Did you know that half of Americans start their holiday shopping by or before the month of September? Many savvy shoppers like to start shopping early, so that they don’t wind up with a huge holiday shopping list and don’t have to spend a ton of money all at once. Spacing out your holiday related purchases is one of the smartest ways to save money, but if you’re like a lot of folks, you may not have that kind of time, or you might not be that organized. If you have yet to start your holiday shopping, and are looking to save some money in the process, check out these handy tips.
One of the easiest things you can do right of the bat, is to make a budget and plan to stick to it. Maybe you have been setting aside some money each week and have a holiday shopping fund. No one wants to go broke during the holidays, so set your budget with a reasonable shopping goal in mind. Stick to the budget at all costs, and just because you save money or find a great deal, doesn’t mean that you have to spend that money that you saved in turn. Shop with a trusted friend who can help you stick to your budget.
Eat before you shop. It may sound silly, but eating at home before you set out on a shopping adventure can save you a lot of money, If you love to sip coffee or a hot beverage while you shop, plan to brew something at home, and take it with you on the go. Bed Bath and Beyond is a great go-to store for your coffee brewing and travel needs. They have a fabulous selection of K-Cups in all sorts of delicious flavors for fall and winter. If you need a new travel mug, there are tons of cute ones available there, too. Right now, you can save 20% off of a single item at Bed Bath and Beyond. Need a new Kurig, or want to gift one for the holidays? Now is the time to buy one! Brewing coffee at home will save you lots of money in the long run. Those trips to the coffee shop add up fast!
Shop with a card that offers perks or rewards. If you’re shopping with a credit card online or in-store, choose wisely. Use the card that will help you reap the best rewards, Many cards offer cash back on purchases, or can get you special perks like airline mileage.
Skip the gift wrap. Buy a gift that just requires a card, and no fancy gift wrap, boxes, bags, bows, etc. Gift options that can fit nicely inside of a card include gift cards to favorites stores of restaurants. You could even gift tickets to concerts or sporting events. Check out StubHub for select 2 for 1 event tickets. If you’re shopping for a family with kids, it would be a fun idea to gift them tickets to the aquarium. Ripley’s Aquarium is a well loved aquarium with all sorts of interactive activities for the whole family. You’ll be gifting them the opportunity to experience cool sea creatures up close, and to make some lasting memories.
Draw names for family gifts. Drawing names for the holiday gift exchange is a great way to save everyone some money. Exclude the kids from this rule, but have all other family members draw names. This way, each family member is only buying one adult gift. Shopping for family members can add up quickly, especially if you have a large family. It would be so much nicer to concentrate on one meaningful gift for the person whose name you drew, rather than buying cheap little gifts for everyone.
Skip the expensive holiday festivities. Do you love looking at holiday light displays? Skip the big festival that you have to pay to get into, and go ride around town looking at lights for free. Think of unique ways to spend less money on the things you do every day during the holiday season, so you have more money to spend on those you love.