By Shannon Shaffer, Blogger, For The Mommas
The holidays are upon us and shopping is in full swing. Kids are making their Christmas wish lists, with every toy and gift they could ever want. As a mom, I want to fulfill their every wish! In reality, I have a budget to stick to.
This time of year can be very hard on your budget, especially in this economy. However, having a budget doesn’t mean that you cannot get some of the best toys on your child’s wish list!
There are many ways to score that great gift without breaking the bank.
Follow these simple tips to keep your budget in check:
- The biggest benefit of shopping online is that you can compare many different prices at one time. You can get the best deal by checking sites for all the retailers that you might normally shop at. Use websites like pricegrabber.com to compare prices for your product before you buy.
- Check online for the price before your go to a physical location. Prices are sometimes cheaper because the retail store has less overhead than their brick and mortar locations. The cost of keeping up a physical location rolls into the cost of what you pay for the product.
- Check out auction sites like Ebay. Don’t forget that Ebay offers a wide selection of brand new products from big retailers like Best Buy. Many times overstock items or outlet items end up on Ebay.
Gift Card Promotions
Many retailers are now offering gift cards to their stores when you purchase items that have fixed price points. For example, Target offered a $50.00 iTunes giftcard when you purchased an iPod. There have also been gift card promotions on Wii.
In addition, many stores are offering a free gift card when you purchase a certain dollar amount. These are great because you don’t have to spend the money on a specific item to earn the gift card.
Use these gift cards to offset the cost of the items you cannot get on sale.
Many people tend to believe coupons are for food and drug stores only. This just is not the case anymore. Keep an eye out in your Sunday coupon inserts for coupons on toys and games. Recently, Hasbro and Playskool released 20 coupons for their toys and games.
Retail stores like Target and Toys R Us have issued store coupons for toys as well. These coupons include percentages off, buy one get one free and dollars off a specific purchase. Combine these coupons with great sales for extra savings.
Post Holiday Sales
If you are going to giving gifts after the holiday, wait to shop until after the holidays. Post holiday sales can net some amazing savings. If you cannot wait until after the holidays, give the recipient a gift card to take advantage of the deal.
Don’t be afraid to use price matching to score a great deal. If a store is running a sale and is sold out, take their ad to Target or Wal-mart to get a price match. Check your local stores to see what their price match policy is.
Sometimes you can find last year’s item or a similar item on clearance for more than 50% off. Be sure to check the clearance racks before you buy the full price item.
Lastly, make sure you keep track of what you spend! Don’t overspend just because you got a great deal. Stick to your budget and you will be happier in January!