If you’ve ever heard the advice, “Never go to the grocery store without a list or when you’re hungry,” chances are you know why: you’re likely to buy more than you need and spend more, too. The same advice applies when you’re shopping for the holidays. Whether you’re shopping at the mall, online, or by phone or mail, a little planning and know-how can help you deliver a holiday season that’s on budget and maybe even a little less stressful.
General Shopping Tips
Need help staying on track, getting started, shopping the ads and more? Visit the FTC’s official Holiday Shopping Tips for 2008. How do you decide if the deal is real? Here are some tips to help you get the most for your money.
- Shop around.
- Read sale ads carefully.
- Consider your time and travel costs.
- Look for price-matching policies.
- Carefully consider bargain offers
- Clip coupons.
Kiplinger’s Top Ten Holiday Shopping Tips…includes ideas like:
- Pay Cash
- Know thy enemy
- Have a plan for paying off your bills.
- Make a list
- Think outside the gift box.
The National Retail Federation has assembled a list of ten tips guaranteed to take the headache out of your holiday shopping. Tips like:
- Shop after 6:00 p.m. the evening before a sale is advertised to begin.
- If you are looking for specific advertised items, take the complete ad with you so that you don’t end up in the wrong store looking for a specific price.
- Save yourself some wear-n-tear, let the charity group at the mall wrap your gifts for you.
- Wear comfortable shoes.
The Consumer Union has all the answers to your most common questions:
- How to pay?
- When to pay?
- Checking sale prices against the competition
- Catalog buying
- On-line purchasing
- Don’t buy the extras
- Holiday bills 101
5 Tips for Smart Holiday Shopping
Do not overspend! CNNMoney.com has 5 major tips you need to know before opening your wallet this holiday season.
Don’t know what to shop for? Check out our favorite Gift Guides
Gift Giving Guide is a shopping weblog full of gift ideas for yourself and the special people in your life.
The Green Guide to Giving - from gift wrap to Christmas cards, this site will help you give, give, give…in a green sort of way.
New American Dream includes great ideas for meaningful gifts for children, homemade gifts, family gifts, gift swaps…they have it all.
Want to know what to avoid? Here we have the ten worst holiday gift-giving ideas… giver beware!
How to Save Money this Holiday Season
Seven tips to save money this holiday season…ideas like: Make a list, stash some cash, hunt down online deals, and more.
How to save money on holiday gifts…from Oprah’s avid viewers!
David Bach was on Regis and Kelly and offered some good tips on how to save money this holiday season.
Here are a few bloggers that know their way around a good deal.
The Frugal Mom Blog
Helping you save money with smart choices…Free Samples, Product Reviews, Menu Planning.
Penny Pinching and Other Deals
Coupons, shopping lists, and more! Everything you need to save money in everyday life.
Saving Mommy Money
Are you trying to save money while trying to raise happy and healthy children? SavingMommyMoney.cocm is a place for moms where you’ll find: reviews, advice, tips, recipes, and coupons.
Great deals to get you through the week. Freebies galore!
Deal Seeking Mom
Real deals for REAL moms… This site is excellent for moms who are learning how to save money in order to stretch their budgets. Whether you’re looking for clothes, electronics, groceries, coupons, or anything else that involves MONEY—go here to find the best deals.
Freebies 4 Mom
The hottest coupons, freebies and money saving tips… all in one place! Freebies 4 Mom is about helping you learn how to save money on the products you use everyday. There are samples, coupons, rebates, blog giveaways, sweepstakes, and free resources.
Frugal Is Fab
Being Frugal is Fabulous! This site is a place where you can learn about keeping more of your hard earned money in your pocket. Check back often to see the latest free samples and great deals available at your local retailers.