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Holiday Shopping On A Budget

Holiday Shopping On A Budget

It’s October, and that means the holiday shopping season is officially upon us. It’s getting cooler outside as temperature come down, we’re scouring the internet for new holiday recipes, we’re making our list — and checking it twice!

Holiday shopping can be a lot of fun, and a real budget breaker. So before you going pulling your credit card from your wallet, let’s talk about some ways we can plan and save before we are really hit with the need to shop for the holidays.

Think & Plan Ahead

Only the most prominate people in your life should you really spend money on. When dealing with a budget it might not be in the cards this year to purchase something small for all your favorite neighbors. So, sit down and write a list. Who will you buying for? How much do you intend to buy? And, brainstorm ideas of what you’ll actually get for them. Knowing ahead of time will ensure that you don’t overbuy for people that shouldn’t be top-notch priority on your shopping list.

Watch the Sales

Let’s start with the obvious. I know that we all tend to start watching the sales as the mailers come through our mailbox and our email is bursting with all those emails we didn’t know we subscribed to. But, instead of trashing them, they can be very helpful this time of year. Watch which stores are offering discounts on what types of items.

When sales start early you’ll often find that they’ll cycle back around. Meaning if electronics are already on sale in a store, it’s likely they’ll go on sale again the closer we get to the holidays. Cross reference deals that are being offered through different circulars and emails and find the best deal before making your purchase.

Price Compare

Before you even walk out of your house, do comparison shopping. Use the internet to browse the best deals, where and when to go, and check out deal finder websites that will help you save the most money.

Review Store Policies

It’s all about the price match! If you find a deal on sale somewhere else will your local store price match? Read through policies to see how you can save even more. And what happens if you purchase an item today that goes on sale next week? Is there a grace period. You’ll often find these policies inside at the very bottom of most major retailers websites. Review them before you start shopping.

Theme & Create

When giving to adults, it’s okay to use the idea of “it’s the thought that counts.” And you can give a gift with a big impact on a small budget. Put together themed baskets for your friends, couples, siblings, and parents. Shop at discount stores, purchase small items and create gift baskets that are sure to delight your friends with the crafty, thoughtful, personal gift. For example, the new parents in your life might really appreciate a movie date night complete with the offer to babysit!

Make It A Family Affair

Talk with your family and discuss scaling back gifts this holiday season. Almost every family discusses doing this and then ends up going overboard. Come up with a family game plan and stick with it. Consider drawing names for the adults or just gifting to the kids. For the kids, look at a variety of scaled back gift giving options; one that I’m particularly fond of is “something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read.”

On the flip side, large families may want to decide to do one big family gift. Instead of individual gifts invest in something the entire family will enjoy together like the latest game console or a family to trip to an amusement park. These types of gifts could make a big impact on your budget while pleasing everyone.

Use Caution with “Hot Items”

We all know that our kids are anxious to have that hot toy this year, but you could pay more than double for a toy simply because the world of kids is screaming about it. Instead of buying this year’s hot Christmas toy for $300, put it off and pick up for your child’s birthday at half the price. And, if you absolutely must pick up that hot toy, do so early (so you don’t lose your chance), and be sure to price shop to save the most amount of money possible.

Shop Late

Believe it or not, you can actually save a bit of money by shopping late. The vast majority of online retailers cut off the shipping date as Dec. 21st, and sales will be happening at this time to move their holiday items. You can save big on some of the big items on your list by waiting a little longer to purchase them.