Holidays mean family gatherings, gifts and meals together. And those things cost money. But the holidays shouldn’t be about overspending, so I leave you with my last post of 2015: six money-saving tips for the holidays.
1. Comparison-shop, even if you don’t usually think it’s worth it. Stores really go all out with “loss leaders” (advertised super-low prices on a few key items designed to get you in the door) during the holidays. Shopping at multiple stores may lead to your getting the absolutely bottom price, but you always have to balance the hidden costs (gas, time) of visiting multiple markets (which is why most of the year, it probably isn’t worth visiting three supermarkets). If you are hosting a big group for a holiday, spend a few minutes to compare stores’ flyers that come in the mail (or check online) to decide if an extra trip to another store is worth it. The larger the crowd, the more likely it is.
2. Buy gift cards — for yourself! Some major grocery stores promote their gift cards around the holidays with a bonus offer. For instance, you buy a $100 grocery store gift card and you get a $10 or $20 bonus card. Usually, the more you buy, the higher the bonus. Nothing is stopping you from using those gift cards to buy your groceries or holiday gifts, and using those bonus dollars yourself. Read more