Five tips to save money shopping over the holidays can help take the stress out of gift giving, right? Honestly, the holiday season is often a stressful time. Especially when it comes to finances. The average US shopper spent approximately $850 dollars in 2016, according to the National Retail Federation. Look at the cost of presents, food, decorations! Plus, all the other things that come into play at this time of year. It’s no wonder people look for ways to save money.
5 tips to save money shopping over the holidays
1. Create a budget and stick to it
How much can you afford to spend this holiday season? Write down a list of people you want to give gifts to. Work out how many people are going to be present for the holiday meal. Now, how much are you likely to spend on food, as well as other essentials?
Next, work out what you can afford to spend on each person’s present, and stick to it.
Using an app like Gift It on your smartphone can help keep track of what you’re spending. It can also remind you to stay within budget. Don’t forget it’s the thought regarding the gifts, not the cost, that truly matters.
2. Make holiday money from your old technology
Many US households have pieces of technology put away in drawers that they just aren’t using any more. Did you know that you could earn money selling these items, even the broken ones? Websites like Gazelle, NextWorth, and uSell, will take your old tablets, phones, etc.
Retailers like Best Buy, Target and Walmart will trade in old technology for gift cards, which means, you’ll be able to spend the gift cards on presents! Or, if you prefer, on gift the cards for someone whose present you haven’t decided on.
3. Avoid shipping fees
How many of us look at the cheap online prices, then see our savings wiped out by the shipping fees? Look at websites with free shipping, free refunds, or that ship to a store near you for collection free of charge. If you need to head in that direction on a regular basis, it means you can just pick up the item on the way to, or from, work.
Freeshipping.org is a site offering coupons for free shipping, whilst Amazon Prime trials offer free expedited shipping for a period of 30 days. Just don’t forget to cancel your trial before Amazon takes the money out of your account to continue your use of Amazon Prime. December 16th is also a useful date to remember. Lots of companies will be taking part in Free Shipping Day, which means on that day all shipping will be free. The only thing you might want to remember? You may not be guaranteed to get the item in time.
4. Don’t forget those coupon codes
Before buying anything online, don’t forget to head to Mamma.com to see if they have a code to be used at checkout for the particular website you’re purchasing from. You can find coupon codes on everything from toys to electronics. Some retailers also offer coupon codes through their social media, so keep an eye on those Facebook, and Twitter accounts.
5. Don’t leave it all to the last minute
Leaving your holiday shopping to the last minute may seem like the only option, but it can cause you to spend a lot more than you needed to, or planned to. Different stores will have offers throughout the year, and what costs you $15 the week before the big day, may have only cost you $8 if you’d bought it during a sale earlier in the year. You may also find that they no longer have what you’re looking for, and that means you’ll end up paying more for an alternative gift.
About the author: Taylor is a penny pinching, freelance writer from Canada. When he’s not hunting for coupons, he can usually be found at his cottage with a good book.