Author: Danielle White
When the Christmas season approaches, many people go into panic model trying to figure how to get the shopping done, what to buy for every person on the list, and how to get it all done in time for the holiday. Fortunately, there are 6 do’s and don’t’s when shopping for the holiday season that can make the process simple for anyone
Do Try to Cut Other Costs
Since trying to find money in the budget to pay for all of the holiday shopping can be difficult, try to find ways to cut costs in other areas to free up more money to spend on the holiday shopping. For example, shop around for car insurance quotes to see if you are getting the best deal. The extra savings from switching and finding affordable car insurance companies can help fund the holiday shopping.
Make it a tradition to look for cost saving measures every year at this time. After calling around for car insurance quotes, also call about deals on your homeowner’s insurance, your cable bill, or your phone bill. This is one money saving tradition that can definitely help fund your yearly shopping trip.
Do Compare Prices
As an informed shopper, always do your homework and compare prices at different stores. Make sure you have access to print ads and online ads to get the most current prices and to know about the best sales. Decide which
items you know you want to buy, and compare prices at the stores that carry those items.
It is a good idea to watch prices for a few weeks before deciding to make the purchases. You can watch the price to see how it changes from week to week, so you will know if an advertised sale price is really a good deal at all. Just because an item is advertised as being on sale doesn’t mean that the price is the lowest it is going to be. Watch the price, so you can be informed to make smart purchases.
Do Use Coupons
Don’t underestimate the power of coupons in today’s shopping experience. Your number one goal should be to get the items you want for the holiday season at the lowest possible price. When you get a good coupon, you need to hold onto it instead of running to use it right away. Hold your coupon until the item goes on sale. Then, you will get the sale price and be able to use the coupon to get a great deal.
Another good idea is to sign up online at a store’s website, so the store will send you coupons by e-mail. These offers are usually better than the ones in newspaper ads, which means more savings for you.
Don’t Be Tricked
You have to be a smart shopper to get the best prices, and stores really will say or do anything to get you inside the store. Once you’re in the store, you can be tricked by the store’s displays. Many stores will offer great prices on one thing to get you in the door because they know once you’re inside, you will see bigger, better items and purchase more expensive items.
Don’t fall for these tricks. It is okay to browse in the store, but keep your original purchase in mind. If you know what you want going in, buy what you intended to buy. Let someone else fall for the store’s tricks, and walk away with the remainder of your money in hand.
Don’t Stray from Your Budget
Before any big holiday shopping trip, it is important for you to sit down and decide how much money you will spend on each person on your list. Make a conscience decision to stick to that number. Once you get inside the stores, you will see many things to tempt you into overspending. Be strong, and keep your mind focused on the top number you can spend.
When you have reached your limit, you need to stop. No matter how much you buy, you will always want to buy more. Buy gifts you feel good about giving, and know the thought counts more than the amount you spent. You don’t want to feel guilt after the holidays because you spent too much. Adhere to your budget, and be happy later.
Don’t Be Influenced by Others
Many people like to make shopping into a fun trip with friends. This isn’t always a good thing. You can be tempted into buying things you wouldn’t ordinarily buy or be tempted to spend more money than you are actually comfortable spending. It can be hard to say no when friends are cheering you on, and you get caught up in the exciting shopping frenzy.
Shopping alone has many advantages. You can buy what you want to buy, and shop around to make sure you are getting a good deal at the right price for you. If you want to shop with friends, use that time to browse. Then, go back alone when you can focus on your budget limits and finding deals.