8 Money-Saving Shopping Tips You MUST Know for the Holidays! #ShopSmartHolidays

It’s that time of year again – time to SHOP til you DROP! But you shouldn’t need to ‘drop’ a ton of cash in order to do so. I’m giving you my top 8 money-saving shopping tips you MUST know for this holiday season!

For starters let’s begin with the 1 hit wonders, or 1 Day wonders I should say…

TIP #1: BLACK FRIDAY

Black Friday, the day immediately following Thanksgiving, can be a great time to get amazing discounts and deals. While I think EVERYONE in the entire world already knows this is a great time to shop, I am here to tell you that in the past few years, things have been changing. Stores are hurting, especially this year where the Northeast had a bit of a warmer fall. Stores are getting stuck with inventory and left with no choice but to offer crazy discounts and sales. So here’s my TIP – do your homework first before you decide to camp out at 2am.  A lot of Black Friday deals are not any better than the regular sales going on before or after Black Friday.  And if you look at their official site you can actually get the inside scoop on the discounts and even start shopping Black Friday right NOW!

TIP #2: SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY

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#ShopSmall is a great time to show your love and support for your local small businesses!  Almost like the ‘anti Black-Friday,’ Shop Small was started by American Express 6 years ago as a great way for small businesses to be put on the map, as well as generate a ton of income that they gets poured back into the community!   This year it’s happening on Saturday Nov 28th, right between Black Friday and Cyber Monday!  The best part is that businesses that participate can even receive free marketing materials as well as branded ‘shop small’ merchandise like balloons, banners and tote bags to help kick off their marketing efforts!  But why wait until Saturday when you can show your support NOW!

TIP #3: CYBER MONDAY

Of course the next big shopping day of the year would be Cyber Monday. With the ever growing rate of consumers now shopping online (I myself probably purchase 95% of my gifts online), retailers are now rewarding you to do so. And the best part of shopping online,( besides avoiding crazy crowds, rude employees, and endless lines) is that a lot of retailers carry more items online than they do in the store. Why you ask? Because it is easier and less expensive for them to stock an item online than in the store. They also can purchase smaller quantities and ‘test’ out a new product before committing to carrying it in the store.  BONUS TIP- Did you know that you can actually find bargains on the site all year long? OH YES!

TIP #4: FREE SHIPPING DAY

For one day only, starting at 12am on Friday Dec 18th, you can get free shipping, no minimums, AND delivered by Christmas Day! Need I say more?!? My husband would love this one – finally procrastinators can be rewarded for waiting until the last minute to buy their gifts!  571 merchants participating so far.  Mark your Calendars NOW!  Or if you are like me and still prefer to get your shopping done ahead of time, check out the site anyway as a ton of retailers will offer the free shipping up until December 20th 🙂

TIP #5: SAMPLE SALES

The next tip you must know about is SAMPLE SALES! Especially if you live in a major fashion city like NYC, knowing all the deets on sample sales can save you a ton of money, not to mention the time looking for gifts. I mean who wouldn’t love a brand new Rebecca Minkoff leather bag right?!!  So here’s my inside secret- subscribe to The Stylish City to be in the loop with all these sales!

TIP #6: FREE SHOPPING APPS

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Don’t live in a major fashion city?? Don’t fret, there are amazing apps that not only offer discounts but can help you price check at numerous stores so that you can be sure you’re getting the best deal!  Here are my top 3 favs;

Shopular– Do you hate it when you realize you left your store coupons at home?!  I know I do and thats why I love this app!  It shows you every coupon and deal that’s going on!!  It also allows you browse store ads/flyers right from your phone and lets you customize it to be all your favorite stores (so you don’t waste time looking at places you don’t go to).

Red Laser– There are 2 things I love about this app; 1)the Barcode Scanner and 2) the ability to save all your loyalty cards in one place (no longer do you need to carry around tall hose store cards everywhere you go).  Plus have you ever been shopping in a store and have no clue what the price is of the item you just picked up?  No worries, just scan it on your phone and the price will pop up!  #Instascanner   And while you are at it, why not price compare with other stores too!

Clutch– This app also allows you to save all your coupons and loyalty cards in one place, but it also has its own loyalty perks too!

TIP #7: CREDIT CARD PERKS

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I am a HUGE Discover card fan!  I have been with them for over 15 years now and love the cashback bonus program they offer!  Not only do they give 5% cashback (which is basically the highest you can get), but they also always offer the 5% on Amazon and department store shopping during the months of Oct-Dec (the biggest shopping months of the year)!!! Then on top of that, you can redeem your cashback points for gift cards that are worth more than your points! For ex. get a Banana Republic $50 gift card with $40 worth of points! The card is free anyways as you got the points for free but you also just made even more out of the deal! #ILoveIt

TIP #8: JUMP THE GUN

Why wait until Thanksgiving to start your Holiday shopping?!? Start early and do what I do – shop ALL YEAR LONG! When I think of something that I can get for someone, I just make a note of it in my phone and when I see it on sale I will buy it. Or if I see something that reminds me of someone, I will buy it – at any time of the year.  Because at some point it will be that person’s birthday or a holiday when I can bless them with this thoughtful gift. Not only will you be able to get gifts that people actually like, it saves a TON OF STRESS off your back at the end of the year!

Let me know which of the 8-saving money you LOVE the most!

Happy Shopping!

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Fashion Consultant Christine Daal


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