Birthdays are a time for joy, but everyone knows how secretly stressful finding that perfect present can be. Even if you’ve known the birthday boy or girl for a very long time, there’s no guarantee that you’ll know what to get when that special time of year rolls around. Take a look at this awesome advice that makes shopping for birthday presents a lot easier – and save money and time to boot.

1. Ask for Ideas

It’s okay to ask for help! It beats aimlessly wandering the mall for hours, waiting for inspiration to strike if it ever decides to. Friends or family members may be able to give you some great ideas or steer you in the right direction. At the very least, asking others what they plan on getting someone tells you what not to get – if the birthday person has one or two significant interests, gift ideas can easily overlap.

2. Buy for Them, Not for You

If you stop for a minute, you can probably think of times when you’ve let your personal taste influence the gifts you buy. Instead of trying to tame Mary’s wild tastes by buying her a simple necklace, show her that you appreciate her style by gifting that gaudy bracelet you know she’ll love. It doesn’t matter if you’d never (never ever) buy it for yourself, you don’t even have to like it a little bit.

Similarly, don’t give Bill season tickets to local baseball games just because you want a buddy on game day. Instead, buy passes or tickets to an event you know Bob will like and provide him company while indulging his interests. It’s okay to benefit from a gift you give a friend, but you have to make sure he benefits from it more than you do.

3. Useful May Be Better

People love giving fun birthday gifts such as artwork and home decor. However, if the gift is only going to take up space, it’s better to give something that the recipient will actually use. If you’re giving an item that typically goes on display, make sure that the giftee will really love it. Otherwise, it’ll just collect dust and create clutter. If you’re not sure, it’s safer to go with something a person can actually use.

4. Shop in Season

If you’re at a loss for what to get, think seasonal. Seasonal items can be put to use right away and are not likely to be tossed aside or forgotten about. If it’s winter, go for a scarf. If it’s summer, look for a sun hat or baseball cap. This also makes shopping easy because seasonal items are readily available when they’re in season.

5. Consider the Number of Candles

Consider the number of candles on the cake and buy an age-appropriate birthday gift. Your newly teenage nephew might love a book about his teen years, and a fun movie about girls in their twenties could be a great gift for your niece who’s turning twenty. Older men and women are more likely to enjoy household items, while gift cards might be better for college students who don’t want to accumulate a lot of stuff.

6. Check the latest sales

You can also save money on birthday presents. Use Find&Save to search for what’s on sale at your favorite stores — the site covers over 500 of them, as well as items from over 18,000 brands. You can even select items from weekly ads to make your shopping list. Now, who ever said shopping for presents wasn’t profitable?