How to do your last-minute Christmas shopping like a pro

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- You always hear about people waiting until the last minute to do their Christmas shopping--it's more common than you may think.

A recent survey showed 53% of Americans wait until the Saturday before Christmas to do at least some of the gift buying.  Retailers call it "Super Saturday."  To make the process less painful, there are many tips to help you out.

The first tip on last-minute shopping is to buy classic presents and clothing. That's because what's trendy today may be considered ugly tomorrow, and the trendy items are often pricey.  That's why more and more stores are getting into stocking gift items.

“Oh, our customers are very surprised.  When you get a first-time customer here at Kroger, they are like, 'You guys have clothes?' And I respond with, 'Yes, we certainly do,'” said Sharmeka Pope, Kroger scan coordinator.

Sharmeka works at the Kroger Marketplace on South Emerson Avenue in Indianapolis.  Most people think of the chain as a place mainly for their groceries, but the store has a large clothing section so it can be more of a one-stop shop.  To make it easier on customers, they don't carry a bunch of different brands.  Instead, they have one brand called Dip and dozens of items under that brand.

"And we have a variety of items for kids, women’s, juniors, men’s, and we also have intimate apparel and shoes.  We have a small variety of everything," said Jason Collins, a field specialist for the store.

The people at Kroger say their customers can "Dip into style" without having to dip too far into their wallet.

"You'll find 80% of the products in the Dip section will cost $19 or less," said Kroger spokesman Eric Halvorson.

One of their bestselling lines is the "Baby Dip" sweaters and long-sleeve items that are especially popular this time of year.  And in case you're wondering, they do have fitting rooms just like a department store. It's a fairly new idea for Kroger, and you won't find it at every location. You can find the clothing at their Marketplace locations on 11700 Olio Road in Fishers, 3060 North National Road in  Columbus, 970 North Morton Street in Franklin, 8745 South Emerson Ave. in Indianapolis, and at 5350 East Thompson Rd. in Indianapolis.

Wherever you shop, here's another tip for last-minute shopping: shop for clothes the way you buy groceries. Make a list and stick to it because surveys show most people don't.

Another tips doesn’t sound very sociable , but it can really help you save money: shop alone when buying clothes or gift items. Friends might encourage you to spend beyond your budget. Also look at a company’s website as many have specific deal days. In Kroger's case, they have an upcoming flash sale on Dec. 19 that's going to be 25% off.

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