It is that time of year again. The Christmas season is upon us, and that means it is time to shop. But with a tough economy tightening budgets, how do you find the money to celebrate this holiday season? These are five great ways for you to stretch your holiday dollar.
1. Use the Internet for Comparison Shopping
The internet has revolutionized comparison-shopping. Without having to leave the house, you can check prices at almost any retailer in the world to find the best pricing. Taking the time to find the best prices before you go shopping can save you a great deal of time and money. You can also research store policies using the internet. Check out Amazon.com’s price checker app or RedLaser.
2. Get Paid for Shopping
We all know about the great cash-back rewards we get from using PerkStreet, but what about some of the other ways you can get rewarded for your purchases? If you do any shopping online, there are ways to get paid to do it. Websites like BigCrumbs and Ebates offer cash back for purchasing from thousands of popular retailers online. Each retailer offers a percentage of your purchase to be paid back to you in cash. These sites also provide coupon codes and store promotions all listed conveniently for you on their site so that you will not miss a savings opportunity.
3. Maximize Sales
You do not have to be as extreme as some of the couponers that have been seen on TV recently, but coupons are a great way to save, and not just on your holiday groceries. Many retailers post coupons on their website. You can get them both electronically with a coupon code to shop online or printable to take to the store with you. Before you start shopping anywhere, taking the time to check for any available coupons can save you a bundle.
When you are shopping the sales, there are a few tips and tricks that can help you maximize your savings. If you are really organized, you can coordinate using coupons with the sales to maximize savings. Not all retailers will allow you additional discounts on top of sale prices, but a growing number of stores are coming around. Buy one; get one free sales will save you the most money if you buy items of like pricing. For example, if you find toys on BOGO, buy all the toys that are 29.99 together to save the most at checkout.
4. Take Advantage of Social Networking
Facebook is not just for keeping up with your family and friends; it can also save you money. By liking the Facebook page of your favorite stores, you can get coupons and exclusive sales information right on your wall. You can also “like” pages dedicated to finding great deals. Coupon Divas is just one of many Facebook pages that deliver out of this world deals right to your Facebook wall. You can also find links to coupons on the social networking sites of your favorite stores.
5. Remember to Shop Year-Round
The holiday season comes at the same time every year, so why wait until it is here to start shopping. To get the most for your money, do not rely on Black Friday sales for all of your holiday deals. You can find great deals on many items year round, so why not take advantage of them.
Many winter items go on sale in the spring, so it is a great time to stock up on gift items while they are on clearance. Sweaters, scarf/hat gift sets, gloves, and more are all items that make fantastic gifts every year. Each holiday throughout the year offers an opportunity to find items at an amazing bargain. Halloween costumes will go on clearance after the trick-or-treating is done which is a perfect opportunity to pick up some fantastic dress-up clothes for the kids that make great gifts. After Easter, the toy-filled baskets on clearance are a great way to stock up on stocking stuffer toys for next to nothing. And of course, the after Christmas sales can be the best place to start holiday shopping for next year.
How do you make your holiday money last? Share in the comments below.