Don’t underestimate the power of creating and sticking to a list  

Your list should not only include gift recipients and potential gifts but also how much you plan to spend on each. Consider it a roadmap for your holiday shopping needs. Most importantly, stick to your gift budget and don’t stray from your list. Don’t get lured into buying multiple items for a discount if they aren’t items on your list. A detailed and budgeted list is the first step to happier holiday shopping.

Practice Patience  

One of the best pieces of advice we can give you this holiday shopping season is to be patient and shop around to find deals and to be sure you are getting the best price on the items on your list. This includes shopping on special sales days when prices are slashed.

Start your holiday shopping by visiting coupon sites and downloading apps 

Sites and apps such as RetailMeNot, Rakuten, and Hip2Save can be useful for finding coupons, deals, and discounts for many items on your shopping list. Some will even earn you cash back or gift cards. Flip through thousands of digital store flyers searching for deals easily with Flipp. Many of these handy sites and apps will help you stretch your holiday dollars further.

Be smart about shipping

When making online holiday purchases, be sure to calculate shipping into the total cost of the gift. In addition, keep in mind that shipping might take longer than normal, so order items that need to be shipped as soon as you can.

Be even smarter about credit card use 

When using a credit card for holiday purchases, use one that provides a low, fixed interest rate, and no annual fee. Preferably, the card you choose will also be a rewards credit card, like Guthrie Community Credit Unions VISA card with ScoreCard Rewards. We’ll say it again, even when using a credit card, be sure to stay within your holiday budget and stick to your list.

Compare prices 

Just like the coupon and discount apps and websites mentioned above, there are others that can help you save by helping you find the lowest prices on specific items. Honey, ShopSavvy, and CamelCamelCamel are just a few. Technology can be a real friend when it comes to finding the best deals.

Speaking of price comparison. Check if the store where you are shopping is offering a price match. Many do. Ask about price adjustments as well. Some retailers, such as Target have price adjustment windows for holiday shopping.

Gift cards can be a great choice

Although you might not consider a gift card a personal gift, recipients love them. It allows them to use the card to buy whatever they want. They can even put it towards a larger purchase they’ve been meaning to make. We mentioned handy sites and apps above. They have them for gift card purchases as well. You can find gift card deals or earn cash back on gift cards at Gift Card Granny. Just be careful when you are purchasing gift cards that you purchase them from a legitimate site.

Follow retailer social sites and sign up for text and email deals

Retailers often have special discounts for those who opt into text or email alerts or follow them on social. This is a great way to learn about special discounts and even flash sales.

Do a search for promo codes before finalizing that sale 

In addition to doing your own online search for promo or shipping codes, browser extensions such as Honey, which we mentioned above, and Ibotta will automatically search for the best promo codes.

Ask about special discounts 

Many retailers offer senior, military, veteran, teacher, or student discounts on various products. Every little bit adds up when you are trying to save, so be sure to ask.

Happier holiday shopping means being strategic about borrowing 

Interest rates are high right now. If you are a member of a credit union, you can probably find a much lower rate on a credit card, as well as a personal loan. A low-rate personal loan can help you with your holiday shopping and expenses. Tap to learn more about a personal loan from Guthrie Community Credit Union and view personal loan rates.

Don’t procrastinate 

While we recommend practicing patience, waiting until the last minute might cause you to miss deals or stray from your list to finish your shopping.

Use common sense when shopping

Finally, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Scammers are out in force over the holiday season looking to lure shoppers into shady deals.

Read more tips for the holiday season in our blog “8 Naughty Scams to Avoid.”