Over the last few years, I’ve come to accept one thing about the holidays: store decorations come out earlier each year. But with the help of a bit a planning and a few websites, I’ve also learned how to maximize on sales. And while it may be too early to start thinking about Christmas gifts, my savvy side loves finding ways to save money. So today’s post is a filled with a few of my favorites tips for navigating the holiday sales and staying on budget.
MAKE A LIST
This may seem rather obvious but it’s kind of the best place to start. Even if you don’t know the specific gift you want to get, having a general idea can help you figure out the best prices. Buying a dvd during the holiday sales is probably going to be cheaper than after. If you have a vague idea, you can start looking into where you’ll get the most for your money.
Patience can be key when it comes to saving money. But so can doing a bit of research. Going into the sales with a basic list will help you know what sale ads to keep up with, who is having alternate sales and when you’ll sale the most money.
STALK YOUR SHOPS
One the reasons a list can be super helpful is not only because of what you’re buying. When it comes to saving money, where you’re buying things can be just as important. If you’re on the hunt for beauty deals places like Sephora & Glossier may do their sales on a different day. Glossier featured their sales on cyber Monday last year for one day. Sephora traditionally does an early November sale but with the recent changes to their VIB program this could change. Other places like Birchbox offer different discounts depending on your level of membership.
If you know you’re going to buy beauty products, I’d suggest Birchbox, Ulta or The Detox Market. They all typically feature varying discounts. For those who like to gift books, Amazon is always a winner. And if you’re considering buying electronics, I’d suggest doing a bit of digging. There’s always a few options here.
CHECK PRICE HISTORY
One of my favorite money saving tools is Honey. I love to use it to check the price history of an item. It’s also great for helping your score the best deal on Amazon. It tells if you’ll save money buy purchasing the same item just through a different vendor because it calculates for tax & shipping. If you aren’t sure that the holiday sales are going to be the best bet, looking into the prices now. You can have a better idea of knowing if you’re really saving money at the time.
You can also set up a price tracker to let you know if it drops to a certain price. This is great for larger ticket items or if you just want to stay in the know. Plus it essentially does all the work for you and keeps you updated.
KNOW THE DEALS
There are some items that are best purchased during holiday sales. DVDs & TV seasons are a regular Black Friday purchase for my house. We also like to stock up on candles from Anthropologie and travel hair & beauty sets from Nordstrom. It tends to be the best time to really build up our stash and prevent us from spending extra throughout the year.
Use your list to investigate whether or not the sales are worth the hype. Traditionally, electronics like fitbits and apple watches can be found for better deals. If you’re into holiday gift sets, you also might save. But if you don’t have to have it before Christmas, consider whether or not it may be a better New Years deals. Items such as luggage and anything specifically holiday related tend to be cheaper then. There’s also the deals that roll out on Cyber Monday.
I’m a big fan of online shopping. Partly because Ebates always helps me save money. But also because I can do it in my pajamas. Any excuse to stay in PJs, right? So last year when the holiday sales dropped early, I decided to weigh my options from the comfort of my bedroom. I picked a few websites I knew had my ideal gifts and pulled them up side by side. I compared prices from shipping to individual cost. And inevitably saved a bit of money without leaving the house.
Shopping around online and before the in store sales happens is a great way to maximize on the sales. Put together wishlists or add everything into your shopping cart a few days before so you can see. Some stores will even send you a coupon to finish your check out so you save even more money.
MAXIMIZE ON GIFT CARDS
This tip may not work for everyone. But it’s a great way to save a little that adds up. If you know you’re doing to shop at a particular store, consider checking online for discounted gift cards*. Or even if you plan to give them as gifts, do a little digging. Places like Target tend to give small gift cards back depending on how much you spend. If you know an item isn’t going to be on sale yet or will after Black Friday, use those gift cards to save then.
SHOP WITH A FRIEND
I love shopping with friends. But when it comes to holiday sales, it’s even more fun! It’s also a great way to save money. Need to spend a little more to get a better discount? Combine carts with a friend and pay each other back. Maybe you both need something that’s cheaper in bulk? Why not buy the larger quantity and split the cost?
I’ve always been a big fan of maximizing on loyalty savings from places. Nordstrom, Birchbox, The Detox Market and more all offer points back towards purchases. And depending on how much you spend annually, you may have a better deal than your bestie. Combine your shopping powers and maximize on those holiday sales. Then maybe you can use a bit of that savings to treat yourselves to a nice bottle of wine after. Win win.
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