The Ultimate Holiday Time Savings Guide - Savvy

Gift Cards Travel The Ultimate Holiday Time Savings Guide



· 4 min read

The Holidays are creeping up around the corner, but don’t let them mug you and take off with your wallet. There are a number of tips, tricks and strategies you can implement to help lift the financial burden of these busy times. Some of them are classic pen and paper tricks, but we live in the digital age. We’ll show you how to take full advantage technology to find the best deals to save your budget. 


Let’s start with pen and paper.

  • Your first move should be to make a list of your shopping victims. If it makes you feel better, put your favorite ones first (hint: don’t show anyone your list). Writing down your recipients will help you decide who you will and will not be buying for. It may be a difficult decision, but making it early will help relieve some stress later one.
  • Now that your list is made it’s time to add your numbers. You need to work out your budget per person. To do this you should start with the overall total that you’re willing and able to spend. Now, if your favorite second-cousin is on the top of your list, let them have a bigger number, then work your way down. Or you can be fair to everyone, that’s totally up to you. 

SAVVY SECRET: Upgrade your list and create a column for your expected expenditure and your actual expenditure so you can re-convene at the end of the holidays.

  • Your next semi-easy step will be to jot down gift ideas for each of your victims. These can be changed later, but it’s good to start with an idea so you’re not frantically running around around the store like a chicken with it’s head cut off at the last possible minute.
  • Don’t forget to calculate the hidden costs of the holidays. Wrapping materials, shipping costs, electric bills (all those extra lights), travel expenses, stocking stuffers, cooking expenses, social events etc.


Let the gift hunting begin. 

1. Research your products online first.

Online reviews and consumer reports are a great way to determine whether the gift you’re eyeballing is worth the cost, has had any issues and if other consumers have been happy with it. Go ahead and research last year’s model as well. It’ll be lower priced, and may offer the same value, quality and features as the newer model. The truth is in the reviews. Take note of price differences between sellers and keep an eye on their fluctuation throughout the year and holiday season.  


2. Sign up to email lists.

Stores send out regular newsletters showcasing their sales and price drops. When this happens, compare the prices to the other sellers on your research list. Some stores offer price matching, so if one seller has offered your product at a lower price, but it’s inconvenient for you to get to, a closer store may match their lower price.


3. Use shopping apps.

Resources like scour the internet and find the best coupons, deals and discount codes available. They will automatically be applied to your online cart when you shop at any of the 40,000+ stores that they’re affiliated with, and is a great way to get an extra few dollars off your products. At the end of the holidays, those few dollars here and there will have turned into a great little pile of savings.


4. Shop with the right credit cards.

The dollar signs are ticking left and right as the calendar ticks down to the big day. Make those purchases strategic. Take advantage of your credit card reward points and cash-back opportunities.


5. Free Shipping

Online shopping relieves some of the stress, but lots of people forget about the shipping costs until it’s too late. Take note of who has the best shipping deals, and factor those costs in with the product cost and your listed budget. Many stores offer free shipping if the cart is over a certain amount, so consider buying your gifts together to help reduce the overall cost. 


6. Clearance Sales.

Sometimes it pays off to get off the computer and go shopping in person. Closeout and clearance sales can be mini goldmines, and may be pleasantly surprised at what you can find.


SAVVY SECRET: Start planning and hunting early. This is the best advice that can be given.

The holiday season is meant to be exciting and heartfelt, not a nightmare. So, plan your budget and stick to it, do your research, take notes, utilize every resource available to you and have fun.