Between all the gift-giving and parties and festive activities- holiday expenses can rack up pretty quickly. To shop smarter this season and cut back on costs, follow these easy tricks from money-saving expert Andrea Woroch:

  • Always compare prices and set sale alerts. Use apps like ShopSavvy to compare prices quickly and instantly in-store by scanning an image of the product’s barcode. Invisible Hand is a browser tool that offers pop up notifications when something you’re browsing online is sold at another site for less. And Paribus tracks prices of products you buy and will request price adjustments for you if the item goes on sale.
  • Benefit from online savings and exclusives in person. Visit online retailers pop-up shops to help bring those big online discounts to people in person.
  • Don’t forget to look for coupons. Many retailers offer coupons to use in store and online, but you just have to know where to find them. Use these strategies:
    • Sign up for retail newsletters for new subscriber coupons (GAP, for example, offers a 25% off coupon to new subscribers).
    • Follow brands on social media for exclusive codes. For example, I was able to unlock an exclusive 15% off code from hotels.com by liking their Facebook page.
    • Fill up your cart then close out, some retailers will send coupons to get you to complete the order.
    • There are several apps you can use to find coupons like CouponSherpa or RetailMeNot.
    • Honey searches for coupon codes and applies them to your online cart so you never miss a deal.
  • Get discounts on gift cards. Sites like ABC Gift Cards and others sell gift cards at a discount of up to 25% off. Use these on top of coupons and price matching to score a deeper discount. Examples: you can save over 10% on a gift card to Macys, over 5% on Toys R Us gift cards and 14% on Petco gift cards.
  • Dodge shipping fees. If an online retailer is offering free shipping, make sure you don’t have to spend more to qualify for this perk. If they do, opt for free site-to-store shipping when available. You also want to review return shipping prices. Some retailers will offer free returns. If they don’t, make sure you have a physical location nearby to make it hassle free for yourself or loved one. Otherwise, you may want to shop else where.
  • Look for bundles gifts. Reduce your time shopping and save money by purchasing break-apart gifts like gift card bundles or gift card baskets from warehouse club stores. Such value sets will offer a lower price per gift when bought in a bundle and it’s a quick way to knock off multiple gifts off your shopping list at once.
  • Don’t blow your money on gift wrap. According to research from Hallmark, Americans spend approximately $3.2 billion a year on wrapping paper. The best place to buy gift wrap is at the dollar store. You can grab 50-cent greeting cards and other inexpensive gift wrapping supplies like ribbon and bows, gift bags, wrapping paper and tissue. Keep in mind, gift wrap gets throw in the trash so you don’t want to waste your money. I even save bows and bags to reuse the follow year. Then, stock up on gift wrap after Dec. 25 to find discounts of up to 90% off!

Check out Andrea's website for more financial tips & tricks!