Christmas Shopping Without Breaking the Budget

| November 20, 2012

Gift Box and the Money You'll SaveThe Christmas season is a time of giving, and we all want to let our loved ones and friends know we appreciate them. But that doesn’t have to mean digging yourself into a hole of debt.

There are secrets to Christmas shopping without breaking the budget. It takes being prepared and knowing how to say no when something’s too much. Follow these tips, and don’t forget to check in at DexKnows to find local retailers in your area.

Make a List, and Stick to It

Santa has a list. Why can’t you? Make a list of everyone for whom you want to buy. Prioritize it. No one wants to be a Grinch, but at the same time, is buying a gift for that distant relative you haven’t seen for years really a necessity?

Once you make a list, decide how much you have to spend on each person. Don’t start looking for gifts until you do this.

Comparison Shop

Another secret to holiday shopping on a budget is to comparison shop. Sure, your son Frankie would love that Star Wars LEGO set. But before you buy it on impulse, hop online or look at ads from other stores to check for the lowest available prices. Merchants will often match online prices at the store if you ask.

While you’re at it, also check on product reviews. Even if you don’t buy online, search Amazon.com to see what consumers are saying about the products. Also see the reviews on department stores’ websites.

Spread Out Your Xmas Shopping

There’s no law that says you have to wait until Black Friday to start shopping for the holidays. Spread it out through the year, and grab things when they pop up on sale.

Even if you don’t shop throughout the year, try to spread it out over the holiday season. Last-minute shopping and missing out on deals throughout the season means missing out on a chance to save some cash. And loading up on Black Friday sales doesn’t make any sense if you’re buying items just because they’re on sale.

Watch Ads Closely

Another secret to Christmas shopping without breaking the budget is to keep track of deals throughout the season, not only on Black Friday. There’s Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving, when you’re likely to find a lot of super online deals. There are also deals throughout the season. If what you want to buy isn’t on sale on Black Friday, hold off a few weeks and see if it pops up afterward.

Connect with Retailers

It’s all about social media these days. Sign up to receive emails from your favorite retailers and keep abreast of upcoming sales and specials. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter, where they may advertise deals they aren’t advertising elsewhere.

Watch the Credit

When possible, use cash or pull out the debit card instead of the credit card. Piling up the debt will just make you a scrooge later. If you can use credit and still stay within your limits, go ahead. But if not, find something else your loved ones will enjoy.

Also, avoid department store credit cards. Sure, they offer a savings on your first purchase. But if you don’t pay your credit card in full, you’ll just be handing that money back.

Christmas Shop Online

Retailers often offer discounts online that won’t pop up in stores. There are also sites like Amazon.com and eBay.com, where you’re likely to find items cheaper than you’d see them in department stores. Some sites may also other benefits like no-hassle returns and free shipping.

Follow these secrets to holiday shopping on a budget, and give yourself a gift by staying within your means. Now head out to get those presents, and don’t forget to check out DexKnows for the locations of retailers in your community.

Tags: , , ,

Category: Holiday Shopping

About the Author ()

Central Ohio journalist with 15 years experience at daily newspapers. Freelance writer and amateur photographer. Storytellers are my heroes, poets my idols and photographers my looking glass.