Holiday Shopping Tips: Spend Less, Give More

Between choosing the right gifts and staying within a budget, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by holiday shopping. Use these tips to minimize stress and maximize your savings during the season.

1. Keep a list

Keep a wish list of gift ideas on your phone year round. As your family member mentions something they want, you can quickly record it in an on-going list. Having ideas ready by the time you shop relieves some of the shopping stress.

2. Shop throughout the year

Look for sales on wish list items instead of waiting to buy full-price gifts at the last minute. Not only can this save money on retail prices, but can also spread the spending out over the year, rather than spending a large amount in the last couple of months of the year. Using the wish list you keep on your phone, you can mark off what gifts you’ve bought so you don’t forget about your purchases by the time the holidays roll around.

3. Look for coupons and rebates, even for sale items

“Just because something is on sale, doesn’t mean you’ve found the lowest price,” says shopping expert and blogger Trae Bodge. Additional online coupon codes and rebate programs could provide extra savings.

4. Skip the mall and shop online

Many online retailers offer coupons and discounts for first-time customers, some of which can be applied to your entire purchase.

5. Sign up for email updates from stores

Many retailers offer special coupons for email subscribers, which can help you save even when the item on someone’s wish list isn’t on sale. For online retailers, Bodge recommends putting some items in your virtual shopping cart and leaving them overnight. You may be offered a coupon in the morning as an incentive to complete the purchase

6. Track deals for major sale days

For some of the best deals on Cyber Monday or Black Friday, start tracking the deals weeks ahead of time. Sign up for the email list of your favorite retailers, and visit websites that release ads as they become available to the public, so you’ll be among the first to know of extra savings opportunities.

By saving money on your gift list, you can relieve some of the stress that comes with the holiday shopping season.