Shopping for the holidays is one of my favourite things to do when the weather gets cold. I love wandering the malls and little downtown shops and finding the perfect gift for everyone on my list. But, I must admit that the task does get a bit daunting when you think of it from a financial perspective. I’m always on the hunt to find the best possible bargains, and I never let money stop me from getting what I want! Where there’s a will, there’s a way, right?
Today I want to share with you some of my favourite ways for saving money while shopping to ensure that I get the most bang for my buck when it comes to the holidays. So, let’s dive right in!
1. Use Ebates – Ebates is an online service that gives you cash back for shopping at hundreds of retailers online that they have partnerships with. You can get cash back on everything from books at Indigo to makeup at Sephora to experiences with Groupon. It’s super easy to sign up and doesn’t cost anything. Basically, if you plan on doing any shopping online this holiday season, there’s no easier way to save than with Ebates! All the info you need is right here.
2. Look For Coupon Codes – This is one of the easiest ways to save money. Whether you’re buying something in store or online, a simple search for ” X Store – coupon code” can yield some amazing results. Often coupon codes are given to bloggers or are posted online for people to use and get anything from 10% off to free shipping to a free gift with purchase. It’s definitely worth looking into before splashing out your money.
3. Cash in on Store Rewards – If you have a reward or loyalty card with a store, the holidays are a great time to cash in your rewards. Whether they give you actual products or store credit, it can definitely be put towards gifting. For example, I usually try my best to save up all of my points with Shoppers DrugMart and then cash them in during the holidays to get my mom or friend a nice bottle of perfume. A completely great gift that didn’t cost me a penny! If a store gives you deluxe samples as a reward (such as Sephora), you can always put them together to create a little “pamper” basket with some bubble bath and a loofa to create a cute little gift for a friend.
4. Wait for Sales – If you have something in mind for someone, ask the store associate if there are any sales coming up that can give you more bang for your buck. Usually store employees know if a BOGO sale or a 25% off sale is on the horizon. Of course, keep an eye out for big sales too, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as you’ll likely be able to score a better deal on almost anything.
5. Divide and Conquer – This is one of my favourite little money saving tricks. So many stores put together gift sets around the holidays that can save you lots of money. If you have 2 people you know that would like the items in a gift set, don’t be afraid to buy one and separate the items into two gift bags once you get home. For example, two of my friends absolutely love beauty and so I picked up a beauty advent calendar and then divided the products into two gift bags based on what they both liked. I saved a ton of money by purchasing the items in a set and then dividing it on my own rather than buying two gift sets on their own.
6. Opt to Wrap Your Own Gifts – Some gifts might look super cute all wrapped up in the store, but make sure you double check that the wrapping is included in the price before they go ahead and wrap it for you. I once made the mistake of thinking that a beauty set I bought included the wrapping, and didn’t realize that it cost me an extra $7 just to get it placed in a bag with some tissue. A roll of wrapping paper and some tape can cost under $5, so it’s definitely more cost-effective to wrap at home.
If you’re planning on shopping soon (which you probably are, unless you’re hibernating for the holiday season), be sure to use these tips to help you stretch your holiday budget extra far! Being smart with your money means that you get to give better gifts to those you love and feel great about it financially. Maybe you’ll even save enough to enjoy a little splurge on yourself after the mall mayhem is over 😉