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Ten Astounding Holiday Shopping Tips

deals shopping holiday black friday“Breaking the bank” is a term that has multiple definitions. It can mean that something is very expensive. Or, it can indicate spending more money than one has or tapping into reserve funds. To avoid creating a negative financial situation around the holidays, here are ten key tips that can help keep you from breaking the bank.

  1. Create lists to stay organized. Write your own or use a computer template or app. Santa’s Bag is a highly-rated smart-phone shopping list app for iPhones to plan gift and wish lists, set budgets, track shopping progress, and more.
  2. If you feel easily tempted to buy “extras” at the store, skip going in person. Instead, do online shopping and stick to your list and budget. If you risk buying additional items, ask your spouse, family member, or a trusted friend for their moral support to discourage you from straying from your list.
  3. Surf the web for values. Use online apps to compare prices. Depending upon the app, you can scan the bar code with your camera icon or search for specific products. ShopSavvy is one app that allows you to do both
  4. You can install apps for businesses you frequent, such as Walmart, that promise to beat competitor prices. The Amazon Shopping App enables you to shop from almost any mobile device. Amazon Prime allows you to enjoy fast, free shipping on over 50 million items when you start your 30-day free trial.
  5. Search the internet for discounts and coupon codes. Take advantage of free shipping days (such as Free Shipping Friday) and off-peak hour sales. Target offers “top deals” and free shipping and return options.
  6. If you’re looking for a specific item, use an app to set up deal alerts to be notified by email on special offers. Apps, such as Saviry, offer daily deals and family sharing plans for up to six family members.
  7. If you are shopping in person, check for online coupons that can be sent to your phone or printed for use in the store. Read store circulars and ask your friends who shop for suggestions on which stores have the best deals. Share or swap coupons with friends.
  8. Ask the salesperson if there are any discounts that can be applied to your purchase. Surprisingly, many retailers may accommodate you. While some people fear this may be rude, many department store managers can provide markdowns which can add up to substantial savings on big-ticket items.
  9. Understand store refund and return policies. If you buy something and see it elsewhere for less money, go back to the store and ask them to refund you the difference. Typically, this must occur within 30 or 90 days of purchase. Or, you may attempt to return an unopened/unused item and rebuy it at the cheaper price.
  10. Keep track of your receipts as they are generally required for returns. Many stores will ask if you prefer a paper receipt, a digital receipt, or both. Use an app such as Receipts by Wave to manage your receipts, records, and holiday spending.

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