The holiday season is a wonderful time of year filled with festivities, family, and friends. The only problem? It’s also a time for major spending. All the shopping we do for presents, holiday parties, holiday outfits, and more make increased expenses unavoidable.
While the shopping is inescapable, there are ways to make your money go farther than normal. Enjoy these 6 tips for saving money during all your holiday shopping.
1) Make a List and Check It Twice
This advice applies to Santa Clause and you! It is so easy to get sidetracked by the supposed holiday deals and to purchase unnecessary items. Making a list of what you need to purchase before heading out helps you stick to your budget.
2) Research Prices
Your favorite store may carry the items you need, but before venturing out of your home, be sure to check competitor pricing. You want to get the best deal on your purchases.
3) Shop Online
This is my favorite way to shop – especially during the holidays. How much easier can it be to shop free of crowds or without waiting in checkout lines? Plus, many retailers offer incentives like free shipping or steeper discounts to entice customers to order online.
4) Look for Advertised Deals
Check to see which retailers offer additional coupons or “door-busters” for shopping at their stores. These retailers can offer increased incentives to attract customers to their stores – instead of the aforementioned online shopping.
Check for these deals in newspaper advertisements and online on the store’s website. Also be sure to read the fine print before purchasing to make sure the deals include the items you want to buy.
5) Be Smart with Gift Cards
If you’re giving a gift card to someone, refrain from purchasing it from your local grocery store or drug store. Yes, it’s easier to do so, but many restaurants and online retailers offer gift cards at a discount.
Check out sites like Gift Card Granny, Cardpool, and Raise.com for gift card offers up to 35 percent off their original card value. In addition to purchasing gift cards on these sites, you can sell any you may have as well.
Warning: When using a discounted gift card website, be sure it is a reputable one. If it’s been mentioned in the media or backed by the BBB, you have a better chance of the site being legit.
6) Redeem Credit Card Rewards
Most credit cards come with some type of rewards program for using them throughout the year. Some cards offer cash back, while others offer points to be redeemed for products. Check your credit card rewards program to see if you can redeem your cash back or rewards points to use towards your holiday shopping.
We all love giving and receiving gifts during this season, but many of us don’t like the actual holiday shopping experience. Hopefully, these 6 tips will help you save a bit of money this year. And if you have any additional ideas for saving, please share them with us in the comments!