Q: The holidays always have me worried about money. With inflation soaring, I’m more stressed than ever. How can I save on my holiday shopping this year?
A: If you’re worried about making it through the holiday shopping season in the midst of record inflation, you’re not alone. A recent survey shows that 59% of American shoppers are stressed about buying holiday gifts due to higher prices this year. With some careful planning, though, you can enjoy stress-free holiday shopping. Here are seven easy ways you can save.
- Shop early
Experts are urging shoppers to hit the stores earlier than normal this year to take advantage of early-season sales. Lots of big-box stores are struggling with a supply surplus thanks to an inflation-triggered decline in demand. This will likely lead to sales events to make room for more current inventory. Shop these sales for big savings.
2. Set a budget
Before you start shopping, build a reasonable budget for your holiday shopping. Make your budget easier to keep by allocating a specific amount for every gift, shopping with cash and/or reviewing your budget often.
- Shop with a list
Instead of blindly hitting the stores, make a list of every gift to buy for friends and family. You’ll be far more likely to stay within budget when your purchases are pre-planned.
- Leave some last-minute shopping for Green Monday
While it’s best to do the bulk of your shopping early in the season, you can leave some last-minute gift-shopping for Green Monday on Dec. 14. This is when retailers make their final pre-holiday markdowns.
- Think outside the box
If ever there was a holiday season to get creative with gifting, this is it. Retail inventories are full of products that were backed up during the post-pandemic supply-chain disaster. Think furniture, home decor and more. While these items may not be typical holiday gifts, there’s no real reason you can’t delight a loved one with a new office chair, exercise bike or coffee organizing station.
- Give gift cards
Protect your gift list against inflation by giving some gift cards. You can find discounted cards on sites like GiftCardGranny and CardCash, or use cash-back apps to earn them at no cost. Gift cards are easy to shop for, easy to budget for and appreciated by the receiver.
- Use apps to save
In 2022, there are so many apps that can help you spend less on your shopping, and even put money back into your pocket. Try coupon-scanning apps like Honey, cash-back apps like Ibotta and points apps like Drop to save this season.
Use the money-saving tips offered here to shop for the holidays without breaking your budget!