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Holiday shopping is expensive. Not only do you spend money on gifts for your loved ones, but you might also need to buy supplies for a holiday dinner or decorations for your house. Hopefully these 5 tips can help you save money holiday shopping.

1.    Make a List

The basics…make a list of the things you need for the holidays and the gifts you need to buy. For each person you plan on buying a gift for, figure out what you want it to look like you spent on them and what you would like to get them. And then try to get that same item for less! Maybe you want to get your boyfriend an NFL sweatshirt or a TV season of DVDs. You would also like to spend less than $75 on his gifts. So while making a list and budget seems like a simple no-brainer—the goal is now going to be to beat the budget.

2.    Comparison Shop

After you have your list together, do a little research and figure out what each item on your list should cost. Amazon sells most things, so it’s a good place to look up prices. On Amazon I see that an NFL sweatshirt will cost $40-$50 and that a TV season of DVDs should cost $33-$45.

Remember that you can use sites like Shari’s Berries Coupons to find more discounts from some of the places you shop too.  You can keep those coupons and promotions in mind while you comparison shop to see which deal will work best for you.

3.    Watch Sales

Now that you know general prices, you can watch sales and see if you can buy anything from your list at a discount. Since you looked up prices, you will know if a sale is a good deal. If you are looking for a gift from a particular store then you might want to either check their website daily to watch for sales, or sign up for their email list. If you were looking for an NFL sweatshirt, you might want to sign up for the NFL shop’s email.  Also, if you see a sale on NFL sweatshirts for $20, you know that is a great price!

4.    Use Cashback Sites

Use cashback sites to save money shopping online. Cashback sites, like Ebates, are websites that give you a percentage of your purchase back in cash. Cashback websites have different rules, but in general once you hit a threshold of cashback, say $20, they mail you a check. To stay with the previous example, I looked on Ebates and they have 5% cashback at The NFL Shop. So if you spend $50 there, you will get $2.50 back in a check.

5.    Shop Daily Deal Sites & Flash Sale Sites

Daily deal sites, like Groupon, and flash sale sites, like Gilt, offer big discounts. To shop these websites, you will need to sign up and become a member. You will get emails everyday so you might want to use a separate email address to sign up. If you find any of the items on your list at one of these sites, you could save up to 50-70% off the retail price! These savings can really add up!  Check out a list of daily deal sites and flash sale sites to see which sites fit your shopping needs.

Just by buying your holiday gifts when items are on sale and sticking to your budget (or under it!) will save you money. Then by using cashback sites when you shop online you will get an extra check back in the mail.  Also, you can use a gift card exchange website to turn gift cards you are not using into cash for gifts or find more appropraite gift cards for the loved one you have in mind.  I hope these tips are helpful and that you save money when you do your holiday shopping this year.

Crystal’s Comments:  I make a list every year of any gifts or decorations I will need and usually find the best deals at Walmart, Amazon, and Ebay.  Good luck everyone!