8 Smart Tips for Holiday Shopping
Christmas is just around the corner and with it is the massive holiday shopping frenzy that can make you spend more than how much you intend to. While you don’t have to stop buying stuff for the holidays, you can effectively manage your spending and budgeting.
Below are some smart moves to keep your finances under control even when buying for holiday necessities and some niceties.
1. Plan ahead
There’s nothing smarter when it comes to shopping that getting ahead of the shopping rush, regardless if it's during the holidays or any time of the year. Planning comprises making a budget to identify all the possible expenses and the set amount for spending. Make a list and assign an amount to each planned spending, such as gifts, food, travels, outfits, and get-togethers.
2. Shop early
While there are plenty of sales during the holiday season to take advantage of, you can save money on holiday expenses by buying them early. For instance, if your Christmas celebration is not complete without adorning your house with a Christmas tree and other decorations, you can buy them at different times of the year when their demand is low. Generally, holiday decorations are at their lowest prices after the holiday season or at the beginning of the year when many stores are clearing out stuff that is not sold.
Remember the law of supply and demand from your economic class? The prices of goods rise as their demand for them increases and drop when they're not in demand.
The same principle applies to airplane tickets and other public modes of transportation, so if you’re planning to travel during the holidays, it is smart to book your trip at least one month in advance.
3. Approach sales with a caution
Just because the holiday season is a time of sales and discounts doesn’t mean you should buy a lot of stuff because they’re sold at cheaper than normal prices. Instead of rushing at the mall to “grab exciting promos”, purchase only those that you need.
Your budget plan can help you navigate the holiday shopping frenzy with its long list of items to buy and at what prices. If your desired items are on sale, then rejoice, you earn more extra money in your savings.
4. Shop online
The malls and retail stores are not the only shopping venues that offer great bargains during the holidays. There are also plenty of online stores that join the shopping frenzy. Some of these e-commerce establishments even popularised the trendy “flash sale”, which puts specific items on discounts or promotion for a short period, usually an hour. Others also offer a “deal-of-the-day”, which puts a single, usually best-selling product for sale for up to 24 hours.
To take advantage of these online store promotions, follow your favourite online stores on social media or subscribe to their email list to get updates on their latest promotions.
Apart from the price slash, you can also save time and money by shopping online. You won’t have to race or event fight with other shoppers to grab limited-offer items or wait for your turn in the cashier’s line with a very long queue. You also won’t need to pay for any gas and other expenses as you drive your way to a store. If you make your purchases far enough ahead of time, you may also be spared from the expensive overnight shipping. Additionally, you may also enjoy a free shipping delivery if you order above a certain amount.
5. Buy in bulk
If you have heaps of shopping items to buy, it may be best to shop in bulk and wholesale stores like The Source Bulk Foods and Campbells to save time and money. You won’t have to visit plenty of miles or even stores to get your products. You can also save tons of money, sometimes even as much as 50%, since the price per unit is typically cheaper.
Just make sure that you have a use for all the stuff that you buy. If you’re giving the items as gifts, see to it that the people on your list will find them valuable or even enjoyable to use. Also, the same item in bulk can be gifted to several people and usually available at a discounted deal. Why waste resources buying each of your giftees a unique present when they can all enjoy the same product.
6. Organise your shopping trips
If you’re buying items from brick-and-mortar stores, plan your trips early so you can plan the best routes, day and time for shopping. This will save you a lot of time and money on gas. You can group your shopping trips according to locations or items needed, whichever is more convenient and cost-efficient for you. If you can do all your shopping in one trip or one shopping destination, do so. Even if you spend one tiring day to do all your shopping, it will be worth the time and effort than driving back and forth to the stores.
7. Use coupons
Never shy from using coupons to redeem valuable discounts and specials. If you love to clip coupons and keep them in your wallet, now the holiday is a perfect time to get rid of them. By getting rid, it means finally using them for free products and services.
There are also plenty of online coupons for online shopping. You can easily find e-coupons from your favourite online stores through discount voucher retailers, like:
- Deal Finder
8. Use credit cards with caution
Responsible credit card use helps build your good credit, which is an important requirement when you're taking out a loan. But while swiping them is not bad, it is smarter to use cash for small purchases. This way, it will be easier to control splurges and track spending.
Save your credit cards for large purchases, like airplane tickets and hotel stays. This will help you earn more reward points, miles, or cashback in a short time. Additionally, there are a lot of cardholder perks for large credit card purchase, including extended warranties and purchase protection. And of course, you don’t have to make a full payment for any major with a credit card. Some credit card providers even allow you to pay your purchases within 12 to 15 months without incurring interest charges.
Shopping is inevitable during the holidays, but you don’t have to splurge to celebrate this festive season. With good financial management and a structured budget plan, you can efficiently organise and simplify your holiday shopping.
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