Woman saving money on holiday shopping

    8 Ways to Save Money on Holiday Shopping

    Key Summary
    The holiday season can be an expensive time, but this year it doesn’t have to be. Here are 8 ways to save money on holiday shopping this year: shop sales, shop online and compare prices, use rewards or cash-back credit cards, skip gift exchanges, abandon your online shopping cart, give fewer gifts, shop with cash, and do it yourself.


    The holiday season is an expensive time. According to the latest data from the National Retail Federation, American consumers spend on average $997.73 on gifts and holiday items each year. But this year, holiday shopping doesn’t necessarily have to break the bank! Read on to learn some tips about how to save money on holiday shopping this year.


    Shop sales.

    Take advantage of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday deals. These pre-holiday sales are a great way to get ahead of your shopping lists and save some money. When shopping these sales, it’s important to review your list and the different sales ahead of time to help maximize your savings. 


    Shop online and compare prices.

    While shopping in-store may help you get in the holiday spirit, you may find that you can save some money (and time) by online shopping. Online shopping also lets you price compare, so you’re guaranteed to get the best possible deal. Additionally, if you sign up for a free service like Honey, you don’t even have to search for coupons and savings – the plugin searches the web and applies the best coupon codes to most online shopping carts.  


    Use a rewards or cash-back credit card.

    If you’re going to spend the money anyway, you may benefit from purchasing your gifts on a rewards or cash-back credit card. Depending on your holiday budget, your spending may help you score a bonus or receive rewards worth hundreds of dollars in cash back or points. However, there are risks involved with using a credit card including the potential for long-term debt and high-interest charges. Make sure to keep track of your holiday budget to avoid overspending. 


    Skip gift exchanges.

    As fun as they are, maybe skip the white elephant or junk-for-junk gift exchanges at work, small groups, or book clubs. Save some money (and your sanity) by opting out of these optional gift exchanges. Instead, consider spending time together by planning an evening out, a trip to the movies, or dinner at a restaurant. 


    Abandon your online shopping cart.

    Shopping cart abandonment is when you add products or services to your online shopping cart, and then decide to quit shopping and don’t go through with the purchase. When shopping carts are abandoned, some retailers will send you an email or text message offering a discount if you complete the purchase. However, this strategy is not recommended if the product you’re shopping for is this season’s hottest item. 


    Give fewer gifts.

    This year, it may be time to consider setting boundaries and expectations with your family and friends when it comes to holiday gift-giving. And keep in mind, not everyone needs a gift. Maybe this year instead of giving everyone a gift, consider Secret Santa, kid’s only exchanges, or family gifts. A clear conversation with your family and friends about cutting back could be just the thing your finances need. 


    Shop with cash.

    Although most of us don’t carry much cash anymore, this can be a great way to control your spending because you see the immediate disappearance of dollars from your wallet. Using cash also helps you avoid accruing credit card debt and interest charges. Once you’ve created your holiday spending budget, try withdrawing your spending limit in cash – you’re guaranteed to stay within budget. 


    Do it yourself.

    The items on your holiday list don’t always have to come from a store. In fact, some of the most meaningful gifts and decoration objects are DIY projects. Homemade décor, wrapping paper and bows, and gifts are a great way to save some money this holiday season.

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