How to Save on Holiday Shopping This Year

If you aren’t careful, you could end up spending thousands of dollars on your holiday shopping this year. But it doesn’t have to be this way! If you come up with a plan, you can spend far less than you ever thought possible.

The Excessive State of Holiday Shopping

It seems like holiday shopping becomes an even bigger production every year. From Black Friday and Cyber Monday to brand-specific sales and deals, it’s nearly impossible not to get sucked into the spirit.

According to data gathered from a 2016 National Retail Federation study, the average American plans to spend $935.58 during the holiday season. Nearly one in five Americans spends more than $1,000, while roughly 50 percent spend at least $500. And despite these astronomical numbers, 37 percent of people have no savings plan or strategy for tracking how much they spend. As you can guess, this is a recipe for disaster.

6 Tips for Saving Money This Holiday Shopping Season

With the holiday shopping season quickly approaching, let’s take a look at some different strategies for saving money.


  • Save and Purchase in Advance


One of the worst things you can do is wait until late November or early December to start your holiday shopping. Not only is it impractical for most people to spend this much money in such a short period of time, but it also prevents you from finding the best deals.

Once the calendar turns to July, you should already be thinking about your holiday shopping. Make a list of people you’ll be buying gifts for and set a limit for each one. This gives you four or five months to save – as well as a chance to spread out your spending.


  • Use Coupons


When you shop in advance, you have the opportunity to wait for deals to come along. Keep an eye on coupon sites like Groupon and MyCoupons for good discounts. If you’re patient, you can find discounts on products you were already planning to purchase.


  • Purchase Discounted Gift Cards


Gift cards are always a great gift for that person on your list who is hard to please, but did you know that you could also save money by purchasing discounted gift cards and then using the balances to buy presents? A website like GiftCardGranny lets you purchase gift cards for stores like Old Navy, Gap, Best Buy, Walmart, and Target at a fraction of the standard cost.


  • Buy in Bulk


Do you have people with similar tastes on your list – such as lots of grandchildren? One of the best ways to save money is to buy items in bulk. Not only will you save the time it takes to find a gift for each person, but you’ll also get a per-unit discount.


  • Give Handmade Gifts


“Looking for a unique Christmas gift that won’t break the bank but is sure to get a smile? This year, skip the same-old, store bought stocking stuffers and spread some holiday cheer with a homemade gift your friends and family will love,” suggests Katie Strasberg of Southern Living.

Homemade gifts could include baked goods, ornaments, crafts, jewelry, photo albums, candles, or anything else that you think the people on your list will like.


  • Price Check on Your Phone


There’s something very classic and nostalgic about shopping in physical stores during the holiday season. But if you’re going to shop retail, make sure you’re still comparing prices to get the best deal.

As you browse inventory in a store, use an app to find the same items online. The Amazon app, for example, has a barcode scanner that you can use to quickly check the price on their website. Walmart Savings Catcher and Shop Savvy are also useful.

Be a Smart Holiday Shopper

There’s no rule that says you have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on gifts during the holiday season. In fact, smart, savvy individuals make it a point not to overspend. Hopefully this article has given you some strategies and motivation for spending less and saving more. Happy holidays!