3 Simple Tips to Save On Holiday Shopping

November 23, 2015

woman shopping

In 2020, Americans spent $777.35 billion on the winter holidays — Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa — far more than all the other holidays combined! The average American spent $648 on just gifts for their friends, families, coworkers and others in 2021, not even including food and decorations! If you have a large family and/or children to buy for, your hard-earned money can often seem like it’s flying up the chimney and away on Santa’s sled at this time of the year. Here are a few tips to help you save money and celebrate the season without breaking the bank:

Make a list

Creating a plan for your holiday spending can help you stay on track and avoid impulse purchases. Start by making a list of everyone you need to buy gifts for, with ideas and a budget for each person. Remember to include tips for service workers and gifts for your children’s teachers. With a clear list in hand, you’ll be more motivated to stick to your budget when shopping, whether online or in stores. There are even helpful sites available, such as Gifster for collaborative holiday shopping lists and Slice to track online purchases via email. Take the time to find a holiday list app that works for you and you’ll save both time and money in the long run.

Shop early, on time, and late

It may seem counter-intuitive, but bargains can be found at all stages of the shopping process. If you start shopping early, you can take advantage of getting bargains as soon as they come. According to Adobe Digital research, prices hit their lowest point at 27% less than usual on Thanksgiving Day, so it can pay off to start early. As the shopping season progresses, websites have corresponding sales and discounts for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. Consumer Reports suggests that the best prices for electronics come after Cyber Monday and before December 13th. On the other hand, if you wait until the week before Christmas, you may find the best deals, according to the New York Times. Also, keep in mind that “late” can also refer to the time of day. Many stores start the next day’s sales after 6 PM, as reported by Business Insider.

There are also plenty of apps out there to help you track sale prices and comparison shop. Camelcamelcamel charts the price of an item on Amazon over time so you can see if it’s rising or falling. Savings.com allows you to paste a link from Amazon in, and it will tell you if it can find a better price somewhere around the web. Free Shipping Day is December 14th. Many of the big box online retailers offer free shipping with a minimum purchase through Dec 20th and guarantee delivery by Christmas Eve. In short – if you have the time to research, you can most definitely save money at any point in the holiday shopping cycle.

Make it yourself

It’s becoming increasingly trendy to value crafty, artisanal, and handmade items, which means that not only is making your own gifts a practical option, it’s also fashionable! Crafting gifts can help you save money, especially if you have a talent for baking, crafting, or art. Handmade gifts can also be more meaningful to the recipient, especially if they are tailored to their interests and preferences. If you’re interested in learning a new crafting skill before the holidays, consider checking out how-to books or taking local classes. Additionally, websites like Etsy offer a vast selection of handmade items that make for special and unique gifts for those who are difficult to shop for. You can also consider buying secondhand or used items from eBay or other sources, but make sure they are in excellent condition or that you know the recipient well enough to know whether they would appreciate a pre-owned gift.

The Alliance Direct Benefits is committed to helping you save money this holiday season. Members receive a 15% discount at 1-800-Flowers.com — which is much more than an online flower shop! It includes the Harry & David brand and other popular holiday favorites (like Cheryl’s and Wolferman’s); the 20% discount can be applied to gift baskets, gourmet foods, and floral arrangements for the holiday table. Members also receive up to a 60% discount at hundreds of retail partners through the Working Advantage program. For more information, and to become an Alliance member, visit the Alliance Direct Benefits website today or call us at 1-800-733-2242 (M-F, 7am-5:30pm Central Time).

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