The holidays can be a great time to be with family and friends, throw parties, buy gifts and eat good food. Unless, you hate your brother, trying to save money or trying to lose weight. Unfortunately, I can’t help with family issues or weight issues, ( I have my own!) but saving money while still being generous? I think I’m good at that.
1.Buy online through cash back sites. I almost never buy things in the stores anymore, though I do love to peruse them. With sites like ebates.com (for both of us to cash-in, check out my referral), honey and others, I save so much money. These sites offer a certain percentage off every time you use their portal. They get paid by the store because they help increase traffic, and the site gives you a percentage of that payment. Macy’s can offer up to 16% off, Bloomingdales I’ve seen at 10%. Check these sites out before you shop! Also, check out my post on saving money while shopping online.
2. Plan ahead. If you think you will be seeing family members but aren’t entirely sure, its worth buying the gift now versus last minute. It will be cheaper if you are able to shop around versus buying the first thing you see due to time constraints.
3. Use discounted gift cards. Sites like giftcardgranny.com and others are great at offering cheaper rates for these cards. There is a huge variety of stores that have gift cards, so check them out!
4. Use your downtime to research if any item decreased in price. You can try apps like parabus which do this automatically. Full disclosure, I have never used it but have heard great things!
5. Try sites like Groupon for good deals and good gifts. You could try out a restaurant voucher, or an activity. Granted your gift-reciever will know how much you spent, but if its a close friend or family member, it may not matter. Hopefully, they see the time you will spend together with the groupon as a bigger gift! Also, don’t forget to use ebates to buy your groupon!
6. Another plan ahead tip! Take a bottle of water and a snack while shopping. If you are going to get serious shopping done, then don’t waste your money on an overpriced water bottle or snacks. I am by no means saying not to eat out if you want to! It’s more of an issue of buying out of convenience versus planning ahead.
7. On a different note, another great way to save money is to make more. Consider getting an extra job during the holidays at the mall or taking extra shifts in your current job.
The holidays don’t have to set your wallet back. Think positive, plan ahead and have fun!