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Article Archive >> Holiday Gift Guide

Get the Most Out of Your Gift-buying Dollar

Get the Most Out of Your Gift-buying Dollar

(ARA)- Are you overwhelmed by the long list of people you need to purchase gifts for this holiday season? After it's all said and done, you feel good giving to the people you care about, but wouldn't it be great if you could get something out of it for yourself? Savvy shoppers know how to save time, money and get freebies along with their purchases.
Here are some tips that will help you get the most out of your gift-buying dollar:
Tip 1) At-home Shopping
Time is limited during the holiday rush and dragging out gift shopping isn't usually an option, so consider shopping online. An added benefit is you get to exchange the stress of overcrowded stores for your own computer and a pair of warm fuzzy slippers. Shopping online can be a great way to get deals and comparison shop, just make sure to look at Web sites that offer low or free shipping service that will deliver your items by the holiday. You won't save any money or reduce stress if you're paying $25 to get Barbie here before Santa heads back to the North Pole.
Tip 2) Utilize One-stop Shops
If you still want to venture out to purchase gifts, consider stores that offer options for everyone on your gift list so you don't have to run all around town. For example, you might not know that a trip to your local Safeway grocery store is an easy way to get all your shopping done thanks to its extensive collection of gift cards for stores across the country. Safeway has cards from more than 300 different retailers including places like Best Buy, The Home Depot, iTunes and Macy's. Gift cards are widely accepted as a thoughtful present and you'll save time and money because you can get all your shopping done at one easy location.
Tip 3) Get Something for Your Dollar
Holiday shopping can get really expensive. Wouldn't it be great if you got something every time you spent your hard-earned dollars on food, gifts, or even prescriptions? Look for stores that offer special incentives so you can maximize savings during the holiday season. For example, if you spend $100 on gift cards at Safeway, you'll receive double PowerPump Gas Rewards just by using the same Safeway Club Card that saves you money on your groceries. And don't forget that groceries and prescriptions count, too, which means you can give yourself the gift of free gas this holiday season.
Tip 4) Save by Shopping Sales
Following the weekly ads is a time-tested strategy for saving money. Because retail stores know that the months at the end of the year are often the biggest for revenue, they want to entice shoppers to come to their store instead of the competition and are willing to run sales you won't see any other time of year. Not seeing what you want on sale? Ask the store clerk if a sale will be happening in the future. Another option is to look at clearance racks and outlet stores. You might even consider signing up for the store's frequent shopper's program, which often includes a special member's newsletter with sales and coupons during the holiday season.
Tip 5) Making Your Money Count for Charities
If you can't get something back for yourself, look for stores that are active in making charitable donations. Some might donate a certain amount over the holidays or others might be particularly active in your community. Is your favorite clothing store donating a percentage of each holiday sale to the Red Cross? Or maybe your local grocery store is donating items to the food shelf. If you can't get something for yourself, make your dollars work for others less fortunate.

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