Christmas is the time of year for celebrating and exchanging gifts with family and friends. Stretching the budget to ensure everyone on the list gets what they want can be a challenge, but this is the perfect opportunity to use up some coupons and unique saving tricks to stay within budget.
You can take advantage of the season to get big ticket items such as vacations and cars. Shoppers have a few options to help them reach this goal.
Here are six ways to help check off that holiday list:
1. Shipping coupons
During the holiday season, most retailers and wholesalers offer free shipping with a specific purchase amount. Making a list of items that reach this threshold can save enough to include a few extra goodies in your shopping cart.
The important part to this strategy is to research which companies offer this special. Follow this up by reviewing the categories for presents. For example, pick a matching sweater to go along with the shirt, or stock up on socks with those sneakers.
2. Paperless coupons
The latest trend is mobile coupons on smartphones.
Businesses are allowing customers to download them with a bar code that can be scanned at the register. In some cases, a download is not necessary, but simply going to the website is all it takes.
There are even some coupons that can be used more than once. For homes with multiple smartphones, each one is eligible for the same deal. These are especially popular with clothing retailers, so finding that perfect garment is much more affordable.
3. Sale circulars
With the holidays, there will be plenty of sale circulars in the newspaper. Some are even delivered to mailboxes.
This form of savings allows shoppers to take their time to find items that match the desired gift. For customers who frequently shop online, inboxes will also start to fill-up with plenty of coupon incentives to save with.
Around this time of year, it is a good idea to check circulars at the front door of the brick and mortar retailers since some coupons will only be available in-store. A caveat is to visit the customer service desk, or even ask the sales clerk during check-out for any available coupons.
4. Customized checks
Check writers will find loads of discount coupons for a set of new checks around the holidays. This is the time to purchase more than the 200 that come with a customary order.
Businesses will reap a solid return on investment, as the address cutting on this staple office expense. There is also an added benefit for giving the brand a face-lift with checks that raise brand visibility with customers and vendors.
Making a new car purchase during the Christmas season is sometimes a prudent decision. The current year model will have thousands slashed off the MSRP to make room for the New Year models.
This will require research to locate dealerships that are taking part with coupon incentives. However, keep an eye out for invitations with coupons that come in the mail as well.
Some coupons can be used in conjunction with others, making the savings more lucrative. For example, a coupon for thousands off can be used with one that makes a trade-in more valuable.
Getting a jump on next year's vacation is another solid idea during the Christmas season. There will be huge discounts available with coupons listed on websites of hotels, car rentals, cruises, and more.
This is an awesome gift that could be used to cover the next spring or summer getaway. Consumers can use multiple coupons from each provider they visit to get the most out of their trip.
Coupons have taken on a celebrity status with shows being created around them. Purchasing food is not the only commodity they make affordable. Once consumers realize that a coupon's value is equivalent to money, they will become staples in every budget. The Christmas season is the perfect time for this wake-up call.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. She graduated with a degree in Journalism from the University of New Mexico and loves to use her writing skills in a variety of areas from family life to health and science topics. You can follow her on twitter @BrookeChaplan