Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Saving Money on Christmas Shopping

It's November and you know what that means... Christmas is right around the corner!

I love Christmas! I love everything about it. The music, the lights, the parties, the treats, EVERYTHING!!! I especially love Christmas shopping and finding awesome deals. My kids know they're not getting what they want unless I can find it for a good deal. When they open their presents, they sometimes ask how much I paid for it because they know I wouldn't have bought it unless it was a good deal. They've learned to really appreciate a good deal!

So I'm going to share my tips on how to get more for your money at Christmas time. There are a lot of really great sales out there and you don't actually need to go shopping on Black Friday to get those sales.

First, decide what your budget is going to be for Christmas gifts. Then have your kids make a list of everything they want. You can make it a running list and add things and take things off because kids sometimes change their minds. Check different stores online to find out how much each item will cost and write it down on your list. I usually check Amazon, Walmart, and Target and that gives me a pretty good idea about how much each thing will cost. Then check the websites frequently to see if the price drops. If the price drops significantly, buy it. If you can get everything on your list for a lower price you'll be able to save a significant amount or maybe even get more for your money.

When the Black Friday ads come out, check the ad for each store. The ads should be coming out in a few weeks and you will be able to view them online. Decide if there's anything that is worth going shopping for on Black Friday. You might find something that's worth going to the store for but keep in mind that you might have to go early and wait in line. It also might cut into your time with your family on Thanksgiving.

If you find something in the ads that you really want, check around online. You may be able to find it for the same price before Black Friday.

Here are some things that I have learned about different stores:

Amazon is very competitive with their prices. If there is something advertised at another store, there is a good chance that Amazon will lower their prices to match it. Right now Amazon has their Countdown to Black Friday sale and you can get some awesome deals. They also have a Holiday deal page with lightning deals. If you're not familiar with this you need to check it out. I've used this multiple times and scored some amazing deals. How it works is each day there are specific items that will go on sale at certain times. The price won't be listed until the sale is live. Once it goes live, you can buy it for the sale price but the quantities are limited. I've seen things sell out in less than five minutes! If you're an Amazon Prime member you can have access to certain deals a half hour early.

I would recommend checking the Lightning Deals page every morning to see if there's anything you want. If you find something, go back to that page at the designated time and buy it. But you have to hurry because it can go quick.

Here are the links:
Lightning Deals 
Toy Lightning Deals

There are some great deals at Walmart on Black Friday but that place can be a madhouse! I know because I've been there on Black Friday! Did you know that some of the items advertised in the Black Friday ad are also sold online for the same price on Thanksgiving day? Last year I got on the Walmart website at midnight before Thanksgiving when the sales went live and I was able to get many things that I wanted without having to go to the store and fight the crowds. Just remember, the more popular items will sell out fast and if you can't get it, you might have to go to the store during the Black Friday sale.

Sometimes I feel like I have to get a little creative when I shop at Kohl's. A lot of their prices are higher but when you combine the 20-30% off coupons and the Kohl's cash, you can get some great deals. They also let you stack coupons which I think is great! Kohl's also has a rewards program Yes2You Rewards. You earn 1 point for every dollar that you spend and once you've reached 100 points, you'll get a $5 reward certificate. This is in addition to all of the other deals that they have.

Kohl's also sells a lot of things online for Black Friday prices and their sell starts a few days before Thanksgiving. So there really is no need to even go to the store. Plus, around Thanksgiving, they usually offer $15 in Kohl's Cash for every $50 you spend which is a great incentive!

Target is also very competitive with their prices. Right now they are offering free shipping on all purchases made online until Christmas. No minimum purchase required! They also have a Cartwheel app that is awesome. If you pay attention to the Carthwheel app you might be able to score some great deals. Some of their deals are available one day only so you have to go to the store early because they run out fast!

You can also shop online at Target for Black Friday. The sales usually go live at midnight before Thanksgiving.

*When shopping online don't forget to shop through Ebates and earn cashback! It's a great way to earn some extra cash. I've earned about $120 just by shopping online!

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