As much as we don’t want this to be the case, the holidays are just around the corner. I realize it’s only the end of summer, but the holidays will be here before we know it. If we haven’t prepared properly before they arrive, that can end up costing a pretty penny. So, now is the perfect time to start preparing for the holidays, and save yourself some money too!
Once we get through all of the back to school sales, generally, you’ll start seeing holiday sales begin. This doesn’t mean at every store, but they can certainly be found. So this is a great time to begin keeping an eye out for those things you might need. That is, if you haven’t already been looking.
Retailers know a lot of us are beginning our holiday search, which can be a good and bad thing. Sometimes the sales are great deals and can save us a lot of money. But other times the sales aren’t as good.
One of the most common practices is to pump up the retail price. They do this so the sale price looks like a better deal. I have run across this quite a few times myself, unfortunately. Therefore, once I know I am looking for a certain item, I find it at multiple stores, when it is not on sale, to see if the retail prices are the same. This way, I know what the original price should be marked as when I find it on sale, to know whether it’s a good deal or not. Making sure to know what the regular retail price of something is, before you purchase it on sale, ensures that you are getting the best deal.
Preparing for the holiday now just means less stress for you as the holidays actually approach. This is because you will have slowly purchased some, or all, of the items you need for the holidays along the way. You’ll have saved some (or maybe a lot) of money, and your sanity, and be more prepared to fully enjoy the holiday season.Preparing for the holiday now would mean less stress for you as the holidays approach. Click To Tweet
The best way to save money preparing for the holidays is through proper planning. Sometimes this is easier said than done. And ultimately, you will probably have some last-minute gifts pop up that are just unavoidable. But, overall, if you can collect gift ideas throughout the year, you will save a lot more money in the long run.
I like to start keeping a list of items the kids are interested in right after the holidays for the following year. One of the best ways I have found to do this is by creating an Amazon Gift Wish List for each child.
Sometimes they tell me things they want, which is fantastic. But other times I just have them go onto Amazon, find items they are interested in, and add them to their specific wishlist. This not only makes it easier for me to see what they want, but also easier to send the list to friends and family early enough for them to begin shopping. This is really showing your friends and family some love because you are helping them save money too!
Please note, though, that I don’t purchase everything on Amazon. But, I use their wishlists to search for the lowest prices throughout the year on different sites. I use some pretty awesome extensions/apps to do this. There is no clear winner as to which one saves me the most money, because it simply depends on the item, and the site, I have found the item on.
These great tools I regularly use to save me the most money are:
Sometimes Amazon is the winner and sometimes it is somebody else.
But, since I can get into the wishlists on my phone while I am out, I can double-check any clearance sections to see if there is anything on their lists at a lower price there. And that happens more often than you might think, so don’t discount proper planning and the handiness of your phone.
One of the best places I have found to stock up on holiday gifts for children is at the children’s consignment sales. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s really not. They usually come around twice a year or so and they can be a great place to find things other than clothes and shoes.
In fact, a lot of the children’s consignment sales aren’t only for children anymore, but also for adults. I have found the ones in our area are selling things like:
- Camping Equipment
- Sports Gear
- Large Furniture
- Appliances, large and small
Since this is the case, I have been preparing for the holidays stocking up on potential gifts all year for my kids. But since a lot of these larger sales have a fall/winter version that will show up in September or October, it’s a great time to do some holiday shopping. Last year I got quite a few gifts for my children and nieces/nephews from these sales for a fraction of what I would have paid for them new. I don’t know about you, but I call that a win!
Prepping for the Holidays
Overall, the best time to start prepping for the holidays is now, since yesterday is already gone. Coming up with a holiday savings plan ahead of time, and shopping slowly throughout the year, is the best way I have found to save the most money.
Once you have an idea of what you are looking for, begin slowly searching for these items. Here is the action plan that I suggest, and use myself, to save me the most amount of money, time and headache:
- Add the items to an Amazon wishlist
- Use extensions and apps, such as: Ebates, Gumdrop, Honey Ibotta and Wikibuy
- Make sure to know what the actual retail price of the item is
- Keep an eye out for coupons and sales throughout the year
- Stock up and save!
If you are able to do all of these things, then you can really save a ton of money on the holidays. And, personally, I want the holidays to be about spending time with friends and family. I don’t want to have to worry about how I am going to pay for everything, or going into debt due to holiday spending.
If shopping early, and getting some great deals, is one way to ensure this, then count me in!
When have you found the best time to be to start preparing for the holidays and save a ton of money?