(NewsNation Now) — As Christmas draws near, shopping expert Trae Bodge shared her recommendations for people who still have a few names to cross off their shopping list.
Bodge shared her tips Monday on “Morning in America” with NewsNation’s Adrienne Bankert. Anyone searching for a last-minute gift might want to steer clear of big box stores altogether, Bodge said
“I would suggest maybe ditching the big box stores and shopping local,” she said. “Your local boutiques need our help more than ever, so take a stroll downtown, see what they’re offering.”
Many small retailers and creators also post their wares on Facebook Marketplace, where shoppers can set up a convenient pickup and avoid long lines at the mall, according to Bodge.
That said, Bodge doesn’t recommend ordering anything online with hopes that it will arrive in time for Saturday.
“I personally would not order anything online right now and expect to have it shipped online unless a retailer is offering expedited shipping for a low cost or free,” Bodge said. “I’m not willing to pay $20 or $30 to ship something expedited.”
Instead, shoppers can opt for a digital gift card, which they can purchase discounted on sites like www.Giftcardgranny.com, she said.
“Or you could go to your local pharmacy like a CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid – they’ll have a wall of gift cards from all different retailers or Visa Mastercard, AmEx, take your pick,” Bodge said.
If your holiday gathering isn’t happening until after Christmas, waiting to shop could save you money and the headache of braving the holiday crowds, Bodge said.
That includes online shopping, where people can find “clearance-level deals” on websites such as www.Slickdeals.com, Bodge said. The website has more than 12 million people voting on and vetting deals at any given time, and greater discounts are likely to arise after the holidays. For users with a specific gift in mind, the website’s alert feature will notify them when the item is on sale and available for purchase.
“Waiting allows you to save even more because a lot of things will be on clearance right after the holiday, so if you’re getting together with certain loved ones right after the holidays I would absolutely wait,” Bodge said.