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Holiday Shopping Cheat Sheet

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” but it’s also the most expensive. Businesses used to limit their sales to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but, many now offer amazing deals daily. However, when should you buy? Now, or later? This post will help you plan your holiday shopping to take advantage of deals for yourself or as gifts for your friends and family members.

Holidays in July

This year, retailers started promoting holiday shopping deals as early as summertime, so it can be hard to know when you’re getting the best deals. Luckily, browsing online has never been easier. Websites such as track price changes online for many goods, so you can see if that deal you saw is actually a discount. You can also set alerts with to let you know when the price drops to a certain level or by a certain percentage, so you don’t miss a deal on something you want. With this kind of service, it feels like the holidays year-round!

Avoid the Hype

If a deal seems too good to be true, trust your gut instinct and assume that it is. Always read the fine print prior to entering your credit card information and ensure the website from which you’re ordering is legitimate. Check for money-back guarantees and read the online store’s return policy in the event the item arrives late or defective. Don’t be hasty when online shopping and do your research prior to purchasing!

Save While You Shop!

Going back to our discussion, not only does this website monitor price changes on items in which you’re interested, but it also gathers online coupons and automatically enters promotion codes for you! Of course, if you have your own coupon/promo codes, enter as many as you can online or bring as many as you can to brick and mortar stores and stack those deals. If you have gift cards or rewards points on credit cards, don’t forget to use those as well. As we mentioned, this is the most expensive time of the year, so why not take advantage of some deals in the process?

Support Local Businesses

Although the Internet allows you to track big sales at national chains easily, your local stores may have some fantastic deals on their items. Keep an eye on your favorite businesses. Find out if they have sales scheduled by signing up for their email lists or following them on social media. Some local restaurants offer generous discounts on gift certificates during the holidays. Buy these for yourself to save money on meals throughout the year or give them as gifts to share with your friends and family.

Create Your Own Cheat Sheet

To sum up, here’s a cheat sheet you can follow to make sure you’re getting great deals this holiday season:

  • Start by making a list of the items you’d like to buy for your family and friends — or yourself.
  • Check the deals listed online and at your favorite local businesses and focus your shopping attention on them. Also, consider the amount of time you’re willing to spend on scoring deals as you plan your time for shopping.
  • Look at coupons and gift cards you have for the stores offering sales to increase your potential savings.
  • Track your deals in a spreadsheet, a note on your phone, or even a paper planner you use to track your holiday budget. Pick the tool that works best for you.

This holiday shopping cheat sheet will help you stay focused when you’re being bombarded with an abundance of deals and emails all holiday season.