The Ultimate Guide for Saving Money while shopping for Christmas

Hi everyone!

Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you’re having an amazing day with your loved ones! =) I wanted to post this Guide on Monday but… life happened and I wasn’t able to do it. So, without further ado here’s…

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The Ultimate Guide for Saving Money while shopping for Christmas! {Phew, that’s long}

A couple of years ago I did a series on How to buy online (check the end of the post for the series links). At the time, a lot of my friends were asking me for tips on how to save while buying cheaper. And I’m not talking about white-brand products or lower quality products. I’m talking about the good quality brands, that we can find cheaper online that in-store (especially in Portugal).

That series was divided in 4 parts and I talked about online safety, saving as much as possible, my favorite sites to save and shared a few tips on how to prepare for holiday shopping.

The basic things haven’t changed but there are a couple of things that I now do different. I suggest you read the How to buy online series, especially if you’re not sure on how to buy safely online.

This year I wanted to really focus on how you can save the most while shopping for Christmas {and really, you can apply most of this guide to other special occasions or daily shopping needs}.

In order to save the most, this is what I do:

Throughout the year

I use a lot of these tips throughout the year for my family and friends’ birthdays and special occasions. They may seem like a lot of work at first and they can be, but really, after you get in groove of things, this will be like second nature to you and it will be worth it.

1. Newsletters

I’m a nut for newsletters. Companies use them as a privileged means to get in touch with the clients and they often send out info on special sales events, promo codes, discounted items, etc. Some of them allow you to invite friends to get the newsletter and in return, you receive free shipping, or a discount, or any other goodie. Other companies allow you to add special date reminders (i.e. anniversary date on a flower shop) and they’ll send you a promo code to use on that day.

I receive about one hundred newsletters on my email. Yes, it’s a lot, but it’s spread all over the web and shop categories. And I’ve come up with a very effective way of browsing through them.

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Here’s a sneak peek of my gmail inbox. I get all my newsletters in the “Promotions” tab and that already helps, as my vital emails go to my primary inbox and don’t get mixed up. Then, if I need to buy a specific thing, I open the newsletters of companies that sell that item and pick the best. If I don’t have a specific need at the time, I browse the subjects of the newsletters and delete all that don’t seem “interesting”. By “interesting” I mean something that even if it’s not a near future need, it may be something that has such a good value discount that it may be worth to check. The rest, I move to trash.

Even then, if something comes up and I need to buy, let’s say, a flower bouquet, and I don’t have any active, “interesting” newsletters, I go to the trash folder and browse for online flower shops newsletters. Gmail allows you to do this as it has a HUGE storage available.

 

2. Cashback / Coupons Websites

I love cashback, I love coupons. A few years ago I found out about Ebates, RetailMeNot and Quidco. These are websites that have deals with A LOT of online (and RL locations) companies and I always – always! – check to see if there is a cashback available. Think of it for a second: you found a great item at a great price, so you decide to buy it; these websites give you back a percentage of the amount that you already decided to pay. And for free. How awesome is that?

These three are my favorite and I’ve been registered for years and years and got hundreds of dollars (Ebates and RetailMeNot) and euros (Quidco) in cashback.

Click the names for a link to the website (*they’re my affiliate links, which mean that if you register through my link, I’ll receive a small tiny compensation after you get your first cashback, feel free to use or not)

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Ebates ∞ RetailMeNot ∞ Quidco

Just take a look at some of Ebates’ offers for Thanksgiving! And they’re not even the Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals!

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3. Special Offers / Discounted Prices Websites

These are websites that have partnered with companies and sell their items on sales events, often with a week duration each, for discounted prices. My favorites are the ones below and I try to be on top of their current and future sales to help me plan for my holiday and non-holiday shopping.

savingmoneyultimateguide5For US Residents/non-US residents with family/friends/address in the US (don’t ship worldwide or have expensive shipping rates):  Groupon (also available around the world) ∞ HauteLook ∞ Ideel ∞ Beyond the Rack

 

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For Residents in Portugal: ShowRoomPriveClubeFashion

 

Holiday Season

 

1. Make a list

This is very important, as it will guide you through the craziness of deals that come up during the holiday season. If you don’t have any ideas for a person, browse a few online stores for inspiration, or even Pinterest or my Gift Guide Series (links at the end of the post).

 

2. Keep an eye out for deals – Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas Specials

Thanksgiving comes and goes and leaves not only a full belly, but also amazing Black Friday deals. And then it’s Cyber Monday (the Monday right after Thanksgiving). And then we’re bombarded with Christmas specials.

The problem is to choose. You’re always expecting to get a better deal in a day or a week. In my experience, if you can find a great deal on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, you should go for it. That’s the ideal time to get something online – you’ll get it in the mail for sure in time for Christmas – and the only time that the prices will be as or more discounted is just a couple of days before Christmas and you’re probably not getting the products in time. But that’s something that is totally up to you.

For example, take my Gift Guide: Splurging list. If you want to buy anything that expensive for your home, don’t want to spend as much money as it usually costs and don’t care if you get it in time to wrap and place under the tree… then, the days right before and right after Christmas are the best. Companies want to sell all their products and hold HUGE sales around that time. It’s totally your call.

 

3. Compare prices. Compare prices. Compare prices. 

This should be your new mantra for the holiday shopping season.

Browse a lot of online shops to find the best price or best deal. And keep in mind that you should be taking everything into account: price, cashback, coupons and shipping. Sometimes the deal is great but the shipping costs are awful and make it not worth it.

I use Google Shopping a lot to help me with comparing prices.

 

4. Favorite Websites to shop

And finally, after a while you’ll notice that you have favorite shops. The best places to get the best deals. I have a few and I always browse for items there before browsing anywhere else. My two staple websites for general shopping are the very well-known Target and Amazon. And they’re so well-known because they rock!

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TargetAmazon (also available in many worldwide locations)

 

I hope this was a helpful guide to you. There are so many ways to shop and save! And you’ll get better and better at this and save even more each time you browse for a good deal. Trust me.

Now, on to your best savings! And have fun!

Happy Holidays!

Check back for even more holiday related posts and a Christmas DIY on my YouTube channel this weekend! I’ll start uploading my Holiday Series Videos there and I’m so excited! I’m sure you’ll love it! =) Subscribe to be notified of my new videos! 😉

 

For more info on my How to Buy Online Series, click here:
How to buy online – Part I: safety tips and tricks
How to buy online – Part II: saving as much as you can
How to buy online – Part III: my favorite websites to save
How to buy online – Part IV: preparing for some holiday shopping

Check out my 2014 Christmas Gift Guide Series: Gift Guide for HerGift Guide for HimGift Guides for KidsGift Guides for Pets and Gift Guides: Splurging! Also, my 2014 Christmas Wishlist (with a few suggestions for stocking stuffers).

If you haven’t already, subscribe to the newsletter and you’ll never miss a post! ;)

See you soon!

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Sofia @ Something on Everything

I'm a 32 year old Portuguese Psychomotricist / Early Intervention Specialist that loves to write about everything! Here you'll find a lot of different and great topics, but lately I've been loving to write about Food, Fitness and DIY! Hope you enjoy it and follow me on a journey to a better self! Aside from the social media links on the top of the page, you can also connect with Sofia Linha on:Google+