We are about to jump into the busiest shopping season of the year. Whether you enjoy the adrenaline rush of last-minute holiday shopping or you like to get it done long before the crowds arrive, this year offers buyers more choices than ever. Try these six smart shopping habits to get the most out of your shopping.
1) Let technology keep you on track so you aren’t stressing and overspending: For iOS users, relying on an app like GiftPlanner lets you set and balance your budget for each gift. It also helps you bookmark items that you’re browsing online. Plus, you can even use it to remind you if you’ve wrapped the gift or not, by taking a photo and storing the info in the app. Android users can turn to an app like Gift List Diary. You can set a budget for each person on your list. It also allows you to mark when you have purchased a gift and when you have wrapped it. Not only that, you have the ability to share your list with your contacts.
2) Take advantage of rewards programs when you shop online and in stores: Rakuten can get you cash-back rewards at many different online stores. Another option is Ibotta. When you provide proof of purchase for certain products, you earn cash-back rewards that you can use for holiday purchases.
3) Use coupon-tracking browser extensions to save online: Honey and RetailMeNot Genie (both free) automatically apply coupons that may be applicable to your purchase as you check out. You don’t even have to search for the coupons!
4) If you’re shopping for someone who doesn’t want or need any more “stuff,” go the charitable route: Pick a charity or cause that you know they would appreciate and make a charitable donation in their name.
5) Figure out your backup plans ahead of time: After making your list of gift recipients, pick three potential gifts for each person on your buying list. This way you won’t go nuts when the gift you’ve decided on is maybe too expensive or can’t be found.
6) Reduce the temptation: If you know you are susceptible to sales and buying more than you probably should, consider leaving your credit cards at home and just take your debit cards or cash when you go shopping for gifts.
No matter your shopping preferences, maybe just step into the season with the right mind-set, take time for yourself and simply embrace it!