Starting in late October, I am online several times day to check my favorite deal websites. Why do I do this? To get the best bargains for my Christmas shopping, of course. If I see a great sale or clearance or other great deal, I pounce on it and whittle down my Christmas gift list.
Of course, it helps to have a real plan in place. I keep track of all of my holiday gift purchases, so I won’t overbuy. I list who the gift is for, and I keep a running total of how much I spend per person and how much I spend overall.
For items that are musts on my kids Christmas lists, I spend a few days comparing prices before I buy. If appropriate, I also look at sources of used items, such as Craigslist and eBay to save money.
When shopping online, I make sure to research coupon codes. Coupon codes can further sweeten the deals, especially when they give me a percentage off or free shipping. There are often several coupon codes available for major online stores, so you can usually find one that works best for you.
Speaking of free shipping, I’ll often leave items in my cart until I make the minimum purchases that qualify me for free shipping. I also take advantage of trial memberships that either give me free expedited shipping or an extra 10 percent off. If you do this, just remember to cancel the membership after the trial, or you will be charged.
Another way to find the bargains is to sign up for store newsletters and like or follow them on social media sites. You’ll often find extra deals and savings that way, often ones that aren’t advertised to the general public. Savings blogs and forums can also alert you to bargains.