Even though Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, there are still ways to save money this holiday season. You just need to know when and where to look.
The time of day you shop matters. The New York Times suggests going shopping on a Tuesday morning because that is when in-store prices are the lowest. For those who like shopping later in the day, Business Insider recommends shopping after 6 p.m. because most stores have their deals already activated for the next day. Either way, sales are going up on a Tuesday, as ILoveMakonnen would say.
There are also trends in prices when it comes to certain categories of items. Consumer Reports claims the best deals for electronics happen after Cyber Monday, especially during the last week before Christmas. That is good news for all those last-minute shoppers. Additionally, January is the best time to purchase clothes and linens because stores are beginning to stock their spring collections, so you may want to hold off on buying those as gifts.
Websites such as Retailmenot.com or Groupon can help you make wise purchasing decisions. Retailmenot offers online coupon codes and even lists some current sales deals. Groupon, which offers discounts on restaurants, travel, activities or stores, is more for people who want to go out on the town and give a nice experience as a present. Other websites help you track deals and prices, such as Camelcamelcamel.com, which tracks price histories on a particular item so you know when the best time to buy is.
There are also extensions for your internet browser, such as Honey, that will find online coupon deals for you from around the web. Another good extension for your browser is Invisiblehand, which will help you track the best deal on an item.
For the people on the go, there are apps for that. RedLaser allows you to scan barcodes and relevant deals from online will pop up, according to The Reader’s Digest. Also, some stores have deals for just the people who have the store’s app, so look around and see if your favorite stores have similar offers.
Be sure to take advantage of stores who price match. All you have to do is ask. Keep in mind some of these policies have fine print, so make sure you understand them before you have an argument with a manager.
If you are pressed for money, you can always make a DIY gift. Pinterest has many Christmas-themed projects and gift ideas, such as making mason jar manicure kits or a pineapple-looking wine bottle covered in Rocher chocolates. DIY projects are also good to make for children you want to give small presents without spending $20 per cousin, niece or nephew.
Another good option is baking. Making a tray or gift bag of holiday treats is always a good present. Or you can always make cards to hand out as presents. These gifts are still worth giving because, not only are they cute, but they took time and consideration to make.
The holidays aren’t about the price of the gifts; it’s about the love and thoughtfulness that goes into whatever you do for your friend or family member. More expensive gifts do not mean more love. So, as you are hunting for deals, make sure you keep them, and not the price tag, in mind.
Senior communication studies major
Printed in the 12/7/16 issue.