Loving those Boxing Day deals? You are not alone. Seems like everyone is keen to nab discounts on December 26. If you're going to brave the crowds, though, arm yourself with a strategic plan and an eye for true discounts along with your credit or debit card.
Assemble your team
Find a top-notch Boxing Day shopping crew. After all, this is the holidays, a time for family and friends — so don’t go alone. However, putting together a huge shopping group is not a great idea. The larger the crew, the more diverse the shopping needs — and the more frequent the pit stops. Make sure everyone in your small group has similar goals and stamina levels.
Plot your deals
Use the web to your advantage. Go through your shopping list and find out where your favourite items are on sale. Use sites like RedFlagDeals, Flyerland and Smartcanuks to search for favourite items or take note of sales (you might find stuff you didn’t know you wanted in advance!).
Plot your route
Traffic, parking and crowds are a major concern on this most hallowed shopping day. Plan ahead for a fail safe route that will get you there efficiently and ensure a parking spot. Rely on your apps! If you have a local traffic app, check it before you leave. (I’m in Toronto and I adore the CP24 traffic-alert app, which has good traffic delay info.) Google maps for your phone can offer you info on your routes. As well, when you park, set your goals on far away spots or the highest level of the parking garage, where you’re always sure to find a spot without frustration. Better still, take public transit for the entire route or at least part of it.
Predict your needs
Make sure everyone in your group is well fed and hydrated before leaving the house. Bring your own water, shopping bags (I’m a huge fan of the stylish backpack: you can hold a lot in there!) and plenty of snacks. You don’t want to stop for food until the work/shopping is done.
Pick an end time
Make a deal with your crew that you’ll stop at a set time and head back to the nearest house to rest your tired feet (but your wore practical shoes so this won’t be a big problem, right?) and refuel with holiday leftovers. While you want to get as many deals as possible, there’s no need to push it. January and its white day and clearance sales, after all, is just around the corner.
Ready, set, shop!
These retailers have already released their savings and discounts flyers:
Canadian Tire: (Dec. 20-30): Stock up on household necessities, sports equipment and more at deep discounts.
Future Shop: (Dec. 24-26): The savings started Christmas Eve for gamers and tech enthusiasts - a great time to get that coveted big screen TV for less.
ToysRUs: (Dec. 26-31): In the case Santa doesn't deliver this year's hottest toy, find it for less at Canada's largest toy retailer.
Shoppers Drug Mart (Dec. 26-27): Fulfill your bath, beauty and household needs - two days only!