Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bargain Holiday Shopping

Continuing our frightening reality that The HOliDAys are coming...

If it seems that retailers put out the holiday goods earlier this year, well that's because they did. I've heard that one reason was to give shoppers a longer season. Though don't expect that to mean bigger sales. Many retailers have also scaled back on inventory to avoid discounting. Still if you're looking for bargains to keep your budget on track it's time to do some sleuthing.

Non-gifts: Cards, decorations, etc.

  • Shutterfly is running holiday specials that ends Wednesday, Oct. 29. For example, buy 50 cards and get 25 free or save 50% on photo calendars.
  • Garage sales are a great way to pick up decorations.
  • Also check out thrift shops which are loaded with artificial trees and tons of decorations.

Shopping online

  • Dealnews gives you bargain prices on a crazy assortment of items from laptops to running shoes and more.
  • Don't forget to comparison shop. Spending time can save you big bucks. For quick comparisons checkout DealTime which will give you a range of prices and show you who is charging what.
  • Watch your shipping deadlines and fees.
  • Try to combine your purchases to save on shipping.

Traditional shopping

  • Sales could actually be slim this year so grab one whenever you see it
  • Signup for Border's rewards and other retail loyalty programs that offer coupons

And don't forget:

  • Whenever you shop have you're list handy. You're more like to overspend than you are to leave someone out if you don't have the list with you.
  • Remember the budget. Give yourself a gift and don't overspend this holiday season.

Here's a useful spreadsheet from Credit.com that starts your budget for you and sets up all the categories you should consider.

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