This Holiday shopping tips posts is sponsored by Capital One
The holiday shopping season is in full swing, and it’s crunch time to find all the gifts for everyone on our list this year. Our budgets aren’t any bigger but the purchases are a whole lot more than what we’re used to. And if we’re not smart about our spending, it’s too easy to go way over our budget. After many years of holiday shopping at budgets usually on the smaller size, I’ve followed a few simple tips to help me shop smarter every Holiday season, and stay within budget every time. Read on to learn my 8 best Smart Holiday Shopping Tips this season!
8 Smart Holiday Shopping Tips
MASTER PLAN (AHEAD):
Before I do any holiday shopping, I set the boundaries – max budget for all holiday shopping, per gift budget, list of all gift recipients, deadline to purchase all gifts, shipping cost to send gifts. Having boundaries before spending makes me conscious of my limits. There are a lot of awesome apps out there that are made for shopping and budgeting, but I just use my trusty Evernote app to keep track of all my holiday shopping plans.
USE A CREDIT CARD THAT REWARDS YOUR HOLIDAY SPENDING:
One of the best financial tips I learned was the power of shopping with a credit card that offered rewards for purchases. Getting money back from holiday shopping? Yes please! I’ve been a longtime Capital One credit card customer, and the Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard gives cardholders 5% back on Walmart.com purchases, 2% back on restaurants and travel and 1% back everywhere else Mastercard is accepted.
EVERYDAY USE GIFTS w/ a THOUGHTFUL DETAIL:
Me and the fam have been super mindful of doing more with less, and that includes the types of gifts we give. The last thing we want is to purchase and give something that won’t really be used and will end up as landfill. So we opt for functional, great quality everyday products as our go to gifts – sustainably sourced wood cheese boards, durable and insulated commuter thermoses, cozy throw blankets, assortment of teas are just a few of the go to gifts on our holiday shopping list (and all available on Walmart.com). And as a thoughtful touch, we like to add something extra – our favorite local cheese to pair with the cheese board, a small bag of our favorite coffee beans with the commuter thermos, gourmet truffle popcorn for the throw blanket – that makes the gift feel a little more special.
ECARDS and Gift Cards CAN BE AWESOME:
I believe e-cards and gift cards can be thoughtful, awesome holiday gifts, when it’s for a store or brand that someone really loves. One big perk of using the Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard is redeeming rewards for gift cards at capitalone.com. Coffee gift cards are a big love with our friends, fam, and T’s teachers!
SHOP WITH BLINDERS:
Remember that list you made before you started holiday shopping? Memorize it, and when the shopping days happen, in store or online, stick to the list!! It’s so easy to get seduced by allllll the crazy deals and sales and if we’re not focused on only the gifts we need to make, we end up rationalizing these extra purchases (everything is 50% off! This never happens! I need to stock up anyway…) and before we know it, our holiday shopping budget is a distant memory. As extra incentive, I like to reward myself at the end of the holidays for staying within my holiday shopping budget with a much needed self care day.
SET SALE ALERTS & HUNT FOR COUPON CODES:
Trust me on this friends – every coveted item on your gift list – and wish list for yourself for that matter! – will be on some kind of sale discounted price during the holiday season. The goal is to find out when the best sales are happening – from Friends & Family sales, Buy More Save More sales, to the mega Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales – by doing a quick online search we can find out the timing of the big sales, or find the best coupon code to use before checkout, and purchasing with a rewards based credit card like the Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard helps us save even more on top of that with 5% back on Walmart.com.
HAVE AN EXTRA GIFTS STASH:
Forget someone on your holiday shopping list? It happens! As a safety net, I like to have a few awesome for anyone gifts ready – our favorite wines at a too good to be true price, coffee gift cards, tea sets, and soothing scented candles and essential oils are always on hand!
FREQUENT SAFETY & SECURITY CHECKS:
As much as I am merry and cheerful every holiday season, I’m also hyper aware of keeping my purchases safe and secure from identity thieves this season. Using a trusted credit card like the Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard means my purchases are always monitored and flagged when something looks suspicious. Feeling safe and secure means we can relax and enjoy the holiday season to the fullest with everyone we love.
What smart Holiday shopping tips help you the most? Share them with us below!