Hacking Your Holiday Shopping
Living in the 21st century is awesome, especially when it comes to holiday shopping. No longer do we have to brave long trudges to the mall to see if that toy our kids want is in stock, unless of course you like that sort of thing. Use these tips to help you get through your holiday shopping as quickly – and cheaply – as you possibly can.
1. Coupon Sites and E-Flyers
Deals can be tough to find during holiday shopping season, but they are out there. Sign up for e-flyers from stores like Toys R Us and Canadian Tire to get instant notifications in your inbox of good deals. You’ll also want to check out these sites before heading out the door to find out where the deals are:
2. Scan and Price Items at Different Stores
Retailers hate this practice so much that some of them purposely configure their stores so you can’t read barcodes on boxes with your smartphone. But there’s a reason why they hate it – it saves you money by telling you where the item you want is being sold for less money. Canadians haven’t been able to take full advantage of this the way our American cousins have due to less support for Canadian stores, but BarCode Scanner for iOS claims to have good Canadian coverage. Android is also available.
Another fun use of your smartphone is to look online for the same item at different stores for any store with a price matching policy. Some of them have adjusted their policies to just honour paper flyers with better deals rather than using electronic devices, but it’s worth a shot.
3. Costco for the Holidays
Usually a trip to Costco doesn’t actually save anyone money, no matter what your initial intentions are. But the facts are that they do have popular holiday items at a discount over other stores. As with everything, do your research before you go to make sure you’re actually getting a deal. If you spend more than $100 a month at Costco (not hard to do) their Executive Membership gives you exclusive discounts and 2% cash back up to $750.
4. Get Started Early for Specific Items
If you are shopping for the latest Monster High dolls or any other toy that’s sure to be a craze this season, it’s stating the obvious to say “shop early”, but yeah, shop early. If you miss out on the toy your kids want in-store, keep in mind that you may still be able to order it from the store website or Amazon.ca, so you’ll want to identify your “problem items” early on so you have time to have them shipped to you if needed.
5. Online Shopping
Don’t relish the thought of dragging a giant box back to your car and driving home in a snowstorm? Make the UPS driver do it for you! They love it! You’ll want to check that you aren’t missing out on significant in-store specials before pointing and clicking, but once you add up gas, food court lunches and lattes, and general grief you may want to pay $20 extra. If you’re buying a larger-cost item, many stores have free shipping.
If you are considering online shopping for this Christmas, get going! Time is running out!
6. Shop Later for Non-Specific Items
As the clock ticks down to Christmas, retailers play a game of chicken with consumers. Real must-haves like iPads or other hot sellers aren’t going to go on sale right before Christmas, but some retailers start offering discounts the week before Christmas if it looks like merchandise isn’t going to fly off the shelf at top dollar to avoid selling it at deep discounts during Boxing Week.
So if you’re just looking for a little something for your Aunt Myrtle, right before Christmas may actually be the time to do it. But again, specific items should be shopped for early, so this isn’t a ringing endorsement of Christmas Eve shopping for everyone. The downside to this: those hockey pads can sure be uncomfortable to shop in, but you’ll need them to fend off the massive amount of holiday shoppers Hulk-style.
Whatever you’re doing this holiday season, make sure to stay safe!
Mandi Wojtowicz just shared 7 ways to protect your vehicle this Christmas season! It is certainly worth a read!