December 5

Tips To Save Money While Holiday Shopping

If you’re a planner, you may have finished all of your holiday shopping by now. However shopping for the holidays can extend right up until Christmas Eve, when you’re searching through the store for a present to give your favorite Aunt. Holiday shopping requires organization and pre-planning for the right gifts and best deals on what you need. Here are 10 ways to save courtesy of CCCS and Money Talks News:

1.) Make a list & check it twice
Sit down and list everyone you plan to buy a gift for and take the time to write out ideas of what you’d like to buy each person. Try to stand by your list; you’ll be less likely to veer off path with a solid plan before shopping.

2.) Set a budget
Knowing that you can spend $50 on your mother, $25 on your cousin and so on is more effective planning than estimating. To be cost-effective, assign a dollar amount to each person on your holiday gift list or try planning a whole amount, “I will only spend $500 on holiday gifts this year.”

3.) Buy for groups when it makes sense
If possible, group people in your list. For example, if you’re buying within a group of co-workers try buying something bulk for them to all enjoy, instead of personalizing each gift. Another idea: If you can buy a gift for a couple, try giving them a gift they can enjoy together such as a gift card for dinner or a movie.

4.) Start early
You’ll benefit from the best deals, the greatest gift steals and avoid last minute impulse buys, by giving yourself a head start on holiday shopping. Planning ahead never hurts, and it certainly can be cost efficient when having a long gift list for the holidays.

5.) Take advantage of gift card freebies
Gift cards may not seem like the most sentimental gift; however a night out to dinner or something they can purchase themselves might be exactly what they need for after this holiday season! Whether you’re interested in L.L. Bean or Olive Garden, you can earn extra gift-card cash just for making a purchase.

6.) Consider outlet stores
Outlet stores can offer a great place to find discounts. Again, just make sure you have your list and budget planned before you take the drive. Do some research online: make sure they offer the gift you are hoping to find.

7.) Make a gift
You can never put a price tag on homemade gifts. Your loved ones may prefer getting a personalized gift from the heart that you created yourself. Try a CD of their favorite songs, a scrapbook of a special time you shared or decoration contributions such as an ornament or centerpiece for the holiday.

8.) Split the difference
If you have the perfect gift idea in mind that overwhelms your budget, talk to other friends or family about sharing the cost of the item. Having several people chip in could be well worth your favorite niece getting a new tablet or computer for school.

9.) Build gift baskets
Dollar stores may sound like a peculiar place to find your holiday gifts, but not if you plan to get creative. You can create gift baskets for different people with a theme in mind to cater to each of their personalities. Example:  for a movie theme, buy a popcorn container, with popcorn, candy, and some discounted DVD’s.

10.) Re-gift
Someone else might adore the gift you didn’t love so much this holiday season. Be mindful if you re-gift as you wouldn’t want the person who purchased the gift to see you handing it out to someone else. Re-gift etiquette would be to only re-gift items you have never opened or used since the person receiving something already tampered with might feel offended.