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4 Helpful Tips to Holiday Shopping

The holidays are all about spending quality time with friends, family and loved ones. It’s a tradition-rich season and a time to naturally reflect on the many wonderful things that happened in the passing year as you look forward to the excitement of the new year.

The tradition of gift-giving during the holidays is alive and well, and you’ll enjoy the holidays much more if you’re able to save on gift purchases. Here are a few tricks of the trade that you can use anytime, even if it’s not Black Friday or Cyber Monday: 

1. The Cart Trick

If you’re an online shopper, you may be familiar with ‘the cart trick.’ Many online retail stores, including Amazon, are looking for you to close on your purchase. Sometimes if you place a desired item in your shopping cart, you’ll receive a follow-up email that the item was discounted. If you can wait a few days on your purchase, it’s worth the effort!

If your gift is a popular item and you’re shopping on Amazon, if it becomes the ‘Deal of the Day’ at any point in the season you’ll receive an email! 

2. Retail Rewards

Many retailers offer a rewards program for purchases. This is where it can get tricky because this tip works best when you plan your gifts in advance and know how the deals work at your shopping destinations of choice. If the place you like to shop offers a discount once you purchase up to a certain amount, see if you can purchase as many gifts as possible at that location, instead of spreading your shopping out. 

If the retailer gives you a physical coupon after you’ve made a purchase in-store, try splitting your purchase in half and doing the second half of your shopping later to maximize savings. Don’t forget to look at your coupon for the date window of the offering!

3. New Shopper Discounts

Retailers like to have your email address on file so they can send you sales and updates. They will often send you a discount coupon for signing up with your email. If you’re already signed up for several, consider switching up your stores of choice this year to earn new sign-up discounts.

4. Gift Card Sales

If you buy several gift cards during the holiday season, look for gift card sales. Target typically does gift card sales once per year and it can make a big difference in your total spend!

If you’re needing to purchase something in a pinch, always check a discount site like RetailMeNot to ensure you’re not missing a discount code, shipping sale, etc. And remember, sales can be incredibly helpful when you’re purchasing multiple items, but they should never persuade you to buy something you don’t need or have use for.

With a few tips and tricks up your sleeve this holiday season, you’ll be free to kick back, relax and enjoy family togetherness to the fullest.

Kat’s Money Corner is posted in the Kansas City Star every week. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little ones, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, follow us on Twitter @CommunityAmerCU.


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