When the holiday season approaches, a good rule of thumb is to become organized. Parents should work together and coordinate gift lists for the kids with friends and relatives. Here are a few more tips:
Shop Online Early- Quite often, great deals are advertised in stores late in the season but online sales start earlier and many times last longer. Look for items on the website of your favorite stores for their online only sale items. Great deals can be found and shopping early can ensure stock is available (especially for clearance items). Free or discounted shipping is also offered quite frequently on all online sales, so keep your eyes open for those offers as well.
Debit Card Rewards Ė Many banks are partnering with vendors to give cash back on debit card purchases. The cash back can be as high as twenty percent which is normally deposited back into your bank account in sixty to ninety days. The purchases are for items made online with the bankís debit card. In addition, you must get to the vendorís website via the bankís website. In other words, sign on to your bank account and access the cash back program which will take you to a virtual mall for shopping. Itís free to sign up and each year the vendor list grows and includes most major department stores along with plenty of specialty stores. Check with your bank to see what cash back or savings programs they offer. Some banks will give cash back on credit card purchases as long as itís done on their credit card. However, to get the best benefit as a customer, pay cash (with debit card) and get cash back. This way there's no bill later! Also see #1.
Another cashback reward program is from BING the search engine. There are over a thousand merchants from which to shop. You will need to sign up for BING cash back rewards and use its search engine to access the store's website. Cash rewards will be deposited to a Paypal account within thirty days. This program offers more freedom with payment methods but you will need to open a Paypal account for the rewards.
BING Cashback Rewards
Multi Payment Program- Some online vendors will allow customers to pay in increments without interest charges. For instance ShopNBC or QVC shopping networks have a variety of products and will allow customers (even new customers) to take advantage of this program.
Layaway Ė This comes in handy when shopping for the entire family, but especially when playing Santa. Itís easy on the budget and less stressful in general. Many stores that had discontinued their layaway programs bring them back for the holidays. Check different department stores like Kmart to get the details.
Price Match Ė The price match program that many vendors have are not necessarily advertised Ė so ask! Sometimes you will need to show proof of the competitionís sale price, but other times the vendor will quickly do their own check and then price match on the spot. The stores would rather have all of your business than send you to another store. This way you still get the best sale prices withou running around town!
The most important thing for a successful holiday is to remember to relax and enjoy your family! Stay organized, plan for fun and then pace yourself!