Thanksgiving will be over before we know it, meaning that we’re only weeks away from the moment when the holiday shopping season moves into full swing. As temperatures get colder and the days get shorter, shopping malls will become more and more hectic and full. Presents will be sought out and bought. People will spend many hours and dollars obsessing over a particular gift or purchase. Yes, there’s no doubt about it: before we reach the holiday season we need to get through the shopping season first.
In preparation for this grueling shopping season, I’ve already begun preparing by making lists and setting some gift money aside. I’m also trying to make a concerted effort do my gift shopping in a way that minimizes my costs and maximizes my value. Here are some ideas I have in mind:
A New Credit Card for the Season
Everyone has probably seen advertisements for credit cards that promise significant cash back savings during the first several months of use. You have probably also seen cards that tout the discounts they offer at various shopping retailers. With this in mind, my goal is to sign up for a credit card that does both – one that gives me discounts at the places I shop for gifts along with a rebate that comes with the first months of services. I’ve already begun looking at cards such as the Chase Freedom 5 and I have scoured the internet for an American Express Gold Card review. No matter what I choose, I plan to cancel the card after my gift-buying is complete.
Shopping On The Right Days
For years, heading to the mall on the Friday after Thanksgiving (ie “Black Friday”) was the best way to find steep discounts in time for the holiday season. Black Friday has become heavily commercialized in recent years, though, meaning that it’s probably a waste of your time unless you know what you want, are willing to wake up extremely early, and don’t mind standing in line. For the rest of us, the week immediately following Thanksgiving provides the perfect lull to find great deals. It won’t be as cheap as doing your holiday shopping in January, but you still should be able to find those deals.
There’s Nothing Wrong With Last Year
In our consumerist society, products are continuously innovating and improving upon themselves, and people are constantly seeking the newest and hottest item. This does not mean, of course, that last year’s item is inferior to the newest incarnation in any way. In fact, by being similar in quality and cheaper in price, it may just be the best value you can get.
So these are the tips I plan to follow as I embark upon my holiday shopping this year. Hopefully, not only will I get the gifts I need, but I’ll also be able to find some deals along the way.