Are you a holiday shopper who could up her game this year? If you start the season full of gusto and taper off into disappointment, you may be! We have some tips to help YOU get what you want for the holidays, with less drama, more cost-effective decision-making, and your own needs in mind. Remember:
Lists are crucial. Sales are good, but you know what’s better? Scoring things that you actually need instead of the things you may like at the time you’re shopping. Be methodical, be ruthless, and most importantly – be honest. Sometimes there’s a veritable canyon between what you need and what you want. And if you do find something very special that wasn’t on the list, but that doesn’t break the bank, consider treating yourself anyway. After all, it’s the holidays.
Save time by shopping at inclusive locations. Forget one-trick-ponies when it comes to shopping: instead, look for online destinations that have a lot of depth. For example, we like browsing Overstock.com sales, which includes everything for the home in one fell swoop. For pretty, inexpensive art pieces and decorative items, it’s better to check out a site where you can also score bed and bath goodies. Bundling items will save you time and money on shipping, and you cut down on the guilt factor when you get things you like in addition to home goods.
Don’t forget about travel. Is there somewhere you have been thinking about visiting for a while? While traveling may be hard during the holidays, what’s not is buying tickets in advance. This season, look out for sales on budget airlines, special credit card offers that give you free flights, and plenty of package deals. We like the thought of a 2019 cruise on one of the biggest ships built for tourist travel yet, and it’s a present for you that your whole family can enjoy.
Check your credit cards for additional cash back. You have planned meticulously, and you are ready to buy. You may just grab your preferred credit or debit card and start checking out – don’t! Take a few minutes to analyze which cards give you special cash-back deals on shopping categories or on specific retailers. This is a good way to get a holiday steal for yourself that doesn’t put a dent in your general holiday budget. Just keep in mind that you often need to “claim” deals!
Do online “reconnaissance.” Are you more of an in-person shopper? You can still save yourself time (a true gift to yourself!). Before heading out to Macy’s, JCPenney, or Saks, for example, consider purchasing a few “test” items with a fair return policy. That way, you will know what brands to zero in on when you’re shopping for gifts, and you can return what you didn’t love while you are in-store.
Be more open-minded with newsletters. There are always deals to be had, but how many times have you missed a great sale? Be sure that you are signed up to get alerts from your top ten favorite retailers, as well as meetcoupon.com.