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Friday December 15th 2017

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It’s the time of the year to shop smart

By Meghanne Adams —
Now that Halloween is over, stores don’t waste time before playing Christmas music and putting up those holiday decorations. This, of course, is a hopeful ploy of the stores to try to get consumers in the gift-buying, holiday mood earlier and earlier each year.

With the coming of the holidays, comes shopping for the family and friends in your life. While giving gifts is fun and rewarding, staying in your budget is also important. So, here are a few helpful tips on how to get gifts for everyone on your list without busting your budget.

The average American spends $700 dollars on Christmas gifts each year, according to Carolyn M. Brown’s “Let’s Go Shopping!” Brown emphasizes comparing, comparing, comparing! Comparison-shopping can be important and helpful, and will save you a lot of money if you do the leg-work and find the best price for a gift you know you want to buy.

Brown suggests some sites like bizrate.com, shopzilla.com, and shopping.com for comparison-shopping. Also, pay attention to television commercials and newspaper ads to find the best deal.

Now, while this isn’t a suggestion for consumers to go all “extreme couponing” on their Christmas shopping, Brown does encourage finding coupons. Brown suggests looking on savings.com or in their local newspaper for these coupons.

There couldn’t be an article about Christmas shopping without mentioning BLACK FRIDAY! Brown suggests staying away from the chaos and to shop online. A lot of stores will offer the same deal online that they are offering in their stores.

Also, while online shopping specifically for the items that made the list, it will help prevent consumers from impulse buying in the stores. You aren’t saving any money on sale items if they weren’t items you needed or really wanted.

Speaking of items that made the list, actually making a list is very helpful and important for staying on budget. By finding coupons, comparison-shopping and making lists, you’ll have better luck with staying within your budget.