Even a casual shopper can save 20 percent or more without much effort as retailers seek to reach consumers before the competition moves in.
Beyond the basics, you will want to consider other options to further your savings. With a plan of attack in place, you could save upwards of 50 percent — perhaps even more — on your Christmas gift shopping list this year.
Why wait for Black Friday for the best deals? Indeed, many merchants begin offering their best prices of the season by early November. They understand that consumers are looking for bargains, so they are not about to let the competition beat them to the punch.
Use the Internet to begin searching prices at your favorite stores. Track the sales including both Election Day and Veteran’s Day sales where Christmas-like savings are often found. Know that some retailers are keeping their inventories thin, so do not get stuck with a raincheck for an item that may not show up until Jan.
Buy and Hold
If you shop online, one way to garner extra savings is to find what you want, add it to your shopping cart, and then leave the website. Sometimes, retailers will send shoppers a coupon to finish their purchase, bringing savings of 10 percent or more to them.
Speaking of coupons, when you check out online, most retailers will ask you for a coupon code. If you do not have one, put the retailer’s name and the words “coupon code” in the Google search bar. You should be directed to several sites that provide the latest codes for that retailer. Copy the code and use it at the checkout. Enjoy your savings!
Use Social Media
One way that consumers save money with their favorite retailers year ’round is to follow these companies on social media. Many retailers are active on Facebook and Twitter, posting current specials and offering clues on what deals can be had.
Make certain that you “like” your favorite retailers on Facebook and add them to your Twitter followers list. Many merchants post social media specials that are not available elsewhere, what you can take advantage of on the spot.
Consider Group Gifts
Buying Christmas presents can certainly get expensive especially if you have several people to shop for. You could cut back on your giving list, but then that removes people you enjoy blessing every Christmas. There must be a better way!
Well, there is. Instead of buying gifts for everyone, consider doing a grab bag where everyone shops for one person. Instead of 10 $25 gifts you’ll be buying one $200 gift for one individual. Optionally, you could pool your money with others and buy a more expensive gift for one individual. Perhaps you want to give your parents a long weekend away all expenses paid trip to the mountains. If so, team up with your siblings to make this happen.
Work Within a Budget
It seems so easy: establish a Christmas shopping budget and stick with it. That’s easier said than done for many people who get caught up in the hustle and the bustle of the season without much resistance. However, it is entirely necessary to stick to a budget if you are to save money, your goal this and every holiday season.
Besides making a budget and sticking with it, make sure that you do not spend money on yourself. Sure, get the decorations and the tree you promised, but avoid “gifting” yourself as you go. One or two smaller items can quickly become six or more larger items, destroying budgeting in no time.
Christmas Shopping Considerations
Work with a Christmas shopping list and check it off as you go. Keep your receipts and avoid taking rain checks as those items may not come in on time for Christmas morning. Make a game of it and you will soon find and take savings that will help you not only maintain your budget, but beat it. Merry Christmas!
Custom Bobbleheads offers one-of-a-kind bobbleheads that can be fully customized from head to toe on their website, CustomBobbleheads.com. Meredith Hunter writes independently on creative decor and gift ideas.