Here’s some ideas that will help save you money and keep your shopping as stress free as possible
1. Start Shopping Now. It seems that retailers are starting their holiday sales earlier and earlier. This is known as Christmas Creep, and it means that you don’t have to wait until after Thanksgiving for the best deals. Many deals are better before Thanksgiving, then on Black Friday itself.
Many retailers also offer a price guarantee for a couple of weeks after the sale. If the price is lowered after you’ve purchased an item, you can go back to the store and get a refund for the difference.
2. Get Organized. Before you even begin shopping, write out a list of who you’re buying for. List ideas of what you’d like to buy them and how much you’d like to spend. This list should include family and friends, teachers, co-workers, etc. Sticking to the list will help keep you from overspending.
3. Price Match. Most large retailers will match competitors’ advertised prices, which can save you both time and money. There are apps (like RedLaser or ShopSavvy) that can find the best deal for you, instead of driving from store to store or looking through ads.
4. Never Pay for Shipping. Many of stores offer standard free shipping for holiday sales as long as you don’t need rush delivery. You may also be able to find free-shipping coupon codes via sites like RetailMeNot.com.
5. Consider Return Policies. In case an item needs to be returned, you do want to make sure that it’s easily done for your recipient. Make sure the return policy will extend until after you’ve given the gift. For online purchases, you’ll want either free shipping on returns or the ability to bring the item back to a local store.