Shopping for the holidays isn’t just stressful. It can be quite expensive if you don’t have a strategy in place for managing your money and getting more out of it. The strategies below will help you keep your holiday budget in check by helping you score fantastic holiday deals.
1. Make a list. That will be your guide for the holiday season. Include the names of everyone you need to buy gifts for and how much you would like to spend on each person.
2. Start shopping early. The earlier you begin shopping, the smaller the financial hit will be when the holiday season rolls around. Have a dedicated space to place all the holiday gifts you purchase early and consider wrapping them ahead of time too for easy storage away from prying eyes.
3. Save receipts and compare prices throughout the season. Some stores will match prices, past and present, during the holidays to guarantee you get the lowest possible price on the things you purchase. Comparison shopping is always wise, and the Internet makes it easier than ever.
4. Make your gifts. There are plenty of amazing gifts you can make at home to give for the holidays. Everything from handmade soaps, candles, and crafts to infused liquors, baked goods, and clothing can hit the mark and make excellent gift options.
5. Shop for discounted gift cards. Shop ahead of the holidays for discounted gift cards. Many websites offer discounted gift cards for sale. You can even earn gift cards from various retailers by taking surveys. Whether buying or earning, these gift cards can either be holiday gifts or help you purchase holiday gifts with little out-of-pocket.
6. Shop on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Both brick and mortar and online retailers often offer significant savings on these days to entice shoppers to make their holiday purchases early.
7. Buy multiples when scoring deep discounts. When you find amazing deals that will work for multiple people on your holiday list, buy multiples. No rule says two people can’t receive the same (or very similar) gifts. You can even buy multiples for the same person if there are different colors, patterns, or themes. Especially if the gift is something you know the recipient will use, like, and appreciate.
8. Redeem rewards and rebates. Far too often, people get caught up in the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping, parties, and decorating that they forget to take advantage of the rebates and rewards available to them. That is like letting money fly out the window. Do not forget to fill out the paperwork and send it in right away so that it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.
9. Shop with cash (and guard it well). Take cash along with you when you shop and leave the credit cards at home. If you do not have them with you, you cannot use them. That means you are more likely to stick to your list and less likely to overspend as the holiday chaos unfolds and you get caught up in the excitement.
10. Use and stack coupons. While some retailers exclude coupons during the holidays, others apply them liberally. Stores like J. C. Penney and Bath and Body Works, for instance, not only allow you to use coupons, there are some days when you may be able to stack them with exceptional sales during the holiday season. Use them wisely.
11. Use apps or shop through sites that offer money-back. If you are going to shop online, some websites allow you to earn cashback rewards on all the holiday shopping you do that originates on their website. While this usually helps with a payout after the holidays, it is money that is going back into your pocket. Additionally, they offer discount codes that will help you save big on your shopping right away.
12. Dine at locations offering bonus cards. While you are out shopping for the holidays and get the munchies, only dine at places that offer bonus gift cards. Purchase a gift card as a gift and enjoy a free lunch or dinner in the process!
There are many great ways to save big on your holiday shopping. These will get you off to a nearly perfect start while helping you score some massive deals.