How to Shop Smart This Holiday Season

The holidays bring about a lot of cheer, but also a lot of stress for many as the financial burden of giving that perfect gift may sometimes be overwhelming. Here are five tips that you can use to shop smart and save big this holiday season:

santa-online-shoppingAvoid the last minute shopping spree

One of the best ways to not get overwhelmed financially during the holiday season is to buy gifts in advance and to space out your purchases. A great way to do this effectively is to know exactly what you are looking for and to grab it when you see it on sale, or even when you have a few extra bucks to spare that week.

Make a list

Write a Christmas gift list that works with your budget, it’s how Santa does it! This will keep you in check when you do your shopping and prevent you from blowing your budget on impulse shopping.

Buy online

Avoid the crowds and skip the lines by doing your shopping on the internet. Shopping online can help you save a bundle and can prove to be very convenient at the same time. Many retailers offer online discounts that you cannot get in store, in addition shopping on special days like Cyber Monday can save you a bundle.

When shopping online it’s important to make sure that your information is safe and secure. Under the internet sales rules websites should include the retailer’s name, address and e-mail address and the website needs to be secure. In addition, using a credit card for payment is the best way to protect your purchase as it gives you statutory protection under Section 75.

Credit cards can be rewarding

If you are disciplined enough to do it, cash back credit cards can be very rewarding. This isn’t “free money” but by using a credit card that offers cash back rewards, and by being responsible enough to pay it off promptly, you can earn an extra $50 to $100 depending on your budget. This extra cash can be used toward a gift for a loved one or even yourself.

Keep all your receipts

No matter where you shop make sure that you keep ALL your receipts. The reason to do this is that there is always a chance that retailers will discount or mark down an item after you have already purchased it. If you find that a gift that you bought goes on sale you can bring in your receipt and ask for a price adjustment. Most retailers will honour the discount as long as it is within the window of their return policy, this can be for up to 30 days depending on the store.

Being a smart shopper this holiday season can save you a bundle as long as you put your mind to it. Also remember that it’s always the thought that counts. So, even if your budget is tiny, your heart is big and that’s what the holidays are really all about!