Gift giving got you down? ‘Tis the season to $ave

By JESSICA LUCENA

Staff Writer

Stir up the hot chocolate and whip out the decorations! The holiday season has arrived. There is so much to look forward to during the holidays; food, family and a whole lot of fun, so why could the holidays be a nightmare for some? The money! Although this time of the year is filled with laughter and joy, those things come at a price, but there is a secret to the holiday madness – shopping smart and knowing the latest retail scoop! 

According to CNN Money, the average person plans to spend about $704.18 on gifts this year. How is that broken up? Well, Americans plan to use about $403.26 of that amount on their children and spouses, $68.23 on friends, and $44.45 will be spent on coworkers and other gifts. This is not including the amount of money spent on seasonal decorations and the all time favorite, holiday dinners. Now the question on most American’s minds is how to get more for each dollar they spend.

There are so many ways that a consumer can save, but the key to getting more for your dollar is shopping smart. Before making any purchases develop a budget and stick to it.  Start by writing a list of those who are to receive gifts and the amount desired to spend on each. This holiday season is bringing more deals than ever, which will make it easier for the consumer to save their hard earned money. 

According to the Chicago Tribune, many Americans plan to spend less this holiday season, giving them a clear advantage in the retail market. Many may think retail stores such as Macy’s Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. increase prices during the holiday season to ensure profit. Well, this is a serious misconception. With the threat of consumers spending less this holiday season, companies are forced to lower their prices in order to compete to give customers the ultimate deal, making the consumer the outright winner. It is the first year Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has included electronics in their pre-Black Friday sale and their TV’s are set to hit their lowest prices “in several years,” according to senior vice president for entertainment at Wal-Mart U.S., Laura Phillips. 

Retail Stores are competing for each person’s business and with more competitiveness comes more holiday deals! This is the retail scoop. Pay attention to the circulars released by different companies – this will be the main preview to every holiday deal.  The key to scoring the best deals is shopping early. By doing this consumers can avoid the last minute hassle of overspending or purchasing things not originally on their list. Starting early gives consumers more time to compare prices and end up with the ultimate holiday deal.  Shopping smart also includes shopping online. With today’s technology consumers can avoid the hustle and bustle of shopping in stores and trade up to the comfort of their own living room. Now, even at the palm of your hand,  you can find applications on any smartphone that have useful tools to help a consumer save. 

Be sure to check out the app store featured on any smartphone to take advantage of these new advances. Small methods such as these can help consumers save during the holiday season. Major corporations are already spilling their holiday markdown plans. 

How will you save?

 

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