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There are few things more stressful during the holiday season than making sure your hard-earned dollars go as far as they need to. Here are five tried-and-true savings tips to help you get your money’s worth during the season of giving.
Look Online and Be Jolly
E-commerce has grown from a novelty to a fact of daily life, overtaking in-store purchases for a wide variety of goods and services. Thanks to the ability to order goods from retailers around the world, it is possible to comparison shop without leaving your home. Start your search not at Amazon but with Google.
With sufficient research, you can pretty much guarantee you're paying not only a fair price, but the lowest price around. You may still prefer to support local businesses and buy at a brick and mortar shop, but at the very least you can use your research to your advantage to get a fair price.
Buy Well in Advance
Timing is key when getting the best deal possible. Commonly purchased products typically go on sale on a regular basis, making it a good idea to research the product you wish to acquire for your friends or loved ones in advance. Who knows – it may be worth your while to purchase the gift in July and keep it in your closet!
There are many onlign articles and blogs discussing when it is best to make a purchase. One of our favorites is hosted by Lifehacker and is regularly updated. Here is the most recent version of this article.
Use a Coupon App
Retailers are constantly seeking your business by providing special discounts through the use of coupons and other related marketing materials. By leveraging an app that collects all the special offers together you will be able to more quickly determine exactly where you get the most bang for your buck.
A Google Chrome web-browser extension like Honey can automatically search and apply promotional codes at the checkout page when shopping online.
Just be careful to choose an app with good reviews and a track record of success. You should never have to pay to receive what amounts to advertisements!
Take Advantage of Discounted Gift Cards
Many large retailers offer gift cards in order to entice spending throughout the year. For gift buyers, it resolves the issue of finding the perfect gift since the recipient can just pick out what they want. Many retailers offer a small discount on gift cards throughout the holiday season. With no loading fees, this is a good way to show you care without spending a small fortune.
Just make certain that you purchase cards from companies not at risk of shutting down in the near future. No point in getting a great discount on a gift card if the retailer isn’t around to accept it two months later!
Focus on Intended Use, Not Brand
For far too long we have been fixated on the brand of the product and not the product itself. Do not let yourself get stuck paying higher prices when you can save a small fortune by going with another brand. Ask yourself what features does the product need to have and research the marketplace. You may be surprised to discover something that fits your needs perfectly can be had for a small fraction of the asking price of the more well-known item.
In some circumstances, you can even use this comparison to haggle for a better price on the name-brand item. All you have to lose is a few minutes of your time, with the potential reward being a lower credit card bill come January!