Door crashers, discounts and deals, oh my!
It’s that time of year again when door crashers, discounts, and deals are being advertised far and wide. Canadians are preparing themselves to take advantage of all Boxing Day has to offer. But have you really thought about how to get the best bargains this holiday season? Where do you go? How much should you buy? Can you find better sales online?
These are all valid questions. So, here are some tips and tricks to help you save, in-store and online, this Boxing Day.
Set a Budget
First and foremost, it would be prudent of you to go into Boxing Day with a game plan. Yes, you’d love a new Smart TV or those sneakers you’ve been eyeing all-year-long, but one of the best ways to save money is to make sure you are only buying the things you need. Picking up everything you can find just because it’s on sale can lead to regret.
Make a list of things you hope to have at the end of the day and consider the items you can probably live without for now. The price tags may be tempting, but with this mentality, you can prevent overspending on appliances you may never use, or clothes you’ll probably only wear once.
Creating a budget prior to shopping can help curb those impulse buys. If you know the set amount you are willing to spend, you can prioritize your purchases.
Plan so You Can Avoid “Buyer’s Remorse”
Take the time to research which deals are being offered by your favourite retailers. By taking the opportunity to shop around ahead of time, you will be more confident in the purchases you’re making.
Also, keep in mind when sales are beginning and ending. More often than not, retailers will have special week-long sales or sales that last for a few days. So, you may have more time to compare prices.
If you’ve been keeping an eye out for a specific item, use apps like Shoptagr, which allows you to bookmark and organize items from different retailers, and notifies you when that item has gone on sale. Another great app is Flipp, which allows you to view flyers from all your favourite vendors, grocery stores, and more. These are great apps to use, not only during the holiday season but throughout the rest of the year as well.
If you want to avoid long lines, overcrowded malls, and disappointments, shop online! As mentioned before, take the time to find what deals are being offered by your favourite stores. Some retailers may offer exclusive sales online that can’t be found in-store.
The best perk of shopping online is the convenience. You can easily compare pricing and check reviews on items before you commit to buying. Just beware of shipping times and fees, as well as return policies on items bought online. If you need to return something, will you be on the hook for shipping costs back to the store? Or can you return items in-store even though they were bought online? You should be able to find this information in the FAQ section on the site but be wary of the vendor if you can’t.
In addition, be careful of how you share your personal and financial information over the internet. Don’t use obvious passwords, only shop on legitimate and trusted websites, and if it seems too good to be true, it just may just be. Online shopping should only be done on a device you own, using a network you trust.
Use Coupons, Rewards Points, and Cash Back Options to save Now… or Later!
This tip is a great way to save in-store and online. Many stores have loyalty reward programs and may offer extra points during the peak holiday season. Take this time to redeem points you’ve been collecting all year, which will allow you to save money without compromising all of your purchases.
There are also various ways to get cash back this holiday season! Take advantage of any coupons you may find online. Check out websites like RetailMeNot.ca for coupons and savings vouchers (though finding a valid coupon code may take a while, sometimes it’s worth it!). Rakuten is also a popular website that provides cash back on purchases from a wide variety of companies when you make a free account.
Cash back credit cards also reward for your spending. If you’re looking for something with no fees, the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card allows you to choose up to three categories to earn 2 % Money-Back Rewards. This card gives you the flexibility to switch your 2% Money-Back categories based on your own personal spending habits and earn 0.50% cash back on everything else.
Or, apply for the TD Cash Back Visa Infinite* Card and earn 10% cash back on all purchases for the first three months, up to a total spend of $2,000. The card has an annual fee of $120, but if you apply now, the first year is free. According to our Best of Finance methodology, you can earn $720.68 in cash back rewards within the first two years of cardmembership. That should be more than enough for a Boxing Day shopping spree, no?
You’ve treated everyone else this holiday season, and now it’s time to treat yourself with some good Boxing Day shopping. But remember to make a plan, set a budget, compare prices, and use cash back! Happy hunting!