Shopping, I mean? Are all your presents bought, wrapped, and nestled snugly under your tree? (Or hidden someplace where Snoopy McSnoopers can’t find them?) Of course they are…unless you’re like 52 percent of Americans who still need to finish their gift-hunting, or 24 percent who (gasp) haven’t even started yet, according to a Rasmussen Reports survey. If you’re one of the (apparently) many who are still twirling from store to store in a last-minute panic, here are some tips to keep your wallet from self-combusting.
more about: shopping
I’m not a big Black Friday shopper. Never have been. Given the choice between crowded stores full of crazed holiday bargain hunters and my warm bed at 5:00 in the morning, I choose my warm bed. But I respect those of you who plan to brave the long lines and madness to save some money and get a jump on your present buying. As long as you’re wading out into the mayhem, here are some strategies from CouponShack.com that will help you out.
It’s shopping season. If you haven’t picked up on that fact, you’re just not paying attention. And retailers are trying to get your business any way they know how. One of the more popular methods: rebates. “Buy this marvelous thingamabob for JUST $50! (After $100 mail-in rebate that will be a pain in the neck to send in and which you may or may not ever receive. Restrictions apply.)” Rebates are such an annoyance that 4 in 10 people end up never receiving theirs, either because they didn’t follow the rules, forgot about it entirely, or just found the process too tedious to complete. Here are 4 ways to avoid rebate regret.
If you haven’t noticed, Twitter is a breeding ground for bargain hunters who want to share their steal-finding prowess with the world. I have no problem with this. In fact, I embrace it. You’d like to share the latest Gap discount code with me? Great. You found out that a website is offering free shipping? Beautiful. Last week I ordered a magazine subscription for $5 because I caught the special on Twitter (and it was a magazine I was thinking about anyway). I felt so new-age.
A few times a week, I get emails from retailers advertising store sales and special discount codes for loyal shoppers (like myself). Everything is 30 percent off! Free shipping for orders over $100! Get 50% off of outerwear! Who can resist? Not me, unfortunately. Whenever I get those emails, I think, “A sale!” and I click through to the site in question to see what I can find. I love a bargain, and if that cute tee I noticed a few weeks ago is now half off, well, fuhgeddaboutit.
It’s a common money-saving mantra: “Try generic,” the experts say. “You might like it.” If you avert your gaze from the more-expensive eye-level shelves at the grocery store, you’ll notice these products hanging out meekly above and below—store brand, not nearly as pretty, but definitely cheaper. At the drugstore, I find them sitting right next to the name-brand products they’re competing against. “Pick me!” they seem to say. “I’ve got the exact same active ingredients!”