Shopping tips to save money

What brightens up your holiday shopping season? You may prefer a quiet Christmas season at home, large family gatherings at the home of the relative who drew the short straw, or hand-to-hand combat on Black Friday at the mall. However, everyone agrees that saving money on Christmas shopping gives the holiday an extra layer of cheer. Here are nine suggestions to increase your holiday cheer and your savings account simultaneously.

1. Make a List 

Avoid the temptation to go shopping without a list and look for holiday inspiration. You’ll find inspiration, along with many gift items you didn’t really want at a higher price than you should have paid. Know what you are shopping for and avoid costly holiday “mission creep.” After all, even Santa makes a list (and checks it twice).

2. Make a Budget

A budget is the key to any form of saving. Once you have a gift list, research all the items on that list to find reasonable prices for those items. Once you see the typical range of prices, you’ll know a good deal when you see one.

3. Research Online Deals
 
Use online resources to your advantage. Retailer websites, apps, and social media contacts, along with sites that track deals, give you plenty of avenues to find great bargains. Search in the comfort of your own home without having to brave the winter weather (or a few thousand of your fellow consumers).

4. Wait for Post-Holiday Clearance Sales

 Why not stick with small stocking stuffers for Christmas and wait for the post-holiday sales? Desperate retailers will be trying to move big-ticket items that did not sell over the holiday. If you aren’t a stickler for a particular brand or specific item, you can pick up tremendous bargains. The principle extends to smaller holiday items. With luck and timing, you can find wrapping paper, gift bags, ornaments, lights, and other holiday accouterments for next to nothing.

5. Watch Black Friday/Cyber Monday

 While they may not necessarily have the best deals, the days around the Thanksgiving holiday have taken on greater importance to retailers. Increased competition has led to increased discounts. Pay special attention to the avalanche of time-dependent deals during the Thanksgiving weekend. If you want more credit, check out our list of credit card offers.

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