As tempting as the sales may be right before the holidays, waiting until the month before the holiday can be a gamble of whether you’ll get the gifts you want for your loved ones.
Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the other deals in the following weeks are sometimes worth the wait for larger items that are rarely marked down. But some of the smaller items may have a sale tag on them without a price change to rope you into buying it. Checking prices periodically throughout the months leading up to the holidays is a great way to make sure you’re actually getting a good deal on an item.
Collecting gift cards for stores you plan to buy gifts from helps with budgeting. A $20 gift card once every couple of months adds up by the time you’re ready to buy gifts. The store-specific gift cards don’t expire, and they typically don’t have an activation or processing fee attached to them like the Visa or Master Card ones. Some grocery store chains even offer extra reward points for buying gift cards (e.g., Kroger offers four times the fuel points throughout the year for buying gift cards, saving you money on gas). They’re also handy to have for those family members or friends who may be hard to buy for. Just wrap up a gift card and let them go wild!
If you or someone you know has kids in their life, buying clothes at the end-of-season sales in bigger sizes for next year can take a lot of pressure off parents as their little ones grow — even if it’s just an outfit or two to help hold them over until they can go to the store.
Keeping organized with a list of items mentioned in passing is helpful and buying throughout the year can take away so much of the stress associated with holiday shopping. Make it a habit and stick to it, and when the time comes to make your list, you’ll be surprised at how much you already have accomplished!