1. Before you head for Christmas Tree Shops, browse the stores' online flyer to see which items are on sale. These will be some of the best deals you'll find.
2. Even if you're only planning to shop for one or two items, take a shopping cart. It's nearly impossible to leave the Christmas Tree Shops without purchasing a few extra things.
3. Examine all merchandise carefully. A deal is only a deal if you're satisfied with the quality of your purchase when you get home. This is particularly important if you are visiting New England on vacation and won't be able to easily return defective merchandise.
4. If you are shopping for food items, be sure to check expiration dates.
5. Stock up! If you spot a great deal, buy two or more.
6. Before you visit a Christmas Tree Shops store, make a shopping list of items you're hoping to find. It will help you to stay focused if you find the array of merchandise overwhelming.
7. While you're making your list, be sure to think about upcoming events, holidays and birthdays you might shop for. Christmas Tree Shops are a particularly good place to find affordable paper goods, invitations, party supplies and wedding favors.
8. Don't shop alone! If you take a friend or family member, you'll have two sets of eyes for spotting bargains. On our visit to the Christmas Tree Shops in Hyannis, my husband was the one who spied the $8.99 sleds, which were displayed up high.
9. Christmas Tree Shops are also an ideal place to introduce kids to shopping. They can practice selecting quality products, spending wisely, making decisions and counting change.
10. Allow plenty of time to browse. Some of the best deals you'll find will be completely unexpected.