We have officially entered into the 2014 Holiday Season. We all know what this means… Shopping! Shopping! Shopping! Everyone wants to find the best gifts at the best prices and we all hope we don’t blow the budget. Are you planning on having a cash Christmas this year? Here are 10 shopping tips that will help you stay within your holiday budget while getting the gifts you’re hoping for.
Make a List
Always compile a list before heading out, which outlines exactly what needs to be bought and where. This will ensure you won’t stray away from your objective for the day and buy extras that are not on your list. You do NOT go off that list!
Can’t find it in the stores? Want to avoid the lines? Buy online! Many online stores will be waiving shipping during the holidays for those looking to purchase gifts online. They will even be having secret sales for those already signed up to their email registry. So it might be actually better to buy online. Sign up today to receive those additional savings!
Use Other Outlets
For those gifts in high demand? If you can’t find that gift that everyone wants, I suggest utilizing such outlets as Ebay and/or Craigslist to make an offer. A great way to get that perfect gift for the price you want.
During the holidays, hit your biggest department stores first as they will always have the biggest savings the earliest.
Create a holiday budget and stick with it! Tell friends and family exactly what your budget is. Set exact amounts of what you’re going to buy and don’t go over. If there’s an item you really want to buy but it’s not within your budget, ask a close family member or friend to split the cost with you.
Say No to Store Credit Cards
Don’t open any store credit cards! You’ll most likely blow your budget, buy stuff you don’t really need, and end up paying interest when the payment is due.
Ask for an additional discount before checking out. Many times there are additional discounts on certain items that many of us don’t know about. It doesn’t hurt to just ASK!
Shop early and shop often. Keep a list of everyone you need to buy a gift for and whenever you come across a great deal, scoop it up. Chipping away at your shopping a little bit at a time is easier than waiting until the last minute.
Don’t let your kids get sucked in by retailers’ holiday hype. The “must have toy” usually has an inflated price. Steer them toward toys that will have longevity. I sometimes wonder how many parents paid $400+ for a Tickle Me Elmo that ended up at the bottom of the toy box in less than a week.
Make It Meaningful
The “best gift” doesn’t have to be the “hot” electronic gadget of the season. If you are able to push that notion aside and really take into consideration what a person likes and/or needs, your gift will be much more meaningful.
Lastly, don’t forget yourself! After your long days of shopping, don’t forget to give yourself the gift of taste and health by picking up a nice tall glass of Indian River Select Juice.
Written by: Karen Hoxmeier