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Queen of Free: Christmas shopping strategies

Because of supply chain issues from the pandemic, this is a year you will want to start early.

INDIANAPOLIS — Preparing early for Christmas this year will probably help you beat supply chain issues and other ripple effects of the pandemic.

That's why Cherie Lowe, the Queen of Free came up with 2021 Christmas shopping strategies that she shared this week on 13Sunrise and in her blog.

Since traditional shippers FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service have already issued early alerts about increased rates and anticipated delays, you should be planning to send packages earlier than usual and budgeting for higher costs.

National Free Shipping Day is set for Tuesday, December 14, but Cherie said to expect fewer retailers taking part due to the announced challenges.

If you have rewards points to cash in, do that now so you allow enough time to cover the usual 4-6 week redemption window.

Make an item list of sizes, favorite colors and keep that wish list on your phone. Then get your budget together so you know what you need to buy and what you have to spend. Lots of businesses are hiring, so you consider picking up an extra job if your finances are going to fall short.

Create some storage spots so when the package lands on your porch, you have a place to stage it before the wrapping begins.

Roll with the changes and be prepared to be disappointed. Talk with your family now to let them know how challenging this holiday season could be, and try to be flexible.

Cherie says preparing in advance helps you manage budgets, expectations, emotions, calendars, and more. 

Watch Cherie's full 13Sunrise segment in the video player.