If you’re trying to avoid blowing your savings or getting deeper in debt this holiday season, we have some tips for saving money on holiday shopping. Our holiday shopping strategies begin with tracking your expenses.
Track your spending
It’s easy to lose track of how much you spend when you’re making holiday purchases. The Mint app is a great way to manage your money with custom budgets and spend tracking. Simply set spending limits and Mint will notify you before you go over your budget. Apps like Mint and also Wally help take the stress out of keeping track of your holiday spending. Set a daily or category budget to control your spending with Wally. Enter incoming and outgoing funds to see how and where you spend your money to help you stay on budget.
If you’re like many consumers, when you see a gift on your list, you just grab it without bothering to research and compare the cost across various retailers. You don’t have to go from store to store to comparison shop. It can be done so easily from the comfort of home. Sites such as PriceGrabber will help you to check prices on thousands of products from appliances and electronics to clothing, toys, and more. Enter a specific product or search by category to see prices from many retailers. Google Shopping is another site that enables you to enter a product and compare pricing. It will also show you recent price drops and sales on many popular products, from Apple AirPods to KitchenAid mixers.
Save with coupons
Coupons and coupon codes can save you hundreds this holiday season and beyond. Coupons.com provides consumers with easy-to-find printable and digital coupons, as well as promo codes and deals. Search by retailer or category to find savings on the products you need. RetailMeNot offers both coupons, as well as cashback deals, discounted gift cards, and more. It’s a shopping platform that features savings in many categories from beauty and electronics to auto and travel. Browse coupons by category, see top offers, or add the RetailMeNot deal finder extension to Chrome for automatic coupon codes and cashback.
Get cashback & more
We mentioned getting cashback above with RetailMeNot. That’s not the only app that enables you to earn cashback on purchases. According to FetchRewards, their app enables you to earn points on any receipt from any store or restaurant. You can then redeem those points for gift cards and other rewards. Their hundreds of point-earning brands cover everything from baby products to groceries. While some featured brands will earn more points, simply going shopping and uploading a receipt will earn points. Another popular cashback app, Ibotta gives you cash for purchases when you shop with the app and browser extension. Ibotta provides many ways to earn cashback through its partnership with 1,500 brands and retailers. Partner brands include big names such as Cabela’s, Petco, Gap, BestBuy, Target, and many more.
Apply for a rewards credit card
Save even more when using our suggestions above by paying for purchases with a rewards credit card. Choice One Community Credit Union offers low-rate VISA Credit Cards with benefits including no annual fee and no balance transfer fee. Register your Choice One Visa for UChoose Credit Card Rewards and you will earn rewards to use towards thousands of products or gift cards. Using a rewards credit card in conjunction with a cashback app and coupons can help your stretch your shopping dollars much further.
Save by shopping smart
Shop smarter this year by shopping early and using our cost-saving tips above. When ordering online, watch for free shipping and free shipping codes. Keep in mind that certain retailers will offer free shipping if it’s shipped to a store for you to pick up. Be flexible when shopping. A different brand of a popular item may cost significantly less while offering the same features. Remember to shop small when you can. Your local retailers give back in many ways to the community and your loyalty helps keep them open. They can be hidden gems when it comes to finding unique holiday gifts and other one-of-a-kind items.
Finally, if you’ve already gotten in over your head with holiday spending, read our Guide to Debt Consolidation.