6 Top Holiday Shopping Tips to Save Money

Debbie | How Debbie Saves
by Debbie | How Debbie Saves

Today, I want to give you my best holiday shopping tips. It's one of my favorite topics to talk about. It makes me happy to help you save money, so I'm going to share with you my top tips.


Let's get started so you have a great holiday shopping experience this year.


1. Be organized

What I suggest is to have on your phone, in the notes section, a list of every person you're going to shop for. Remember, it's not just family and friends. If you have kids, it's the teachers, the crossing guards, the bus drivers, postal workers, coworkers, or anyone else you want to give a gift to.


Next to them, I write down the maximum amount I want to spend because that'll help you stay on track with how much you want to spend shopping for that year. That way, I've got a total in my mind of how much I'm going to spend overall.


The last thing I do is come up with an idea. It doesn't have to be exactly what you want to get, but an idea of a gift that I think I want to get that goes along with the price. So it's the person's name, the amount, and a gift idea.


2. Open up a separate email account

If you're going to start shopping online, you want to set up an email account for shopping. If you shove and give them your primary email, you will get tempted throughout the year with specials and sales. The likelihood is you might overspend because you're going to get tempted by one of those emails.


So what I do is I set up a separate email, something simple that I can just use for the holidays. I still use the same email address for the sales year after year.


So now it's at the point where since I know what stores I'm going to shop at, I log onto that email, and I'll start looking at their specials for Black Friday, for free shipping, or a certain percentage off. It helps me save money and not be tempted for the remainder of the year.


3. Sign up for Rakuten

Rakuten is my best friend when it comes to online shopping. I have saved over $800 in the last few years using Rakuten.


Go to Rakuten and type the name of the store you want to shop at. Rakuten will tell me from your purchase that we'll give you 5% back.


I usually shop, and let's say that I already had a coupon code for free shipping or 20% off of my purchase. So now I'm at the checkout. Rakuten will notify me, hey, we've got coupons for that store, too. So I can use the store coupon and the Rakuten coupon.


When I finish the transaction, a little box pops up and says you earned 5 % off of that total. It took the total that I spent, took 5 % of it, and put it in an account for me.


Every four months, I get a check from Rakuten. Last year, Rakuten sent me over $175. You also get additional discount codes.


Christmas shopping online

4. Leave items in your cart

Let's say that you are on a website and shopping for something specific for you or a loved one. I like to make sure I set up an account with them and put something in my cart.


But do I check out? The number one rule for me is never to pay full price during the holidays. Also, try your best not to pay for shipping. So you walk away.


You simply put something in your cart, and you walk away. Give it 48 hours. You will probably get an email from that store saying, hey, did you forget something in your cart? Well, maybe this will help. Here's 20 % off. Here's 30 % off. Here's free shipping.


You can save money by putting something in your cart and walking away. They want your business, so they want to entice you to shop with them.


5. Keep your receipts

Have you ever noticed that you feel like you're getting great prices at the beginning of the holiday season? So you go and buy something because you don't want it to be out of stock the closer you get to the holiday. But then you see that the price has dropped a few weeks or a few days later.


So, how will you know when the time is right during the holiday season to get the best price? Keep your receipt because stores will honor price changes. If you go to the store, you can do it online, or you can call their customer service and explain to them that you have this receipt, and they'll ask you for information on the receipt, like the code on the bottom or transaction number.


You can tell them I bought it for this amount now at a lower price. They will likely give you the price difference back on your credit card or an email for a discount on your next purchase. You will somehow recuperate that money or close enough to it by contacting them and keeping that receipt.


6. Google

Google is your best friend. If I'm going to start shopping at a specific store and I don't have a coupon code, to begin with, I want to have an extra coupon code.


So, I simply Google it. I put in, for example, Macy's. I put in the year and the date. It'll list all the coupon codes that I can get. Sometimes, I've gotten free shipping, sometimes a percentage off, and by going through Rakuten, I'm going to get cash back and an additional coupon code at the end.


So, if you don't have a coupon code to start with, Google is your best friend.


Holiday shopping tips

What holiday shopping tips do you have? Are there ways you save money on your shopping each year? Share in the comments below.

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