A Smart Shopping Expert Dishes Her Last-Minute Shopping Solutions

Image: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc for Getty

Holiday shopping started as early as October with big sales events from Amazon, Target, Walmart, Best Buy, and more, and smart shopping expert Trae Bodge says that discounting has continued to be aggressive as retailers try to clear out excess inventory and incentivize consumers to shop.

“Foot traffic was up year-over-year on Black Friday and online shopping beat records over Cyber Weekend – up 2% on Black Friday and 6% on Cyber Monday – according to the National Retail Federation.

The availability of gifts

While some things will sell out, Bodge notes that we are not experiencing supply chain issues like in recent years, so stock issues aren’t a huge problem. “I would say that at this late in the game it would make sense to shop in-store, so you don’t risk shipping delays. Or give digital gifts.”

Favorite digital gifts

“Data shows that receiving cash is the number one preferred gift during the holidays, especially in light of record-breaking inflation. With PayPal and Venmo peer-to-peer payments, you can send a last-minute cash gift so your recipients can buy what they’d like. Plus, you can add a personal touch with a holiday-themed digital “gift wrap” and a note to share your holiday message.”

Multi-month subscription boxes are among Bodge’s favorites because, she says, they create a sense of discovery for the recipient and there are boxes for any interest under the sun from food to fitness, to STEM for kids. “Experiences are also fun – Groupon is great for finding discounts on experiential gifts.”

Image: Zero Creatives for Getty

How to save

“The categories where I’m expecting the deepest discounts will be toys, holiday-themed items, gifts sets and winter apparel,” says Bodge. “Check in with your favorite retailers to see what they’re offering, but I would also visit deal sites like because I’m seeing a lot of exciting promotional activity there as well. Slickdeals has millions of shoppers scouring the internet for the best deals, plus they have a handy browser extension that will serve up cashback offers and coupons as you browse online.”