Here are some of the Christmas shopping tips I shared on WBIR News at Five this evening. If you are trying to get the most for your Christmas money this year here are a few tips you should consider:
1.Use Cash- Take cash along on your shopping trips and leave the credit cards at home. You are much less likely to overspend if you pay with cash.
2.Buy Gift Cards at Stores that will reward you. If you are giving gift cards or if you are sure you are going to buy gifts from a particular store, buy gift cards where you will earn rewards. For example through December 9th at you can earn 4 times the fuel points by buying gift cards in-store at Kroger and using them instead of cash at your favorite stores and online retailers. If you buy $100 in gift cards you will get 400 fuel points, translating to $.40 off per gallon on your next fill up at Shell or Kroger stations. Barnes and Noble is offering a free $10 egift card with a $75 purchase, The Children’s Place is offering a free $10 egift card with a $40 purchase. Several restaurants also have bonus gift card deals available.
3.Price Match- Take advantage of price matching for specific items on your list. Find the best advertised deals for the week then price match them at Walmart, Best Buy or Target. This saves you time, money and gas. This year Target and Best Buy are even matching online prices.
4.Use Coupons- Several stores have coupons available online and in your newspaper. For example there is a great Free Bath and Body Works product with $10 purchase available right now that is valid through 12/24. If you are shopping online consider shopping Ebates or ShopAtHome.com to get cash back for all your purchases.
5.Daily Deal Sites- Look through Daily Deal sites to get local deals. Some deals will be printable vouchers and available immediately and some will require shipping. Good sites to start with: DealChicken.com, Half Off Depot, or Groupon.
6.Set Your Budget Before You Shop- Decide how much you can comfortably afford for Christmas gift giving. Make a list of each person you will be buying a gift for and assign a budget to each. Read this post if you want more tips on setting a Christmas budget
7.Free Shipping Day-All Procrastinators will be happy to hear Free Shipping Day is set for December 17,2012. On Monday, December 17, 2012 more than 1,000 merchants will offer free shipping with delivery by Christmas Eve in the contiguous United States.
Other things to note- Black Friday and Cyber Monday are not the only ways to save before Christmas. December 22nd, the Saturday before Christmas, is Super Saturday. According to ShopperTrak, Super Saturday will be the second busiest shopping day of the season. So look for huge one day markdowns on everything from clothing and jewelry to toys and electronics. Speaking of electronics, lower-end products are typically discounted on Black Friday while you usually see larger discounts on brand-name the closer it gets to Christmas.