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Top Ten Tips to Save Money This Holiday Season

Saturday, November 26, 2016

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Written by Katelyn Gilmore

The holidays are arguably the best time of the year from getting together with loved ones, watching holiday-themed movies, to it being socially acceptable to drink as much egg-nog as possible. If you’re lucky, you may even get to see your boss drunk at an office party. The only true down-side of all the festive fun is the toll on the bank book. Without further ado, here is the top ten ways you can save money this holiday season.

Online Shopping

Online shopping is great because you can score some sweet deals without even having to take off your Santa slippers.

1)      Practically every online retailer offers a discount as an incentive for subscribing to their email newsletters. By providing companies your email, the typical immediate response is a discount code off your next purchase. The best part is you can use the discount code, and then unsubscribe with the click of a button. Cheating the system never felt so good.

2)      Don’t have Google Chrome downloaded as your primary internet browser? Well download it, and then download Honey Chrome extension while you’re at it. Honey automatically applies the best applicable discount/promo code at checkout for you, for whatever online shopping website you happen to be browsing on. This one is definitely worth checking out.

3)      Can’t think of budget-friendly gift ideas? BuzzFeed offers a great gift guide via an email newsletter. Not only do they help with finding the perfect original gift idea, but they are typically inexpensive as well. In addition to their newsletter, Buzzfeed often posts columns with additional gift ideas such as their latest posts “26 Gifts That Only Look Expensive” or “28 Gifts for The Clean Freak in Your Life”.

4)      Amazon! Perhaps you have already discovered that Amazon is typically cheaper when purchasing textbooks, or maybe you haven’t discovered the magical world of Amazon at all. Whatever the case may be, there isn’t a greater time to step up your Amazon game than the holidays. The “Movers and Shakers”, “Most Wished For”, and “Most Gifted” categories are clearly super relevant for some great gift ideas. The best part of all, not only will they be great gift ideas, but they’ll be usually cheaper than in-store purchases and delivered to your door-step for free or close to it.

5)      If you don’t Groupon, then you should start. You also shouldn’t let internet articles tell you how to live your life - but if you don’t Groupon, then just know you’re not saving any money that way. Groupon is a website and app for select smartphones with a variety of discounted items and nearby activities for sale. Bonus - It’s another awesome go-to if you’re stuck for gift ideas. There is pretty much everything on there from discounted spa packages to concerts/comedy shows in your area. Upon purchasing an activity, simply select the gift option to print such activity in the form of a themed card of your choosing.

Shopping in the Flesh –

So maybe you’re not as tech-savvy to utilize online shopping or for some (questionable) reason, you enjoy the hustle and bustle of malls this time of year. These tips are for you.

6)      Yes, you may judge the person in front of you for holding up the line to price-match 0.50c off their avocados. I’m usually that person, but it’s fine, I can take your stares. What you might not know, is that you can also price-match other items too from make-up to furniture, to toys. Most big department stores such as Wal-Mart allow price-matching and all you have to do is show them that week’s flyer of the same product for cheaper elsewhere, and they will match that price. The price-matching website and app “Flipp” is also a great tool and saves time of going through each flyer. Simply search the item you are looking for at the top and it will list all prices from nearby stores for the best deal. You’re welcome.

7)      Start shopping early to take advantage of the deals! Maybe you got some great Black Friday bargains recently, and if you’re lucky, perhaps you got a matching battle scar and story out of the adventure. That’s awesome. You should do that, but start even earlier so you can take advantage of other (less violent) sales too.

8)      Now that we have price-matching and starting holiday shopping early underway, I present to you my second tip of cheating the system. If your friends judge you for it, you can simply say that you’re fighting consumerism and the Marxist regime of over-priced goods. If you have purchased an item and later noticed through more shopping trips or flyers that the item has gone on sale, return the item and repurchase it for cheaper. Most stores allow you to return an item within two weeks with your receipt for a refund. Worst case scenario, you’re stuck with a store credit to use for additional gifts.

9)      This one is where that fully loaded Pinterest page gets to shine. Handmade gifts are great gifts, and whoever thinks otherwise might deserve a lump of coal instead. Not only can handmade gifts be a fun way for you to get in the spirit, they are usually the most cherished gifts in the long-run. If you’re not a very crafty person, holiday baking can be as equally enjoyable, or a carefully selected handcrafted burnt CD can go along way - especially with older generations. 90s nostalgia never felt so festive.

10)   Last but certainly not least - Budgets are your friends. Start by creating a list of all the people you would like to buy for. Next include the small things that add up like Secret Santa purchases, holiday cards, food/alcohol, holiday baking ingredients, decorations, wrapping paper, etc. Dollar stores are usually a good place to start when tackling the little things like wrapping paper. Pick a reasonable price-point for each person and item on the list and stick to it!

I hope these budget-friendly tips will be beneficial this holiday season. Happy Holidays!

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