Last-Minute Gifts and Easy Ways to Save

You know, it kind of feels like last-minute gifts are not nearly as stressful as they were before the advent of the internet, next-day shipping and most importantly, never again having to go get in line with a bunch of other procrastinators unless you are truly a masochist.

Yes, in recent years, Christmas has morphed from a last-minute gift shopper’s worst nightmare- the most stressful time of the year- to something that is far easier to put off until the specter of Christmas is viewable by a count of days, rather than weeks. While the people who had the cash and the organization skills to be finished with Christmas shopping by October in years past were envy-inspiring, now you know you can order gifts on the 22nd and have them delivered to your door, wrapped and no one the wiser that you’d waited until the very last thirty minutes of the shipping deadline to select their present.

If you’re still fairly new to Christmas procrastination (welcome, we’d love to pour you a glass of egg nog but we haven’t gone shopping yet) there are an arsenal of tools at your disposal to ensure you not only get all your last-minute gifts accounted for, but that you find them at the lowest prices and don’t pay through the nose for shipping. (A trend that has, thankfully, seemed to fall to the wayside in favor of last minute shipping upgrades. Here are three of the best tools for last-minute shoppers.

Amazon Prime: I first signed on as a member of Amazon Prime as a newly single (and newly broke) mom of two little kids that still believed in Santa. I knew there was no way I would be able to sneak out to stores or sneak in gifts without blowing the Santa Claus ruse, so I coughed up the $80 for a yearly subscription and never looked back. It was worth it then with competitive pricing, and even more so now with other perks since added. All year round, I can procrastinate in getting people gifts and then just pay the $3.99 for overnight shipping to cover my inadequacies.

Bargainist: Like a blog about sales, this site lists every hot deal as they come up. So if you don’t know what you want to save on, but do know you need to buy something, this is your place. A good start to get ideas for gift shopping as well.

Retail Me Not: This coupon repository basically has every deal available on the web in one place, so if you know you’re going to the Gap or Target or even smaller shops, chances are, if there is a coupon available, it’s here. In fact, not checking Retail Me not before purchasing is really like leaving money on the table. There’s no excuse not to add a (sometimes fairly significant) coupon code if you can, and the site even lists average savings per user order for any given retailer.

What are your strategies for last-minute gift shopping?