Ho ho ho and happy holidays, Freebs Nation! The trees are going up, the epic Christmas sweaters are coming out (get the one that I'm wearing HERE!), it's that time of year again… Time to get yo' holiday shopping on, what what!
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It's the mooooost wonderful time of the year (sing it, Andy Williams!). It's also the most expensive time of the year. Dun dun dunnnn. Luckily for you, I've got 7 great holiday shopping tips. They'll make your shopping so easy and so affordable, you won't know what hit ya! So, are you ready for this?
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See what I mean? The best holiday shopping tips that will save you some time and monay monay! Keep on reading for a summary AND for the Rakuten link…
SET A HOLIDAY SHOPPING BUDGET
You've heard me say it time and time again… You need to set a holiday budget and stick to it! Use my tips on how to budget for the holidays (find that HERE) and get that holiday spending in check. Set an overall budget for the holiday, and then break down that budget into different categories. You can learn more about it in the post that I just mentioned, but some categories may be gifts (by person), decor, entertaining (get some great tips for entertaining on a budget HERE), and travel.
The best time to figure out your holiday shopping budget is in January. That allows you to break that budget down and save for it monthly rather than trying to come up with all of the money at one time once December hits.
But where do I put that money that I'm saving for the holiday budget?
Good question! You should have a Family Regular Savings Account that you're putting that money into monthly. Get allllll of the info that you could possibly need on figuring out and saving for your holiday budget HERE.
MAKE YOUR LISTS EARLY…
But don't start shopping too early! Say what now, Mama J?! Okay, okay, let me explain! Some people may swear by starting their Christmas shopping in the summer so that they're not having to do it all at once in November and December. However, you'll find the best prices and save the most money starting in November. (Hello, early Black Friday sales! Get some great tips for that HERE.)
Keep your eyes on the sales. Look at the mailers that come in your “junk” mail, or the emails that you get from your favorite stores. Watch deal sites, such as Groupon, to see when things that are on your list go on sale. (Just make sure that you're only buying things that are on your list or else you'll end up blowing your budget on things that you didn't need!)
Seriously, what did we do before we could shop online?! I don't know about you, but I definitely love being able to do ALL of my holiday shopping without having to get out of my comfy pjs! It is so convenient to be able to do your shopping wherever you are without having to fight the crowds or go to multiple stores. Save your sanity, save your gas, and keep from having to go to the store with your kids!
Another great reason to do your holiday shopping online is because it helps to prevent impulse buys! There's no getting caught up in buying all of the great deals at the store that you don't necessarily need. Your budget will thank you! ;)
USE RAKUTEN WHEN SHOPPING ONLINE
You've heard me say it before, and I'll say it again for the people in the back. If you're doing any shopping online (it doesn't just have to be for holiday shopping), use Rakuten!!!
I've been using Rakuten (formerly eBates) for years. It's the largest cash-back site and it allows you to get cash back when you're shopping both online and in stores. If you're shopping online, then Rakuten probably has those sites covered! Why not earn a little cash back in your wallet if you're already going to be shopping on those sites, anyways?!
You can sign up with Rakuten, which is completely free, and start getting cash back NOW! Use THIS link and receive a $10 welcome bonus when you spend your first $25 shopping online. All you have to do is go through Rakuten's site, click on the store that you're going to shop online in, and start earning money while you shop.
Rakuten is so awesome that they're even partnering with me to do a giveaway for my awesome Freebs! I'm talking about a $500 Visa gift card!!! Imagine all of the holiday shopping that you could do with that. Just sign up with Rakuten and then use that email to enter the giveaway. Easy peasy!
There are a number of stores that will price match with their competitors, even online! Go online and figure out which store carries the most items that are on your shopping list. Consolidate your shopping list so that you're doing your best shopping on the cheapest site! If you buy enough, you're practically guaranteed to get free shipping. Score!
GET ON EMAIL & TEXT LISTS FOR YOUR FAVORITE COMPANIES
During the holidays, all your favorite companies are sending out deals and coupons, notifying you when sales are going on. Now I know, you may get tired of all of the emails clogging your inbox… But you can easily unsubscribe from those lists later! It's totally worth it to save the money.
ADD THINGS TO YOUR CART ONLINE…
…And then let it sit! Some companies will notify you if the items in your cart have dropped. Other companies will notice if you've put an item in your cart and will email you an exclusive discount or incentive to complete your purchase. This will save you even more money and you'll be checking items off your holiday shopping list!
BUY EXPERIENCES, NOT THINGS
I'm sure we all have that one person in our life who is so hard to buy for. The men in my life are impossible to shop for. (Seriously, I'm talking to you, Dad!) Rather than trying to think of things to buy for them, I like to gift experiences, such as…
- Something that you do together to get some quality time.
- A way for them to try something new.
- Massages or something relaxing.
- A new hobby.
- Tickets to events.
- A weekend away.
- Services, such as house cleaning (if they would enjoy that and not be offended!).
Groupon is a great site that you can find discounts or coupon codes on for experiences. And even better? Rakuten partners with Groupon, so you can earn some cash-ola while you're buying the experiences! For those who really have it all, buy them the gift of something new, exciting and fun in the way of experiences rather than just another thing that they don't need.
So there you go! My best holiday shopping tips and tricks that will save you time and money. What's your biggest shopping tip? Let us know in the comments!
Looking for more great post ideas?
- If you need some great Christmas break boredom busters, boy have we got the perfect holiday bucket list for you!
- These holiday budget trackers come in handy this time of year!
- We've got 21 quick and easy appetizers that are perfect for your holiday party or get together.
Happy holiday shopping, Freebs! XOXO