holiday shopping

Top 10 Smart Shopping Tips for the Holidays

The holidays are one of the busiest shopping times of the year. The most important thing to do is know what you’re looking for before you go into a store. Whether you’re looking for the newest arrivals or the most affordable items on the shelves, you need to be smart before making a move. We’ve put together 10 smart shopping tips that will help save time and money this holiday season.

Don’t Rush

One of the biggest mistakes people make during the holidays is rushing through their shopping. This can lead to poor decision-making and buying things you don’t need. Instead, make a list of what you want and take your time finding it. A successful holiday shopping can take a few days or even weeks to get the perfect things you need for your holiday. You don’t need to rush things up and end up with substandard items that won’t serve the intended purpose perfectly.

Be Flexible

The second shopping tip is to be flexible with your plans. While it’s great to have a plan, sometimes things come up, and you need to adapt on the go. For example, if an item you want is out of stock or unavailable in the color you wanted, don’t get discouraged. There are plenty of other items that will work just as well.

Shop Online But In-Store Too

Shopping online has its fair share of benefits, including convenience and a wider selection of items. However, sometimes it’s best to shop in-store too. This is especially true for big-ticket items like TVs or furniture. You can get a feel for the item and ensure it’s the right fit for your home. Shop online for the smaller items, but the bigger ones go in-store to ensure you’re getting what you want.

Check Prices across Stores

It’s always a good idea to check prices across stores before making your purchase. This is especially true during the holiday season when retailers are trying to get as much money out of you as possible. By checking prices, you can make sure you’re getting the best deal. This can be done quickly with websites like Google Shopping or PriceGrabber.

Use Coupons and Cashback Websites

One way to save money on your holiday shopping is to use coupons and cashback websites. Some outstanding sites like the DontPayFull coupon website offer coupons for a variety of stores, as well as cashback on your purchases. This can add up to significant savings throughout the holiday season. Online coupons also save you the stress of keeping too many coupon receipts in your wallet until you get to the right physical store to use them.

Avoid Credit Card Debt

Credit card debt is one of the most common money problems for Americans. It can be extremely tempting to go overboard with your holiday shopping but resist that temptation, or you could end up in an even worse financial situation than when you started. If you decide to use credit cards this season, make sure not to carry a balance once the holiday season is over and pay off your card in full every month.

Don’t Bring Friends or Family Along

Unless it’s really necessary, there’s no need to bring your family or friends along for the ride while you go shopping. This will only make it more difficult to stick to your budget, and you’ll be forced to pay attention to both yourself and others, which can lead to impulse purchases that could derail your holiday savings plans. Shopping alone will also save you time as you’ll easily focus on the things you’d intended to buy without a second voice interfering.

Be Patient With Black Friday Lines

While everyone wants an item as soon as possible, waiting in line for hours on end isn’t the best way to spend your time. If you’re interested in a Black Friday deal, be sure to do some research ahead of time and map out where each store is relative to each other so that you can make the most efficient plan possible. If there’s something you want that’s going to sell out quickly, being in the right place at the right time is worth it.

Add Shipping Cost Before Buying Online

This is especially important if you’re buying something bulky or expensive to ship. It’s no fun to get excited about a purchase, only to realize that the shipping costs more than the item itself. If you notice an item is much cheaper online than on the physical store, the catch is most probably on its shipping cost. Ensure you check this early enough to avoid unnecessary spending.

Be Cautious of Scams and Phishing Attacks

During the holiday season, there will always be scammers looking to take advantage of unsuspecting shoppers. Be on the lookout for fake emails or websites that might try to steal your personal information. If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is!

Shopping is one of the major events families engage in during the holiday season. If you’re going to do awesomely memorable shopping, it would be best to put the above smart shopping tips into action. Nothing can go wrong if you follow them diligently.

About the Author

Helen Miller

Helen Miller is a freelance writer at CouponKirin. She covers personal finance topics in a syndicated column that appears in Financial Planning Magazine. Her work has been featured by Market Watch, Digital Journal, Chicago Tribune, USA Today, and Yahoo Finance. Helen has a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of California, Los Angeles.