It’s crunch time. Christmas is about a week away, and the stores are crammed with shoppers who are desperate to get the best gifts. If you haven’t started shopping yet, now is the time (assuming you are going to exchange gifts on or before Christmas day.) Online shopping can be a great way to snag a deal, but online retailers are as guilty of tricking customers into spending more as those who work at the brick and mortar stores. Also, especially when you are running out of time, it can be easy to stop keeping track of your spending or forget who you are shopping for, which can destroy your holiday budget. If you want to save money, especially in the midst of the holiday shopping frenzy, you will need to know some tricks that will help you to find great gifts for a good price.
1. Shop online
If you are buying Christmas gifts, then you might be out of luck when it comes to online shopping, unless you are willing to pay for expediated shipping. Still, in some cases even with more expensive shipping, you still might save enough to make it worthwhile. You can try a site like PriceGrabber, which will allow you to search several different stores for the same item in order to determine where you can find the gift you want for the lowest price.
If you are buying gift cards, purchasing them online is a great way to save money. According to CreditCards.com, you can save on gift cards by trying an exchange site, checking a specialized restaurant site, and checking an employee discount site. Gift cards are a popular gift, and it’s easy to save when you buy them.
2. Spend extra time on social media
Many stores offer special discounts or coupons to people who like their page on Facebook, or if you follow them on Twitter. According to Rignite, coupons distributed via social media are a very effective way to run a marketing campaign, especially on Twitter because doing so is directly tied to driving sales and can be easily measured and tracked. Since companies benefit from posting on social media, you can too. Like a page, follow a tweet, and save money.
Social media is also a great way to find last-minute gifts. You may not want to post on your Facebook wall that you are hoping to find a great deal on cameras (if your intended recipient is also your Facebook friend), but you can join local buy/sell groups to get great deals. Also, if you are comfortable asking for help, you can easily find great deals just by asking your friends for help finding them; they may have seen a sale that you didn’t know about.
3. Regift or make it
If you really want to save money, consider regifting things. This is especially effective if you can wait until after the holidays to give someone something. If you get a gift card that you are not planning to use, you shouldn’t feel ashamed about regifting it to someone who will use it. The same is true of a fancy suit, a new tablet, or anything else. As long as you are giving someone what they really want, then there is no reason you can’t regift something. The best part? It won’t cost you anything.
You can also chose to make your gift. When you spend time making something, it makes that person feel important and special. If you need ideas, check out this Homemade Gifts page on Pinterest.
4. Wait it out
Hanukkah is over, and Christmas is coming. Regardless of whether or not you celebrate one or both of these holidays (or a different one entirely), if you are purchasing gifts for people but you are not going to actually see them until after Christmas, you should wait to purchase your gifts. According to DealNews, you will get a big discount if you purchase apparel, electronics, and fitness gear after Christmas; winter clothing is often deeply discounted. Not everyone can wait until after Christmas, but if you are traveling or people are coming to you, and you have the time to rest now and shop later, you can find a great deal on gifts you want for less money. Also, if a store has been out of a gift that you wanted, you may find it once the returns start rolling in.
There are a lot of great gifts out there, and you don’t have to spend a lot to get them. If you can wait until after the holiday rush (and brave the after Christmas-rush), then you will save a lot. But even if you can’t, there are many other ways to get wonderful gifts at a great price.
More from Money & Career Cheat Sheet:
- Top 10 States Where Home Prices Are Still Surging
- 5 Weird Things That Can Boost the Value of Your Home
- 3 Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on Your Résumé
Want more great content like this? Sign up here to receive the best of Cheat Sheet delivered daily. No spam; just tailored content straight to your inbox.