Holiday Shopping Tips

woman with gifts approaching car

The traditional kickoff to the holiday shopping season may begin the day after Thanksgiving. The National Retail Federation estimates that 40% of consumers start their holiday shopping before October 31; as a result, retailers advertise their holiday deals weeks in advance.

Sale signs are a temptation, but be wary of giving in to them too quickly. Make a list of the gifts you plan to buy and set a budget to help you avoid overspending.

Snag great deals with these holiday shopping tips.

Price match

Research to find stores that match prices. Some retailers typically match a competitor’s price on an identical item if it’s lower. Major retailers, including Best Buy, Target, Walmart, and Home Depot offer price matching. Retailers have their own policies regarding price matching so make sure to read through their terms.

Shop online

Online shopping is a growing alternative that can save you time and money. Google Shopping, Yahoo Shopping, BizRate and similar sites can help you get the best deal by comparing prices at different stores. And be sure to sign up for email alerts, so know when stores offer free shipping or other deals.

Use layaway programs

Layaways give shoppers the flexibility to pay over time, rather than all at once. With stores like GameStop and Walmart offering layaway programs, you can buy the hot items when they’re available and pick them up in the store when you’ve made all your payments.

If you can’t find the right gift throughout your shopping trips you could regift unwanted gifts.

Regift Unwanted Gifts

If you know someone who would really appreciate a gift you received more than you do, a regift is not taboo. But it’s best to do it right away, and only give it to someone who has no connection to the original gift giver. (Even a casual Facebook friendship can burn you.) Make sure to remove all signs of the original exchange, and no one has to know it was a white elephant.

Want to save money and spend more time with your family during the holidays? Start working on your gift list now.