Can you believe it? We're just weeks away from the holiday season. That means that it's time to pull out the decorations, time to get out our holiday recipes and also time to do some shopping for presents.
Due to the fact that the late fall and winter are when a lot of us tend to go into the most debt, we thought that it would be wise to take out a moment or two to provide you with what we feel are some very important bargain hunting shopping tips. If you apply these five the next time you head out to your favorite store or closest mall, we're confident that you'll get all that you want without breaking your budget in the process.
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Have a plan.
If there's one time when you don't want to wander around aimlessly, it's when you're doing your holiday shopping. So, before you head out, take out a pen and pad (or your phone) and jot down what you want to get for each person and how much you want to pay. It will help to keep you focused.
Now by this, we don't necessarily mean that you should hop into your car today. But what we are saying is that retail stores are very aware of the fact that when it comes to holiday shopping, more people tend to procrastinate than they should which is why they don't mind hiking up their prices closer to Christmas. So, if you are looking for some cute shoes or even a winter coat, it's a good idea to start your search sooner than later. If you do, there's a pretty good chance that you'll end up with a very good deal.
Something that all of us need to keep in mind about credit cards is that they aren't free cash in the form of plastic; they are loans that companies are willing to make to us and those loans come with interest. That's why it's best to use cash as much as possible because it will help to keep you accountable to what your checking account says rather than what your credit limit reflects. And when you're in the budgeting mindset, you're going to automatically look for bargains as a direct result.
Don't overlook discount gift cards.
Now if there is a certain kind of card that we recommend that you use, it would be your gift cards. First, if you have some that are leftover from gifts that people gave you, consider using them to get a couple of presents; that way, it's like you never spent any of your own money at all. Speaking of cards, also don't forget to check out websites like Raise.com where you can get deals like spending $80 for $100 gift card.
Don't forget about coupons (and promotional codes).
Whether you're going grocery shopping, furniture shopping, electronics shopping or clothes shopping, you're bound to find coupons for the stores that you're planning to go to. Thanks to coupon websites you can even find discounts on travel fare. So, in the midst of making your list and checking it twice, definitely don't forget to look for sales flyers and sign up for membership discounts through your favorite stores. It takes a bit of time but it's definitely well worth the effort.