10 Ways to Save on Holiday Shopping
Holiday shopping takes quite a bit of time for most people. There are gifts to buy as well as food items, decorations, and more.
But holiday shopping also takes money. In fact, many people go into debt trying to pay for everything they feel they should buy for the holidays. The extra money spent creates anxiety and stress and can put a damper on what should be a joyful time.
Maybe some of that extra debt and stress could be limited or avoided altogether. There are 10 ways you could save on holiday shopping that may be of help.
1. Limit the Number of Gifts
One of the first things you can do to save on holiday shopping is to limit the number of gifs you buy. To do this, make gift budget.
Start by creating a list of all of the people you must purchase gifts for. Only include those you have to buy gifts for and not those you want to get gifts for. Be ruthless with this list.
Next, tentatively decide what to buy and jot down the approximate prices for each item. Total it and compare it to your gift budget.
Do the two figures match? If the money falls short you will need to make some changes or come up with more cash for the budget. If instead you still have money in the budget, don’t spend it. Bank it for next year.
2. Choose Gifts Wisely
Make gift selections based on what you know about each person. This way you don’t waste money purchasing items the receiver doesn’t want, can’t use or is unable to return.
You don’t have to spend a lot to do this. There are plenty of reasonably priced gifts to choose from so you can have something for each person on your list.
3. Shop Sales
Another great way to save on holiday shopping is to shop sales. Starting around Thanksgiving all the way through Christmas you will most likely see tons of sales ads. At least a few of these are bound to cover at least a few of the items on your list.
4. Buy Discounted Gift Cards
Did you know there are websites that will allow you to buy gift cards at discounted rates? They purchase them at a reduced rate from other people who do not want them and then resell them.
This allows you to buy them for less than their value and save money. You can either turn around and give them as a gift or use it to buy a gift for someone on your list.
5. Apply Coupons, Rewards, and Codes
You can also hold down the costs of holiday shopping by using coupons, reward codes from prior purchases, and special sale codes from emails or websites.
Combine as many of these savings tactics as you can to each gift you buy to increase your savings. If the item is on sale before you apply coupons, codes, or rewards you can boost your savings even more.
6. Get Cash Back
There are lots of websites offering cash back on purchases even if the items themselves are not on sale. A couple of them to try are Ebates and TopCashBack.
These sites get commissions when they refer customers who make a purchase. But for you, the consumer, it translates to save anywhere from 1% to 30% off the price. Just go to the site, look for the store you want to buy from, make your purchase, and get cash back.
7. Compare Prices
To save more on holiday shopping compare prices of the same item in multiple stores. This trick could save you a few dollars or as much as $20, $30, or more.
8. Reduce Shipping Fees
When you bundle your order or use an offer code you may be able to reduce or eliminate shipping fees on gifts you order online. This is another way to save on your online holiday shopping.
9. Make the Gifts Yourself
If you are crafty you can save on holiday shopping by purchasing the materials to make the gifts yourself. Often the costs are less to do this when you have the time and skills to create unique gifts.
But if you already have some or all of the supplies you need you can really save on your holiday shopping.
10. Use Alternative Wrapping
An additional way to save on holiday shopping is by using alternative wrapping for your gifts. Rather than buying expensive wrapping paper you might try something different.
As an example, you could place a homemade package of dry dip mix in a pretty bowl and wrap it in a dishcloth with a spatula as a bow.
Or, try using newspaper and yarn as gift wrap to save on wrapping costs.
The holidays can make money tighter and increase your stress. But you can make both of these things better using some or all of these ways to save on holiday shopping.
James is an internet entrepreneur, blogging junky, hunter and personal finance geek. When he’s not lurking in coffee shops in Portland, Oregon, you’ll find him in the Pacific Northwest’s great outdoors. James has a masters degree in Sociology from the University of Maryland at College Park and a Bachelors degree on Sociology from Earlham College. He loves individual stocks, bonds and precious metals.
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