November 8, 2016
Savings and holidays are a perfect pair, as long as you don’t wait until December to shop! It can be exhausting trying to track retail sales, online promotions and discount coupons to save money, so we’re here to help! Here are a few tips and tools to avoid the frenzy, the stress and maybe some of the expense!
- Make a holiday budget and stick to it (the trickiest part!). Experts say you should never spend more than 1.5 percent of your annual household income. Check out this free Holiday Budget Calculator to help you figure out how much to allocate for presents, gift-wrapping supplies, events, food and shipping costs!
- Shop early or you might end up overspending, overstressed and buying items you don’t really want to gift! And who needs to get into one of those holiday shopping smack-downs?
- Sometimes hand-made treats and personalized coupons (“Redeemable for One Breakfast in Bed”) are appreciated as much or more than “store-bought” stuff. Real Simple and Good Housekeeping have more than 50 DIY ideas to click through and FrugalCouponLiving.com has an inspirational Pinterest page with an idea for every day in December!
(For last-minute DIY coupons, ShesCraftyCrafty.com has a downloadable array and all you have to do is print!)
- For some families it makes sense to draw names and set a limit. To avoid giving the recipient something they don’t want, have everybody send out a wish list. Gift options that someone actually wants eliminate guesswork, saves time and effort, and still insures a surprise!
- Pool your resources by group-giving someone a higher-priced present like an iPad or a new smartphone. Something super special might be out of your price range (and budget) but not if you team up with siblings and/or cousins!
Hands-On Holiday Savings
Shopping online is a great way to save money because you can easily compare prices at several retailers using price sites like PriceGrabber.com and Google Shopping.
To find and apply coupon savings online try Honey, an extension you can add to your Chrome browser that will automatically apply discount coupon codes to your shopping cart. With over 35,000 five-star ratings, Honey is a huge timesaver and takes the hassle out of using discount codes.
Amazon, everybody’s favorite online marketplace, recently launched its Black Friday Deals Store with early savings in advance of Black Friday. The featured discounts on items are good for a fixed length of time and you can choose to watch select upcoming deals. Sites like Geek.com and bgr.com will help you sift through the featured deals to find the coolest ones. And if what you want isn’t in a daily deal, CamelCamelCamel will track prices on Amazon and let you know when those items go on sale.
Motley Fool says wait on the following until after Christmas for the best values: winter clothes, furniture, high-end gaming laptops and high-quality HDTVs. If someone on your gift list is expecting a big-ticket item that will be price-reduced within weeks, think about a gift card so they can get more for the money, after the holidays.
For more great ideas, check out the 100 Ways Thrifty People Save Money on Christmas, and go frugal-crazy!
SAVINGS AT SOUTHSHORE
Thinking about treating yourself to a new home for the holidays? You can window-shop online for a new home from Village Homes and Richmond American Homes. Why buy new? According to New Home Source, new homes use energy more efficiently, which saves you money! Come see us soon. Priced from the $400s to the $700s.