Online shopping may help to save money

FRESNO, Calif.

When it comes to holiday shopping, many consumers have a favorite routine. "I would do most of my shopping in the store. I'm not a big online shopper," said Linda Hough.

Shopper Kelly Freeman said, "I get a little carried away. I start with a number and then I start seeing things that I like and add a little more every year it seems like."

Although consumers nationwide have kept their spending under control this year, many families see Christmas as a time to indulge.

Martha Lucey of Clearpoint Credit Counseling Solutions says shopping online rather than in the store could save consumers in the long run. "It's really important to have a list and a budget going into the holidays and perhaps shopping online will help you stay within your budgetary guidelines versus seeing the perfect gift in the store that may be outside of your budgetary guidelines but may be there for you to purchase immediately."

According to's eHoliday survey, seven out of 10 retailers say they expect their online sales to grow 15 percent this year. Perhaps the reason is careful budgeting, maybe it's the ability to comparison shop without driving from store to store, but some consumers say it's just easier.

Shopper Colin Hough said, "You don't have to deal with crowds especially when it comes to rush hour time or holiday time. No traffic, no crowds, it's easy."

As further incentive to consumers, many online retailers plan to offer more free shipping earlier in the season.

For all of those reasons, shopping online would probably be the best choice for Rosita Marvel who we met in the Target parking lot in North Fresno. Marvel explains, "You know I have such a huge family -- 30 Great grandchildren, 23 Grandchildren, and seven children of my own -- so it's very confusing."

Marvel says she's considered just sending out cards, but she just can't bring herself to do it.

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