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17 Effective Holiday Shopping Tips That Saves Time and Money

We’re in the last quarter of the year and you’re probably getting ready for holiday shopping. Or maybe not.

However, the earlier you get going on your holiday shopping, the better your chances of getting it all done in time and under budget.

The tips in this post will help you save money, plan better, and make informed decisions when it comes to holiday shopping.

When Should I Start Holiday Shopping?

You should start your holiday shopping ASAP. Whenever there’s a shopping event where discounts are offered, jump in there and get something you’ve been eyeing.

I bought a Christmas gift in March when I saw it on sale because I knew my friend wanted it and would love it for Christmas.

As long as it’s something that will not become obsolete by Christmas, get it when it’s on sale, no matter the time of the year.

17 Effective Holiday Shopping Tips That Saves Time and Money

How Can I Save Money on Holiday Shopping?

1. Do Not Put Off Holiday Shopping Until the Last Minute

One of the fastest ways to blow your budget, spend more than you planned, and possibly go into debt is by waiting until the last minute to shop.

Shopping at the last minute can also be very stressful. It’s not fun at all. Just don’t do it.

2. Get Organized for Holiday Shopping

The first thing I recommend is downloading the free digital gift organizers available from 365 Gift Guide.

Gift organizers are an invaluable resource when planning gift shopping for any occasion.

They will help you organize your shopping lists and budget so you get everything done faster.

Organizers will also prevent you from spending unnecessarily or going into debt to get a gift.

The free digital gift organizers offered on 365 Gift Guide also includes a comprehensive yet simple budget template.

365 Gift Guide Planner Smart Device Mock Up 2020

3. Create a Holiday Shopping List

Holiday shopping that doesn’t blow the budget always starts with a list. Write down everyone you want to shop for.

Family, colleagues, friends, acquaintances, frenemies, etc.  List them all in the digital gift organizers.

Not sure what to put on your shopping list? You can snoop someone’s Amazon wish list at How to Find a Wish List on Amazon.

4. Set a Holiday Shopping Budget

Don’t start running around in November or December trying to locate money for holiday shopping.

It should be factored into your household budget to avoid going into debt. Set the amount you’re willing to spend on each gift in the gift organizer.

Make a gift list for the holidays to save time and money

5. Try to Keep Holiday Shopping Online

Since we’re still very much in a pandemic situation, you want to carry out your holiday shopping online as much as possible.

Plus you’ll save on time and gas money when you shop online.

Many retailers have adjusted and improved their business to accommodate increased online shopping activities.

A lot of them also offer free shipping plus other perks if you shop well ahead of time.

By the way, you’re also less likely to blow the budget if you shop online.

6. Coordinate Shopping in One Place

Did you know you can get all your shopping done on one platform plus get cashback?

I’m referring to Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates). When you shop on Rakuten, you get cash backs on all purchases.

There are over 2,000 stores where you can earn cashback on Rakuten. Some of these stores include Amazon, Walmart, Macy’s, J.Crew, Target, and much more.

There are no charges for shopping through Rakuten and you’ll also receive a $10 welcome bonus when you sign up through this link!

Once you’ve made a first purchase worth $25, the $10 will be credited to your account.

Get started with your free Rakuten shopping account here.

A future article will explore all the benefits of getting your holiday shopping done through Rakuten.

how to sign up for rakuten and get $10

7. Don’t Forget Black Friday and Cyber Monday

The deals offered during these two shopping events especially Cyber Monday are crazy.

Cyber Monday 2020 is on November 30 so get ready to jump on the deals and get anything that’s on your shopping list at a crazy price.

This can be done from the comfort of your home as well and if you’re on Rakuten, you will be able to see a lot of these deals in one place.

8. Group Trips Together If Necessary

Sometimes, there are things on your list that you can’t get online or you have to go into a physical store to pick up.

If you come up against this, group all of them together on one trip and pick up everything at once.

Multiple trips are a time waster and you might end up spending more money.

9. Do Not Shop With Anyone

The fastest way to spend money you don’t want to is by going on shopping trips in a group.

Shopping with friends and family instigates you to make spur-of-the-moment purchases you normally wouldn’t make on your own.

It might not be as much fun but your wallet will be happier and healthier.

10. Consider DIY Presents

If you’re keen on DIY, you can make a present instead of buying one. DIY presents could include a sweater, jewelry, bags, etc.

DIY gifts are very thoughtful and provide an extra personal touch to the gift.

And who knows? You might end up turning this skill into a nice side gig after the holidays.

Best holiday shopping tips for 2020

12. Comparison Shop

Be sure to comparison shop. Don’t commit to one thing in the first place you see it.

Look at two to three retailers to compare the prices. With a Rakuten account, you will be able to coordinate this better.

13. Use Your Rewards Card to Earn Cash Back and Reward Points

You can use your credit card to strategically earn cashback and reward points when you purchase holiday gifts.

So cash back on Rakuten plus cashback and/or reward points on your credit cards is a great value.

Be sure to stick to your budget when going this route. Don’t spend money just for the sake of the cash backs and rewards.

Stick to the gift list and budget created earlier before you started shopping.

Double cash back with popular online retailers

14. Don’t Forget to Check Out Shopping Apps

With shopping apps, you can scan the barcode of an item to find the best prices for this item online and in stores.

Apps like these include ShopSavvy.

15. Hunt for Holiday Shopping Coupons and Discount Codes

Look out for coupons and discount codes before you purchase an item. Rakuten lets you know all the stores having sales and deals.

You can also use shopping apps like Retail Me Not and Groupon to find discount codes and coupons.

And don’t miss out on Amazon Prime Day 2020, which will be between Oct 13 – 14. You can grab something on your gift list for a deep discount on Prime Days!

Amazon prime day 2020 announced

16. Don’t Forget to Keep Receipts

If you buy something that gets marked down later, you can return it and buy it at a lower price.

Definitely hold on to all receipts until after the holidays.

17. Start Shopping for the Next Holiday After This One

Start your holiday shopping earlier for next year.

Think of the best gifts you’re looking for throughout the year and nab them whenever they go on sale.

You can stash them in a safe corner of your home until the holidays.

Happy Shopping!

Pin It for Later – Holiday Shopping Tips

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Best money and time saving tips for holiday shopping

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Emily B

Wednesday 28th of October 2020

Omg I forgot all about Rakuten. I used to use ebates but once they changed names a while back I forgot them. Thanks for the reminder!

Abi

Thursday 29th of October 2020

Welcome :)

Audrey Stewart

Saturday 10th of October 2020

I loved the Don't Shop With Anyone. I never do.

Stephanie LaPlante

Thursday 8th of October 2020

These are all very useful tips. I'm always looking for good ways to save my money.

Kiki

Monday 5th of October 2020

Some really great tips here and a great reminder to get started with gift shopping for the holidays.