Written by Stephanie Nelson, The Coupon Mom
With a little planning and smart shopping, you can save money on your holiday gift shopping and get it done early to reduce last-minute shopping stress too. Follow Coupon Mom Stephanie Nelson’s tips to master Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping this year:
1. Plan your budget. Plan your gift list and budget to avoid overbuying just because items are on sale. Decide who you need to buy for, what you can afford to spend overall, and divide that among all your gift recipients.
2. Devise your sales strategy. Google “Black Friday Ads” to find sites that have posted retailers’ ads in advance. Map out your shopping strategy based on the best deals you need and the stores’ opening times. Then, divide and conquer with a shopping partner and get each other's items to cover more stores earlier. Get dozens of free items during Black Friday week at drugstores. Find lists of the best Black Friday Week deals at national drugstore chains at CouponMom.com.
3. Compare prices. When you are shopping for a specific item, compare prices online before hitting the stores or shopping e-retailers. Prices can vary significantly, and an online retailer may offer free shipping and have no sales tax. Download a price comparison app on your phone to have with you while you shop to make sure you don’t overpay.
4. Shop online to save time and money. If you decide to shop online, keep in mind that the coupons and prices may be lower on Cyber Monday, the Monday after Black Friday. Be sure to look for online coupon codes for your retailers by searching Google for the retailer name with the term “coupon code.”
5. Stack coupons on top of sale prices. Use coupons to drop the price even further.
Google the term “printable coupon” with the store name to find coupons you can print. Follow a retailer's social networking page (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to get access to special coupons or limited-time flash sales. Find coupon codes for discounts and free shipping. Watch the newspaper ads and catalog mailings for in-store coupons
Stephanie Nelson is the Coupon Mom. With more than 7 million members, Coupon Mom gives members access to thousands of printable coupons for groceries, restaurants, and more. Her book, The Coupon Mom’s Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half, is a New York Times best seller.
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