December is all about family time, parties and celebrations, and of course shopping! With holiday parties, classroom events, baking, holiday parades, travel, gifts, and holiday feasts it can be tough to stay on top of saving money with all the shopping you have to do.
Discover commissioned a recent independent poll about holiday shopping and budgets, and I’ve included some of the info here while sharing some thoughts on how you can stretch your holiday dollar further.
5 Ways to Shop Smarter this Holiday Season
1. Surf and Shop
Shopping smart can save you big bucks this holiday season, and shopping online allows you to price compare and save time. Catch up on your DVR’ed shows or watch holiday movies while you shop. No need to run all over town trying to check everything off your list!
After you’ve found the best price you can shop with Discover Deals, Discover’s online shopping platform. They are offering CashBack Bonuses on online shopping & department stores through the end of December. On top of the lowest price you’ll earn Cashback!
Get CashBack Bonus when you shop online at retailers such as: Amazon, Macy’s, Nordstrom, and so many more popular retailers.
2. Save on Holiday Food
42% of people plan to spend $100 – $300 hosting holiday gatherings in their home.
Holiday food expenses can be costly! If you host one simple meal it can be $100 or more! Considering how often people host others for the holidays that can add up fast!
Look for stock up sales on holiday staples like flour and sugar for baking leading up to the holidays. You can use them to bake things for gifts, parties, or gatherings at home. Look for cookie dough you can make ahead so you can do one big baking session for all your children’s’ teachers. Here are two of our favorites: Alton Brown’s sugar cookie recipe, this Cranberry Drop Cookies Recipe from The Gardener’s Network.
50% of people are planning on inviting guests to bring a dish to share to help manage expenses for hosting gatherings in their home.
If you’re hosting a gathering consider a potluck. You can provide the main dishes, drinks, and gathering place while friends bring sides. Or consider hosting a dessert party or another event that’s a little different to cut back on the cost.
3. Make a List, Check it Twice
Creating a calendar for family events, a shared holiday gift list, and grocery list are all key to making sure you have everything checked off your to do list this holiday season
Use an online calendar like Google calendar or Cozi to keep everyone on the same schedule. Add parties and gatherings to it, but also be sure to block off some time for a holiday house cleaning or baking cookies with the family.
Creating a shared gift list is a great way to shop if you and your spouse split up the duties. Any kind of document app that allows you to share and edit will help you both stay on track and make sure you don’t buy two gifts for Aunt Susan and nothing for Uncle Joe.
Most importantly keep track of your budget with mobile apps from your banks or credit cards, a tool like Mint’s app, or text alerts from your credit card. Discover offers mobile apps that not only help you monitor your spending and pay bills, but you can use you rewards right from the mobile app!
4. Keep an Eye on your Credit Score
While you may be focused on saving big for the holidays, it’s also important to stay on top of your bills and monitor your credit score! Discover resources help cardmembers stay on top of their credit by providing them with a Free FICO® Credit Score on monthly printed and online statements.
To learn more about receiving your Free FICO® Credit Score and FICO scores in general, visit www.discover.com/FICO.
5. Play the Credit Card Game:
40% of shoppers plan to use credit cards for most of their gift purchases. Among those, 87% will use different credit cards depending on preferred rewards offers.
If you use a credit card for specific rewards you’re going to save big this holiday season. Using your Discover card you’ll save 5% on purchases from major retailers for a savings of up to $1,500.
Be sure to shop smart by using your Discover card whenever possible to take full advantage of those Cashback Bonuses.
What advice do you have for keeping holiday expenses in check?
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Discover.