4 Holiday Shopping Tips to Help You Save

It’s no secret that in the U.S., end-of-year holidays are a big deal — and an opportunity to do some big spending. In 2016, the American Research Group reported that shoppers across the country planned to spend over $900 on gifts alone during the holiday season.

Looking to limit your budget this year? Then use these four holiday shopping tips to help you cut back and save more this time around.

Know When to Buy

Just as prices for airline tickets rise during peak travel seasons, retailers will sell products at their highest prices during busy periods. So, it’s important to know when to shop if you’re hoping to score deals and discounts.

“You can usually find the best holiday deals starting the Sunday before Thanksgiving and leading up to Black Friday,” says frugal lifestyle blogger Tracie Richmond Forbes. Forbes, who runs the blog Penny Pinchin’ Mom, says that while Cyber Monday deals are OK, they’re not always as good as those that happen the week before.

If you miss that window, according to Forbes, you should wait until the week of December 11 or December 18. “Retailers will drop prices before Christmas to get more people into the store,” she explains, “or to get them shopping online.”

Choose Your Shopping Holiday Wisely

These days, Thanksgiving can be less about the turkey and more about the shopping. But is it really worth missing family dinner to battle consumer crowds on Thanksgiving or Black Friday?

DealNews reports that if you want to buy Android smartphones, laptops or clothing, you can stay home and shop on Cyber Monday. For items like headphones, toys and tools, though, Black Friday will be your best bet. That’s because all the traditional deals associated with the day after Thanksgiving have now moved to Thanksgiving itself, meaning you’ll need to shop on Thursday to get the best prices on TVs, iPhones and iPads, appliances and video games.

Don’t Wait Until the Holidays

If you know the kinds of gifts you’d like to buy for friends and family, don’t wait until late November or December to start shopping. “I keep a Pinterest board for each person I buy gifts for to store ideas for them,” says Jim Wang, founder of Wallet Hacks. “I periodically peek into that to see if any sales I see match up with items I want to buy for someone.”

Super savvy shoppers — and serious planners — may score even better deals if they can plan to buy during a specific month. According to writer David Pogue, you can get the best deal on jewelry if you buy in July. If you’re shopping for gifts for an outdoor enthusiast, August and October are the best months to purchase things like camping gear. Want a new computer? Plan to buy in September.

The Best Way to Save Could Be to Avoid Spending

These holiday shopping tips can help you save, but don’t get carried away. If you can’t afford to buy big-ticket gifts, get creative this holiday season. Consider gifting experiences to your family instead. For your coworkers, give something homemade, like candy or cookies. You could even propose skipping the gift-giving among friends and host a holiday dinner together instead.

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