Rising inflation doesn’t have to blow a hole in your shopping budget during the holiday season. Furthermore, it doesn’t have to mean that you can’t afford to host a nice meal for your family and friends. You just have to get creative by shopping for the best deals, as well as taking advantage of every opportunity to save money during the holidays.
1. Set a budget for what you plan on spending
Rising inflation puts you at even greater risk of overspending during the holiday season. For example, if you are hosting a large Thanksgiving and/or Christmas dinner, it will cost you more to buy the food at the grocery store. If you have a lot of people to buy gifts for, chances are you will be spending more on presents due to rising prices.
Therefore, you need to set a budget for the amount you plan to spend during the holidays. Make sure to take into account your other year-end expenses like taxes when determining your holiday spending budget. Then, you need to hold yourself accountable to ensure that you don’t go over your budget.
2. Shop around for the best deals on gifts
You don’t have to let higher inflation turn you into “Scrooge” when it comes to buying gifts for your friends and loved ones. You just need to make sure that you are getting the best deals on the gifts that you buy.
In addition to Black Friday shopping deals after Thanksgiving, a growing number of retailers and eCommerce sites participate in what is known as Cyber Monday on the first Monday that follows Black Friday each year. Online shoppers can often find electronics, toys, and clothing at huge discounts. You can probably find some of the best deals online during this time. Some eCommerce sites even run Cyber Monday deals all week long.
You can also save money on gifts by doing price comparisons before buying an item to ensure you are getting the lowest price. For instance, let’s say that you are at Target and you find something that you would like to buy as a gift. Get out your phone and discretely check to see how much the item is at Walmart, as well as on Amazon. You might be able to save a few dollars.
3. Save money by using a rebate app
Another way to combat rising inflation during the holidays is by using a rebate app when you are shopping for gifts, as well as food for big holiday meals. You earn a cash back rebate each time you purchase an item that is featured as an offer.
First, you install a rebate app like Ibotta on your phone. Then, you need to find and add the offers you plan to buy either in-store or online. After you buy your items, you will need to upload your receipt to get your cash back rewards.
4. Shop with a cashback rewards credit card
If you are looking for an even simpler way to save money on all of your holiday-related purchases, shop with a rewards credit card. For example, some credit cards offer between three percent to six percent cash back at grocery stores. Furthermore, retailers often partner with credit cards to offer extra seasonal cashback savings – sometimes as high as five percent cash back.
For example, the Discover It card is currently giving 5% cash back on purchases at Amazon.com, Walmart.com and Target.com from now until December 2021. These websites offer almost anything you need for your holiday shopping including toys, furniture, electronics, clothing and some of the best deals on laptops. You can’t beat getting an extra 5% cash back on top of these great deals.
You can search online, as well as contact your financial institution to find the best cashback rewards credit card for your shopping needs.
5. Consider hosting a potluck meal instead of a large traditional holiday dinner
As mentioned, higher inflation can make hosting large holiday dinners more expensive. However, instead of hosting a traditional dinner – where you get stuck buying most of the food – you could host a potluck meal as an alternative. For instance, you could assign each guest an item – like a side dish, dessert, or finger food – to bring to the meal. Don’t worry about appearing “cheap.” Most people will likely understand that you want to save money amid rising prices.
In short, when it comes to shopping during the holidays, your Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas presents will likely cost you more due to inflation. However, if you set a firm shopping budget, as well as shop around to find the lowest prices, you can avoid overspending during the holiday season. It just takes a little extra time, effort, and research on your part.