4 Things to Know Before You Visit the Mall

The average shopper was only half done with holiday shopping as of last week, according to the National Retail Federation.

Here are 4 things you need to know before you head to the mall this weekend for some last-minute shopping:

1. Plan ahead: Make a list of gifts you still need to buy and check it twice. Then, do some quick research online -- see how much the gifts cost so you can be sure you're getting a good deal in store.

2. Rethink what a good parking spot really means: Parking in the first spot you find -- even if it's a little further, it can save you time in the long run.

3. Consider shopping early in the morning or late at night, so parking and crowds won't be an issue. Retailers are doing their best to accomodate shoppers at all hours. For example, Toys R Us is extending its hours from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. starting tomorrow- and Kohls will be open round-the-clock til Christmas Day.

4. Arm yourself with some money-saving apps. Consumer Reports likes Price Grabber, which allows you to scan products and comparison shop. Retail Me Not is also a great app, which collects coupon codes. Additionally, consider downloading the app for the mall where you're shopping. Tyons has its own app, as does the Bowie Town Center. Both apps have maps of where the stores are, plus coupons and store hours.

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