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3 Smart Shopping Tips for a Happy, Frugal Holiday

by Alice Woodhouse
December 04, 2009
The months have gone by so fast and it's that time of the year again when a certain chill is in the air and glittering trinkets and decorations signal the arrival of the Holiday season. It's the time of gift giving and by now I'm sure you've either finalized your Christmas list or have already started shopping for it.

  1. Budgeting

    Yes, there are still a few of those left that leave the house without a well-planned and well-thought of list. Don't be a victim of your own laziness. There is a 15% chance that you will buy something that you will regret spending that much on or get something that you'd probably exclaim "what was I thinking, s/he will never like this stuff!"

    First and foremost is to list the people who will duly receive gifts from you, and think carefully about what exactly you should get, while considering how much you plan on spending for that person. Sounds a little taxing, huh? It shouldn't be too difficult though. Plan for each item thoroughly, and that includes gift wrappers, ribbons, cards and postage too, if you plan on sending it across state lines. It's hard to be exact when it comes to prices of the items, but a correct approximation should be enough.

    Budget, to some people, may be a hindrance to gift-giving since it signifies limiting yourself. Let's change that thought: Budgeting helps you get ready. Yes, it certainly does the trick of being able to avoid being suddenly bankrupt on Christmas time, as well as being a major time-and-money saver for you!

  2. Shop Smart, Shop Frugal

    The Holiday season is filled with amazing buys that tempt the shopaholic out of the most frugal person. The display windows are filled with the best of the best to lure customers in. Advertising is as common as breathing at this time of the year; you can see it anywhere and everywhere. What's a frugal shopper to do?

    Take heed of "SALE" tags in stores, and yes the red and white mark is a common sight during the holiday season, too! Be very discriminating against "Discounts" and "Marked Down" offers and most especially for "buy-this-get-this" items. During the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping, it is needless to say to keep your wits about you, to avoid being tempted to buy an item because it has a GWP (gift with purchase). It is especially terrible when the extra item is something not you don't want or need.

    Stores may offer a huge bargain that saves you a whole lot of money, while some may just offer everyday discount. Always compare, compare, compare! Browse through various department stores to get the biggest discount of them all. Comparison shopping is your ticket to saving more. Another way that you can shop cheap is to ask for a price-matching policy from the store you're going to shop in. There are stores that offer price-matching so you're sure to get the lowest price possible when the stores compete and beat each other's prices.

  3. Go online shopping. Save on gas, all that headache, and possible crazy hectic shopping people! Sit back on your computer chair while keeping multiple tabs for various online stores that offer a great selection of items. You can get discounts online too, or get free shipping at least! Online shopping has never been this wonderful, since many merchants offer an amazing array of discounts with coupon codes.

Much like ordinary paper coupons, online coupon codes are very useful when it comes to saving money when you're already planning to buy from one online store or get a specific item. Be vigilant about expiration dates and the terms and conditions of each merchant, though! Don't end up spending more money because of an oversight on your part. Most of the time, you can find discount codes from the online store itself or from other sites that feature the latest money-saving promotional codes.

Read the shipping details of the items that you ordered, too, so you will know the shipping costs, insurance, and delivery time.

Make your Holidays a good one, and don't get too stressed about gift-giving. It's not how about the item or the price, but the gift of love and thought that went behind it!

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3 Smart Shopping Tips for a Happy, Frugal Holiday

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