With the economy being the way it is many of us are looking for the best ways to bargain shop this holiday season so we can get the things we need and want and save a little money too. But what are the best ways to get bargains when you are holiday shopping? These tried and true money saving bargain shopping tips can help you get through the holiday shopping season from Black Friday to the New Year.
Make a list and check it twice
Not to see who has been naughty or nice, but also to help you brainstorm gift ideas. List not only names, but one to three gift ideas; that way you have options that could save you money.
Not on the “A” list but on the “E” list
Sign up for e-mail newsletters or from stores like Old Navy, Yankee Candle and Bath and Bodyworks just to name a few. They offer their email lists special savings that can be used online or in the store, savings that you won’t find anywhere else, for example Leapfrog will send emails on free shipping, printable coupons and discounts on products offers only available through their email list. In some cases you will also get notice before sales to help you plan your shopping trips.
Note: you may want to set up a separate email account for this very purpose so you can add one layer of internet protection as well as do your “email shopping” when you have time so it doesn’t interfere with your regular email reading.
Holiday ads can add up to big savings
If you are like me, many of those ads that come in the Sunday paper actually don’t get a much attention but during the holiday shopping season take time to look at them, all of them. Looking through these ads can help you think of gift ideas, know pricing before you buy it, save you trips to stores and even help you with price matching. I actually found something at a local sporting goods store at an excellent price last year that I never would have dreamed that they would carry.
Let’s make a deal-price matching
Some stores, like Home Depot and Wal-Mart offer price matching. Target also offers a low price promise which is like price matching but will not do price matching on days like Black Friday or other special day sales because they are considered “specials” or “promotions.”
Clipping coupons makes for shopping bargains
Use coupons to help you shop for bargains on holiday gifts. You may find them on sites like Coupons.com or even in an advertisement flyer from a specific store like J.C. Penny. Look through the Entertainment book for retail coupons that can help you save money at stores like Lane Bryant or Express. Check the store or manufacturer website, like Target.com or Hasbro.com for printable coupons.
Holiday shopping bargains that can really “stack up”
Many stores allow you to “stack” your savings. One such store is Target where you can use both the Target store coupon or discount and the manufacturer coupon. Here’s an example, a Target coupon for 50% off a Trio toy was combined with the manufacturers coupon from their website for $3.00 off, which stacked up to be quite a savings.
Buy it before Black Friday
Find a great deal on something before Black Friday but afraid it will be gone? It just might be, so go ahead and buy it but make sure to keep your receipt. If you happen to be in the store on Black Friday and find it in stock and on sale some stores will do a “price adjustment” on your recent purchase, giving you either an in-store credit or a credit back to your credit or debit card. This way you know you have the gift you want at a price you can afford. If you happen to save even more on it later, that is what can make your Black Friday shopping so very freaky.
Skip the shipping – unless it’s free
Sometimes it’s just not worth the savings to purchase an item online. Look for free shipping offers available at stores like ToysRUs and Wal-Mart. Amazon Mom is a “present” for parents and caregivers just in time for the holidays that offers a free trial (no credit card required) of Amazon Prime shipping. Now that’s a holiday shopping bargain!
Smart holiday bargain shopping using smartphones
Smart phones like the Blackberry, Android and the iPhone offer both the opportunity to quickly check out reviews on a product before you make an instant purchase because it “looks like a good deal” but also offer you the opportunity to do some price comparison shopping locating a product at nearby stores, it’s pricing and using some apps the ability to see if it is in stock.
There is more to saving money and shopping for bargains during the holiday season. Save yourself money and valuable time by combining trips and bring along some snacks or drinks in a cooler for you and if necessary the whole family. This will save you expensive stops at a drive thru or purchases in a store.
Using coupons, price matching, and budgeting your holiday shopping doesn’t make you cheap, it makes you smart and spreads that holiday shopping budget a whole lot further.
Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for Happy Holiday Shopping!
Use of the many websites mentioned