INDIANAPOLIS — For Laurel Westcott, the holiday spirit came as early as summer.

“Back in June, there was a sale on some toys that I thought some of my girls would like. Normally, I would be like ‘oh, we’ll wait closer to Black Friday,’” said Westcott.

“I have four little kids and a Christmas birthday,” she said. “I try to utilize apps, and coupons, and all different ways I can find to save money, especially this time.”

Westcott isn’t the only one thinking ahead either.

The National Retail Federation, in a report released on Thursday, said more shoppers are also looking to get a head start. Experts said 46% of shoppers planned to browse or buy before November started, citing concerns of inflation and item availability.

“We all anticipated some of that inflation happening, and the rise of prices, so I did start much earlier this year,” said Westcott.

However, if you plan to start your gift list later, experts said that’s ok too.

“What I see is that it’s a different market this year,” said Asst. Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Analytics Jane Siegler, Lacy School of Business at Butler University.

Siegler said more options are available to shoppers this year, thanks to the easing of last year’s supply-chain bottleneck and port delays. Unless you’re on the hunt for a specific item, she said there’s flexibility for shoppers who plan to hold off.

“It will matter if there is some very specific things that you want, and you want to make sure that it is available, but I do not think we’re going to run out of options any time, even in December,” said Siegler.

Despite the fuller inventory, and even overstocking, for some retailers, Siegler said shoppers are also spending less and being mindful of their money amid inflation.

“People are more conservative in terms of how they spend their money and tend to save a little bit more,” she said. “In terms of holiday shopping, in addition to having more products on the shelves, we may also see that people will be trying to spend less, buying things that are not as expensive, or not like ‘big’ kind of presents.”

Siegler said shoppers are also choosing to gift experiences, like traveling, instead. A gift, Jennifer Denson is already looking to plan for herself this year.

“My birthday is Christmas Eve, so I’m looking to go on a trip,” said Denson. “So, that’s my big ticket item.”

Siegler called the holiday shopping season a “buyer’s market” as shoppers look to have the upper hand this year.

“The buyers now have more power because there is less money circulating and there’s more inventory on the shelves,” she said.

“Take advantage of your power. As consumers, we have more power now than we had in the past,” she added.

For opportunities to save, Siegler said retailers, who are overstocked, will be looking to get rid of items, so be on the lookout for big sales and promotions.

Westcott, who also runs a small business of her own, said she’s also utilizing her methods to save any way she can during her shopping process.

“Whether it’s Target or Walmart and price matching, or utilizing coupons, every store nowadays has an app,” Westcott said. “If you can save 10%, or 15%. or 20% off of that first order, brainstorm and gather your list, and order it all once, and you’re going to get more bang for your buck.”