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Keep the pressure off holiday shopping

Thursday, 22 October 2009 08:40 ARA Content
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The holiday shopping season can be hectic, and this year, finding good deals on gifts is important. Here are some tips to make your shopping season a little easier, and cheaper:

* Consider doing all of your shopping online. This way you can stay home, keep your car parked in the garage and find some great deals on the same items found in the stores. Whether you need toys for the little kids, electronics for your teenagers or sporting equipment for your husband, there are online sites catering to every shopping list.

* Search for deals. Search the fliers that come in the newspaper and go online to sites like Ebates.com, which offers you cash back, coupons and discount codes. Remember, shopping smart will save you money. And at Ebates.com, not only can you get discounts for free shipping, or reduced prices at more than 1,100 online stores, but you will also get a check back in the mail for a percentage of what you purchase online.

"Saving money was one of my top priorities last year, and it's a big goal again this year," says Jenny Chien. "My time is also very important, and last year I saved so much time by doing my Christmas shopping online. But the best thing was when I purchased all my gifts through Ebates, I received a cash back check in March just for shopping for things I would have bought anyway."

* Gift cards are a great way to go when you don’t quite know what the perfect gift for someone should be. Pick a gift card from a popular store and it will be put to good use. Sites like Ebates even offer you cash back when you purchase gift cards, so you end up saving both time and money.

* Consolidate your list. Many families are drawing names out of a hat to help keep the holiday spending to a minimum. Discuss the idea with your immediate friends and family. If you only have to shop for a few people, you can concentrate on finding really great gifts.

* Give the gift of service. The gift of time can be very valuable to some people and by offering your services – baby-sitting, making meals, driving someone to scheduled appointments or taking care of a pet during a vacation – you could be helping your friend or relative out.

With a little creativity this holiday season, you can keep your spending down and not feel frazzled.

Courtesy of ARAcontent
Last Updated on Thursday, 26 November 2009 10:01