As you get started on your #holiday shopping, the New York Times’ Wirecutter says, remember that not all sales are created equal. List prices may be inflated to make store discounts look bigger, and you’ll likely need to comparison-shop to save real dollars on any merchandise that’s in demand. If you see a sale price on something you want, compare that price across multiple sellers with a simple internet search. To get the lowest prices, use online price-tracking tools and/or subscribe to alerts from your favorite retailers to hear about flash sales and member specials — but don’t be shy about unsubscribing if you don’t want those messages #cluttering your feeds. #HolidayTips
Tag: Black Friday
Black Friday Arrived Early This Year
Facing ongoing supply-chain issues worried about consumer spending, the nation’s retailers have put #holiday promotions into overdrive, announcing early Black Friday deals before most kids even had a chance to sort their #Halloween candy. Though #Christmas “creep” seems to kick off the season sooner every year, consumers concerned about the high cost of gift-giving and inflation’s effect on their pocketbooks would do well to start their shopping now — and remember that the #thrift and #secondhand stores supplied by generous #donations to ClothingDonations.org offer lots of great #deals on lightly used #clothing and household goods. #HolidayShoppingTips
Reasons Not to Shop on Black Friday
The circulars are out, and the buzz is building. There are so many deals to be had on the busiest shopping day of the year — how could anyone just sit around the house enjoying a long-awaited day off and some Thanksgiving leftovers?!
As tempting as some of those deals might be, you don’t have to shop on Black Friday. In fact, it might save you lots of money in the long run if you avoid the crowds and keep your credit cards hidden away in a drawer. Otherwise, you might overspend.
“We go with a list, but other tempting deals reel us in,” says Simply Organized Home. “Then, all of a sudden, we had to have it. After coming home and realizing we went over our budget, we get a sickening feeling down in our stomach.”
That sickening feeling foreshadows bills that might be a lot more than you want to pay after all of the gifts are given and all of the tidings are told. What’s more, a lot of that impulse stuff is probably unnecessary, so you and yours will have to find places to put it.
Then there’s the hassle of fighting the crowds — those legions of people who, like you, want to save a buck or two on whatever the “it” item is this year. Do yourself a favor and turn tail on those crowds unless you truly regard shopping as a competitive sport.
The fact of the matter is that you can probably get just as good a deal by shopping online, and do so in a more targeted and efficient way. If you know exactly what you want, you can probably get just as a good a deal while sipping coffee in your bathrobe.
And if you don’t buy those things nobody needs, you and your giftees will have less clutter to cope with at home. Less clutter means less anxiety — and less time spent simply managing one’s own possessions.
Use the day to plan what you want to give to your family and friends. Consider giving a gift that take up no space whatsoever, like a charitable donation to the Vietnam Veterans of America or another worthy nonprofit.
Or take a day to decompress. Instead of going to a mall or big-box store, “Go ice skating,” says The Minimalists. “Donate your time to a food bank. Play in the snow (or in the sand). Or just relax and enjoy the holiday season. Simply be together — no purchase necessary.”
Get the Best Deals on Black Friday
To ensure you get the absolute best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, be sure to check the model numbers, says Today. Especially in electronics, companies often offer a near-identical stripped-down model that isn’t what you want or the deal you think it is. You can also check an item’s price history to see if it has been just as cheap in the past. For online shopping, try clearing your browser’s history or using private browsing to ensure you get the latest markdowns. And if you find an amazing “doorbuster” deal on something you really need, buy it fast before it sells out.
Shop the Thrift for Black Friday Deals
To save even more money on holiday shopping, skip the megamall and go directly to the neighborhood thrift or secondhand store. There, you’ll find tons of gently used winter clothing, housewares, out-of-print books, music, and video games, and other one-of-a-kind finds for a fraction of their original prices, says NerdWallet. While thrifts require a bit of hunting, the savings make it worthwhile — and since many of them are supplied by generous donations to ClothingDonations.org, your dollars will do double-duty to help fund valuable veterans’ programs.