You don’t have to choose between spending a lot or wasting gifts this year.
the main points
- This holiday season could be very costly this year with inflation in the cost of everything soaring.
- Being strategic about where you shop is key to keeping costs down.
- Carefully choosing your payment method can also help you save.
Americans spent about $8.9 billion on Black Friday alone last year, and with holiday sales starting earlier this year, it’s safe to say this holiday season will likely be a record book season. Even if you’re trying to be frugal, you may have a hard time keeping your budget from inflation thanks to inflation that has made everything more expensive this year.
But don’t lose hope. The following five tips can help you keep your vacation costs low this year without overdoing anything.
1. Shop sales start now
Black Friday may be a few weeks away, but many retailers are already offering holiday deals. If you wait until Black Friday, you could miss out on some amazing savings. Not to mention that waiting increases the likelihood that some of your essentials will be sold out before you can buy them.
If you don’t find any good sales at the moment, you can at least do some exploring later so you know which retailers have the items you want and how much they usually charge. This will help you identify the best deals when more retailers start lowering their prices.
2. Use coupons
Coupons can help you get free shipping or a discounted price on items you were going to buy anyway. You can find it easily by searching the store name and online “coupons”. However, keep in mind that not all stores will offer these things and some may only make them available for a limited time.
Don’t use this tactic only for holiday gifts. Check your local newspaper for coupons on groceries and use them to cut a few dollars off the cost of your holiday meals.
3. Use credit card rewards
Now is the time to take advantage of the credit card rewards you have accrued throughout the year. You can use cashback credit card points to either reduce your credit card bill for the month or to purchase gift cards that you can use to purchase gifts for others. And if you’re planning to travel during the holidays, check if you have enough miles on your travel rewards credit card to save on flights or hotels.
Be sure to review any terms and restrictions on your credit card rewards. Some have points that expire or miles with blackout dates that you can’t use at certain times. Know these limitations before you attempt to cash out your rewards.
4. Use cash instead of cards
When shopping in person, stick with cash instead of cards when possible. Shopping with cash makes us more aware of how much we are spending, and this can prevent us from buying more than we planned.
In addition, there is no risk of interest charges when using cash as there is when using a credit card. However, you will also not have the opportunity to earn rewards on your purchases.
5. Shop in wholesale clubs
If you’re lucky enough to live near wholesale clubs, shopping at one of these clubs can help you save on everything from gifts and holiday decorations to meals. You have to pay to be a member of one of these clubs, so you must first weigh whether it is worth it for you.
Not all of these tips may apply to you, but pick the ones that make sense and give them a try this year. Keep it in mind as we head into 2023 as well. If you prepare in advance by saving money and credit card rewards, you can make next year’s holiday season a lot easier on you.
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