With Christmas budgets already stretched thin, it makes a lot of sense to use a few cost-cutting strategies when checking off your Christmas list.
1. Buy online. This one is easy for me. I’d much rather purchase Christmas gifts at Amazon.com than stand in a line with 300 people fighting over limited quantities. Depending on where you live, you can often avoid paying sales tax, too, which can represent a sizable portion of a large purchase such as a computer.
Many brick and mortar stores such as Target and Best Buy participate in Cyber Monday (the Monday following Thanksgiving) deals at their websites where you can find deals similar to the ones that were found in stores on Black Friday.
2. Pay with cash (for larger items). It used to be widely known that if you paid for large ticket items with cash you could expect a deep discount. That’s not always a given these days, because many stores make money on their in-store financing or branded credit cards, and would be just as happy if you financed your big purchase.
Still, it’s worth having the cash on-hand and asking for a cash discount.
3. Buy next year’s Christmas gifts in January. Some gifts are timeless, and if buying the latest hot gadge isn’t particulaly important to those on your list, you might consider picking up some gifts at deep discount after the holiday season shopping rush has passed.
Note, we like to shop for Christmas decorations around this time, too!
4. Don’t shy away from floor models. Just this past weekend I scored a zebra-patterned Parsons chair that will look great in my daughter’s room.
I asked the sales associate if she had one in the back, because the floor model had a few scratches on the legs. She returned with a disappointed look – the only remaining item was the floor model. The chair was originally $79.99, marked down to $59.99. I offered them $30. The manager said they couldn’t go below $40. We settled on $35.
I used a furniture pen to cover the scratches, gave the chair’s fabric a quick wipe down with a wash cloth, and it is now as good as new. Total savings – about 55% off the full, retail price.
5. Use coupons. I rarely purchase anything online without using some sort of coupon or promotional code. Many of these codes offer free shipping, or a discount off your total purchase. There are just too many ways to save not to do a little research.
Of course, I’ve tried to make this easier for readers in recent weeks by offering a consolidated spot here at Frugal Dad for coupons and deals. I highly encourage you to check out this area when you are ready to do some online shopping.
What are a few ways you save on Christmas gifts each year? Share your tips here and at the Facebook page where I’ve just kicked off a new discussion on this topic.