A lot of holiday shoppers spend a lot of money from Black Friday to Cyber Monday – billions in fact. Thanks to folks who love to shop at traditional brick-and-mortar stores, retail sales on Black Friday in 2017 reached $5.03 billion dollars; for those who preferred to stay home and shop in their pajamas, online sales on Cyber Monday catapulted to $6.59 billion.
This year, research from American Express – the company that registered the trademark “Small Business Saturday” in November of 2010, projects shoppers will spend nearly $2,000 each this holiday season. The bad news is, however, that most families can’t really afford to spend that amount; the good news is, however, there are plenty of ways to be a smart, savvy, and frugal shopper and still enjoy a wonderful Christmas on a budget! Here's a look at 10 of them:
1. First shop for a deal.
Before you head out to find the ultimate gifts, shop for deals on them. Being proactive before you step inside a store will save you a lot of money when you leave. Pricesearcher has prices on over 500 million products! The website will tell you not only where to get the best price for your particular product, but also if the price has gone up or down throughout the past few months.
2. Double dip.
There’s no reason you can’t layer deals on top of deals. It’s the ultimate way to purchase something for nearly nothing! After you’ve comparison shopped to find the best possible price on an item, then search for a voucher code for it. Consider purchasing your holiday items with a cashback or credit card that offers rewards!
3. Check out your postal options.
Sites such as MyParcelDelivery compare couriers and prices so that you can save both time and money when having to ship your gifts to loved ones in distant places. You’ll also find out where drop-off options are located so you don’t have to drive to the city’s major postal service personally.
4. Subscribe to your favorite online companies.
As much as you don’t want to get more email filling up your email account, Christmastime is the perfect time to tolerate all the extra emails to get those added discount codes (or create a brand new email address just for the holiday emails). Retailers will contact you with super specials, one-day offers, and hard-to-resist sales you never would have known about if you didn’t register your email address with them! You can always unsubscribe later.
5. Get a new credit card.
Though typically you want to use cash for all your purchases, many companies offer great incentives for switching to their cards. Embrace these offers – it will instantly give you more money (or vouchers) as you head out to shop.
6. Shop either right before or right after Christmas.
If your schedule allows, do your shopping a few days before Christmas. Retailers are happy to unload their inventory at discounted prices right before the holiday. In addition, save cash by shopping for next year’s gifts and trimmings right after the holiday.
7. It’s a good point. Use it.
If you’ve got a stack of unused loyalty points taking up space on your credit cards – start using them! Check out Nectar.You’ll be surprised how much cash you’ll save buy making purchases with all those loyalty points you’ve earned throughout the year.
8. Buy a gift (or two) after the holidays.
If you know for certain that you won’t be seeing a friend or relative until after Christmas, postpone buying their presents until after the holidays when lots of items will be significantly reduced. There’s no reason to buy a present at its regular price, wrap it, and have it sit under the tree for weeks when you know it will sit under the tree through the holidays. Many Christmas sales start on or right after Christmas.
9. Get notified.
After you decide what you want to buy, find the items online and then set alerts so you can be privy to the latest prices on them! Hotukdeals is a website that regularly updates which deals are hot and which ones are not-so-much! It’s the perfect site to notify you when what you're looking for becomes a hot deal!
10. Get paid to spend.
Many companies offer vouchers on future purchases. A great example is the international retail chain IKEA. At many of their store locations, they’re not only selling authentic pine trees now through December 24th, but also giving out a store voucher to everyone who buys a tree from them!
Preparing for the Christmas holidays can be stressful, but by embracing these 10 tips on how to save money, you’ll be able to have plenty of money left over for a wonderful holiday vacation!