Happy Thanksgiving from the This Mama Wines family!

As we all know, this time of year is a heavy shopping season–with deals galore for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and everything else in between as we head into the holidays. Of course we value time to spend with our family and friends above all else, but there is no denying that the commercialism surrounding this spending season may successfully capture our attention! That being said, I felt it would be a good time to share with you some of my favorite money saving tips. Even though stores have mastered the art of a good sale, this time of year alone does not always find you the best deal.

So, what are some money saving tips??

Do NOT Pay Full Price

I am a firm believer that “stuff”–tangible objects, clothing, shoes–should not be purchased full price. It takes some planning, but one of the greatest benefits that stores offer are end of season clearance deals–stores must make room for new inventory. If you can prepare ahead, buy clothing and seasonal items off season. You will pay only a fraction of what you would beginning or mid-season. I don’t mind good thrifting, but many times I can get new, quality items for the same price, if not less, than used.

Discount Gift Cards

Did you know that some stores will sell gift cards at a discounted price? Throughout the year, I look for sales on gift cards–even $10-$15 off a $50 gift card is a huge deal! Save these gift cards for giving away or stacking with a major sale for even more savings. There are even sites that sell cards that people don’t want for a fraction of the price (something I have yet to try).

Rewards

Sign up for store rewards! I know, junk mail can be a pain! But, consider getting an email address just for shopping. Many stores offer perks for first time purchases–additional percentages off or dollar amounts–that you may be able to stack with other store sales. Then, as a reward member there are perks that you may receive throughout the year–from free shipping, points that convert to cash and additional discounts.

Cash Back Programs

If you are fan of online shopping like I am, take advantage of it by signing up for a cash back program–percentages vary, but that little bit can add up. These programs send you money back just for shopping–how great is that! ShopAtHome and Ebates have some competitive options.

Subscription Services

Stores like Target, CVS and Amazon offer discounts for purchasing items on a subscription schedule. The discount can vary, but it is helpful for items that you may need to have delivered at regular increments. If not, you can always get the discount and then cancel.

Do NOT Pay for Shipping

As crucial as my promise to not pay full price, I am a stickler to getting shipping as close to free as possible. When shopping online, see what options you have to get free shipping. Wait for a free shipping day, use a discount code or use in-store pickup or free ship-to-store if available.

SCAN, PRICE MATCH and ASK!

Out and about shopping at your favorite store? Always check the in-store price to the price online. Unfortunately, these prices may vary. If there is any variance, ask for a price match (yes, some stores price match to their own online store) or purchase the item online. Some stores will order the item for you–even ship it to you for free! If you have time, comparison shop–I like to do a lot of online perusing first. If I must go out, I check the inventory of the items and prepare to price match if needed. Let’s not forget price adjustments–if an item you purchase goes on sale shortly after, call customer service to see if they will adjust the price–they may even just provide you with a one time courtesy. In the end, just ask–stores WANT your money. Whether in-person or online, customer service can be your best friend! 

Whether shopping or browsing, in-store or online, have a wonderful time this Holiday Season!

What are some of your money saving tips?