 40: The Hospitality Challenge

Week 41: The Blog or Business Challenge

Week 42: The Hobby Challenge

Week 43: The Charity Challenge

Week 44: The Thanksgiving Challenge

Week 45: The Christmas Plan Challenge

Week 46: The Christmas Decorating Challenge