No matter how hard you try to ignore it, the Holiday Season is lurking right around the corner. Even those who don’t mark the day with religious observation find themselves caught in the web of the “true” meaning of Christmas, consumerism.
For decades, we have all heard the term “Black Friday” in relation to the first shopping day after Thanksgiving. Despite the holiday ads flooding the telly immediately after the conclusion of Halloween, this day marks the official beginning of the traditional holiday season. It also marks the day that retailers start showing profit for the year thus going from red to black ink on their records.
Because of the long rippling effects of the recession, holiday shoppers are now poised to get more for their holiday shopping budgets. If you are planning to take part of the frenzy (for better or for worse) there are some strategies you can take to not only complete your shopping list, but save some cash in the process.
Holiday Shopping Tips from Pear Shapely:
- Make Like Santa: That simply means make a list and check it twice. Unless you have already started stowing away holiday purchases, take this time to calculate a holiday spending budget as well as confirm who has been naughty or nice on your list.
- Get the 4-1-1-: Money is tight for everyone and just because you have exchanged gifts with friends or family in the past, does not mean that you have to this year. Have honest conversations with your posse and see if you can partake in a homemade gift exchange, cap the limit of gift value or even skip the process all together.
- Let your fingers do the walking: Everyone knows the value of the internet when it comes to comparison shopping. Checking out discount and money advice sites like Buxr.com, Retailmenot.com and Wisebread.com can help you score savings (such as discounts and shipping codes) from your favorite shopping sites
- Become a Groupie: If you have a Facebook page you need to know that your favorite retailers are on there. By becoming a “fan” you will be given V.I.P. treatment and promo discounts will be forthcoming. I’ve gotten great discount offers from my personal faves such Loehmann’s, Lucky Brand and LeSportsac and you can tweak your selections based on your tastes.
- Support Hand Made: Aside from my collection of Hurricane by Jane Jewelry on Etsy, there are literally millions of gift options to choose from. Your purchase will go to supporting a living, breathing individual, not just a corporation and is an excellent way of sharing the wealth this season.
- Tempus Fugit: There is no time like the present to shop for presents. Regardless of their size, retailers are operating on leaner budgets this year meaning that they have less of a surplus in merchandise. Your best value and selection is right now, plus you will avoid much of the mayhem and chaos of the season.
- Become a Pack Rat: Well, at least with your receipts. Did you know that if you purchase an item and then it goes on sale within fourteen days of purchase, chances are you can go and get the difference back from the store? Bringing your documentation and a sunny disposition are the best ways to ensure a price adjustment in your favor.
Regardless if your holiday budget is $50 or $5000 you can make every penny count!