Even if you’re trying to be frugal, you might struggle to keep your budget from ballooning thanks to the inflation that’s made everything more expensive this year.
But don’t give up hope. The following five tips can help you keep your holiday costs down this year without skimping on anything.
1. Shop sales starting right now
Black Friday might be a few weeks away, but many retailers are already offering holiday deals. If you wait until Black Friday, you could miss out on some incredible savings. Not to mention waiting increases the likelihood that some of your must-haves could sell out before you’re able to buy them.
If you don’t find any good sales right now, you can at least do some scouting for later so you know which retailers have the items you want and what how much they normally charge. This will help you identify the best deals when more retailers start discounting their prices.
2. Use coupons
Coupons can help you get free shipping or a discounted rate on items you were going to buy anyway. You can find these pretty easily by searching the store name and “coupons” online. However, keep in mind that not all stores will offer these and some may only make them available for a limited time.
Don’t just use this tactic on holiday gifts either. Check your local newspaper for coupons on grocery items and use this to shave a few dollars off the cost of your holiday meals.
3. Use credit card rewards
Now’s the time to cash in those credit card rewards you’ve been accumulating all year. You can use cash back credit card points to either reduce your credit card bill for the month or to purchase gift cards you can use to buy presents for others. And if you plan to travel over the holidays, see if you have enough miles on your travel rewards credit card to save on your flights or hotels.
Be sure to review any terms and limitations on your credit card rewards, though. Some have points that expire or miles with blackout dates that you can’t use at certain times. Know these limitations before you try to cash in your rewards.