The easy hack to save a small fortune on Christmas presents

Christmas shopping. When you hear these two words, it will either put you into a state of complete panic or light up your eyes like one of those perfectly assembled David Jones Christmas trees.

I am the latter. A Christmas tragic as some might say. I'm a sucker for all things Christmas - the gadgets and the gimmicks, the carols, the over-the-top tinsel and lights. I love it all.

But just like any other busy parent, I can't get to the shops at my leisure so I have also come to love online shopping. The words 'click frenzy', 'free returns' and 'promo code' send me into a dizzy spin of both guilt and excitement  - anyone else relate?

Whilst having the retail world at my fingertips has caused me to buy many unnecessary (but totally gorgeous) things, it have served me well at this time of year and I've saved hundreds on my Christmas shopping.

It's easy to turn your festive season shopping from stressful into civilised and save you a small fortune along the way. I'm talking everything - from toys and electronics for the kids, to shoes and watches for the men and even a special something for yourself.

Start by subscribing to all of your favourite shops and fashion labels. You'll be the first to hear about their flash sales and VIP shopping events. Follow their pages on social media for news of sales and this is also where I learn about further reductions on sale items.

Add items to your cart BUT don't check out straight away!

I have a list of shopping cart tabs open on my phone as long as the eye can see. I am creating, updating, deleting then re-creating wish lists and shopping carts all the time. So, if you have your eye on something, then just wait. It will be well worth it.

Refresh your carts regularly to see if your items have dropped in price or if a promo code will apply. Sales pop-up online all the time, so never be in a hurry to pay.

Quite often, a lot of retailers will send you an email when you've left items in your cart and offer you a discount to entice you to finalise the purchase. If you're organised enough and have your shopping money put aside, you will easily save a bundle.

This year, for example, my teenage nieces are getting Mimco wallets, pouches and earrings - I saved around $300 on these in July. My children's teachers are getting Samantha Wills' necklaces, which were reduced by 75 percent back in June and I saved more than $100 on each one.

I get the bulk of my shopping done in October and November where I take advantage of the Vogue Online Shopping Night and Black Friday sales. You can get anywhere between 30 and 50 percent off current stock and the latest must-have toys. The giant LEGO sets and the latest FurReal pets were all reduced and I saved $50 each on my kids' Santa gifts.

Adopting this hack means you don't have to leave it to the last minute where all you're left with is jam-packed Westfield centres and semi-damaged toys that have been thrown in-and-out of and have never graced the pages of a catalogue.

So now come December, my tree is up, the house is decorated, the shopping is done and the presents are wrapped and ready to go. I can now enjoy the festive season with my family stress-free and soak up all the beautiful things Christmas has to offer.

Not so tragic after all.

This originally appeared on Kidspot and has been republished with permission.

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