9 Tips to Save Money on Holiday Shopping

by Andrea Woroch on 13 December 2012 (0 comments)

The following is a sponsored post from Chase Ultimate Rewards and money-saving expert Andrea Woroch.

E-commerce sales volume is up 12.3%, according to the Chase Holiday Pulse, a tracker of online and in-store retail consumer shopping trends. While more shoppers are flocking to stores to find the right gift for everyone on their list, most are hoping to keep their spending in check. To help you get the most bang for your buck this holiday season, Chase partnered with Andrea Woroch, a nationally recognized consumer and money-savings expert, to share tips for saving on holiday shopping. Andrea focuses on helping everyday consumers become savvy shoppers without drastically changing their lifestyle. Here’s what she has to say:

1. Look Out for Price Drops

Many retailers will offer a price adjustment if a particular item goes on sale shortly after you bought it. This is smart for anyone who wants to pick up a popular gift earlier in the season. Download FreePriceAlerts to stay on top of those items.

2. Price Match

Many retailers like Sears, Walmart, and Best Buy will price match the competition, a policy that becomes more popular during the holiday season. Some stores may even offer to knock more money off the purchase. For those who shop online, price matching can be done via instant chat with live customer service reps.

3. Use Discount Gift Cards

Purchase discount gift cards from online resellers like GiftCardGranny or CardPool.com to save an average of 12% off gift purchases from stores you plan to shop at.

4. Tap Into Your Smartphone for Savings

Bar-code scanning apps like RedLaser or SnapTell provide instant price comparison among brick-and-mortar stores as well as online retailers. Coupon Sherpa’s free mobile coupon app provides coupons for stores based on your proximity, and Decide.com's app provides instant price history, so you know if it's the best time to make the purchase. The Holiday Gift List app helps you create a shopping list with predetermined gift ideas and an allocated budget for each item, and you can mark off each gift recipient to stay on top of your spending.

5. Socialize

Follow favorite stores and brands on Twitter and Facebook to get instant updates about special promotions and exclusive in-store and online coupons. Being social while you shop in-store can be helpful, too. Sales associates may alert you to an upcoming one-day sale or let you know if coupons are currently available.

6. Enter an Online Coupon Code

When shopping online, don't skip over that coupon code box. Search online coupon sites to find money-off codes and free shipping coupons. Sometimes purchasing more from the same retailer will also result in greater savings.

7. Review Return and Refund Policies

Many retailers adjust these policies during the holiday season, so make sure policies won't leave you or the recipient in a bind.

8. Set Up Secret Santa

For families who are struggling financially this year, or anyone for that matter, the Secret Santa style of gift giving keeps holiday spending down while ensuring that everyone in the family or group gets a gift.

9. Swap

If your budget isn't very flexible, consider swapping your kids’ gently used toys, electronics, or home goods online to get like-new gifts for the holiday season. Sites like Swap.com, BookMooch, and thredUP are great places to trade goods for just the cost of shipping.

Here's a message from our Sponsor:

Chase Ultimate Rewards offers virtually limitless opportunities to earn and redeem rewards without earnings caps, airfare blackout dates or points expiration. Chase is offering extra incentives to cardholders this holiday season. Throughout the holidays Chase cardholders can:

  • Earn bonus points for shopping online through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
     
  • Use existing points to pay for items at Amazon.com, or redeem points for unique experiences, such as a meet and greet with the Radio City Rockettes.
     
  • Receive 10% or 20% off select gift cards purchased with points through Ultimate Rewards.
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