Get the most value out of holiday shopping

What is the hottest holiday gift-giving trend this season? It’s all about getting the most bang for your buck.

“Shopping for the holidays this year is all about finding value and stretching your dollar to get the most out of your purchases,” said Steve Kemble, “America’s Sassiest Lifestyle Guru” and General Growth Properties gift-giving expert. “Knowing the secrets to finding the best deals and creating a successful shopping strategy will get you the most value as you shop for family and friends this holiday season.”

To help make your holiday shopping experience a success, Kemble offers his top tips for a foolproof holiday shopping plan:

Tip 1: Subscribe to your local mall’s e-mail list: Be the first to find out about the hottest deals by joining the e-mail list of your local mall. By adding yourself to these lists, you may be alerted of upcoming sales, or even receive special coupons or invitations to shopping events or promotions. Visit to find your local GGP mall Web site and register to receive exclusive news, retail offers and much more.

Tip 2: Buy early and late: Be a savvy shopper and buy gifts throughout the year when you find a good sale. By planning ahead and crossing some items off your list before the holidays, you can avoid feeling pressured into last-minute purchases and find a few gifts during late-season sales when some stores offer deeper discounts.

Tip 3: Buy last year’s model: Skip the lines and the steep prices by buying last year’s models on electronics that have likely seen up to 30 percent price cuts. Today’s cutting-edge technological advancements in MP3 players and digital cameras don’t come cheap, so carefully consider the added value they offer. Do your research and find out if those extra pixels or special features are essential for the person you are shopping for. If you pay close attention, you may find that last year’s model does 95 percent of the things that this year’s model does, but at 70 percent of the price.

Tip 4: Comparison shop: Being organized is crucial to developing a successful holiday shopping strategy. Start a list of items you need to purchase and watch for ads in the newspaper, on television and in your mall subscription alerts starting in early November. Then make your purchases wherever you find the best deals or most compelling promotions.

For example, participating GGP malls all over the country are offering special retail offers on Thanksgiving weekend, including $10 GGP gift cards with qualifying purchases and free holiday “Mistle-Tote” giveaways full of retailer goodies, while supplies last. Check out for more event information.

Tip 5: Find value in the season’s hottest gifts: Finally, once you have planned the perfect the holiday-shopping strategy, keep your eyes open for these hot holiday gifts that can offer great value. Eco-chic is in now more than ever, and many gifts put a hip spin on being environmentally friendly by using renewable materials that are functional and eco-responsible.

For the techie on your list, smart phones are the do-it-all tool that keeps families connected with each other and the rest of the world. The latest smart phone technology is more affordable than ever — even free with a new contract or group plan — and available across a variety of carriers.

Finally, for your fashionista friend, remember that high fashion doesn’t necessarily have to come with a high price tag. Give big, bold accessories that make a stylish statement without breaking the bank.

To find more ways to get the most value out of the holidays log on to where you can explore details of exclusive shopping events, retailer sales and a special partnership with Martha Stewart Living magazine, all taking place at participating GGP malls across the country.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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