Every year, you have the intention of not waiting until the last minute to do holiday shopping, and every year, you somehow find yourself looking for last minute deals and paying extra for overnight shipping. However, this year, with supply chain issues, it’s especially important to plan out when and where you’ll be doing your gift shopping because of the numerous fulfillment delays.
During the month of October, Amazon rolled out its “Black Friday-worthy” deals, and Target was advertising the “lowest prices on gifts.” Besides taking advantage of early deals, there are a few other tips you can follow to make sure you’re not missing out on the top gifts this year.
Stop Putting Off Shopping
It might seem obvious, but demand is high and supplies are low. That means there’s never going to be a better time to start shopping for your gift list than right now.
Here’s an idea of how fast things are going: Home Depot ran out of many Halloween items. In August.
Stores are trying to earn as much money as possible so they don’t lose out on too many sales due to the supply chain. Consequently, they’re holding sales earlier to collect as much revenue as possible. Take advantage of those sales. This isn’t a situation where the prices will keep decreasing as the holiday season goes on. The only thing that will be decreasing is the amount of items you’ll be able to choose from.
Plan to Spend More Money
Because of aforementioned supply chain issues, U.S. retailers are facing an extra $223 billion in the cost of goods this shopping season. That means the price you see at the store is bound to be higher. Make sure you take a close look at your income and bills and make a gift budget based on what would be comfortable to you. Just because prices are going up this season doesn’t mean your debt has to as well. Financial advisors recommend spending no more than 1.5 percent of your annual income on holiday gifts.
A good way to figure out how much money you need to spend is by making a list of all the people you’d like to get gifts, then figuring out how much you can spend, and dividing that among the number of recipients.
Obviously, you can go a little over or under this amount, but it gives you an idea of about how much you can spend per person.
Check Out Coupon Sites & Apps
Coupons aren’t just scraps of paper you have to scour through junk mail to find anymore. There are a ton of easily accessible apps and browser extensions that can you help you save money instantly. RetailMeNot is a website available as a browser extension and an app that gives you current discount codes. On the app, you can search the item or brand you’re shopping for, and RetailMeNot will give you a discount code if it’s available. When you install the browser extension, RetailMeNot will automatically alert you if the store you’re shopping from has current codes.
CouponFollow delivers promo codes for big savings–sometimes even up to 70 percent off! CouponFollow also offers the Cently browser extension which applies corresponding promo codes every time you check out. Sites like DealNews show you the latest sales going on, so before you do your shopping, make sure to check out their site so you know when you can get the most bang for your buck.
Go With Gift Cards
Though it might not be the most personal gift, a gift card will arrive instantly most of the time. You bypass this year’s supply chain issues while also assuring the recipient will get exactly what they want. Some places will even offer a bonus gift card or a discount on a second gift card when you buy one. Sites like GiftCardDeal will offer gift cards for some brands at a discounted rate, so you can buy a $100 certificate for $60 in some cases.
If you’re looking for specific stores, Gift Card Granny maintains a list of stores offering free gift cards or discounts on gift cards. If you want a particular experience to gift someone, Groupon offers deals on massages, events and sightseeing tours. These can especially come in clutch if you know someone you’re getting a gift for is going on vacation and you’d like to treat them to something special at their destination.
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Last updated: Nov. 2, 2021