I know, I know.
Christmas is more than 2 months away.
Quite frankly, that doesn’t matter.
You’re here because you’re committed to a Debt Free Christmas, and that means start as early as possible, with a solid plan.
Haven’t joined the Challenge? Sign up here!
During the 30 Days to A Debt Free Christmas challenge, we’re helping you develop a strategy for shopping. Here’s what you’ve missed:
You made some tough decisions about who to buy gifts for. It may have meant cutting people from the list, or even saying no entirely, but regardless of what you did you did it in such a way that everyone on your list will still feel your love and the holiday spirit.
Ready to strategize?
Here we goooooo!
Where do you shop?
If you’re in the challenge, you’ve put together a budget and a basic plan, and can I just say: Freaking awesome job!
Honestly, that’s half the battle.
So today, we’re going to build on that foundation that you’ve put together, developing a strategy that’s specific to you. This will help you get the best deals in the least amount of time – a win-win, really.
Think about proximity: what stores do you live closest to?
If you live in an urban area, you probably have access to everything in a 20-mile radius. Or, if you’re more rural (like yours truly) then you have 2 metro areas to choose from.
In my case, within a 15 minute drive is:
- Best Buy – don’t shop there
- Walmart – don’t shop there
- Sam’s Club
- And, I love to shop online at Amazon.com
Personally, I don’t shop at Walmart or Best Buy all that much, so the stores I’ll focus on for my own strategy will be Kohl’s, Target, Sam’s Club and Amazon.com.
Do the same exercise for yourself, writing down all the stores close to you. Then, cross out any that you don’t like to shop at, or just don’t frequent.
(And yes, if you join the Challenge, there’s a printable for this!)
Congrats – you have your list!
When do you want to shop?
The next task will be to determine when you want to shop.
- Are you an avoid Black Friday fan?
- Do you start shopping at the beginning of the year?
- Would you like to start now?
- Or, does waiting until after Thanksgiving work better?
No matter what you choose, whether you wait until that last minute, or you do a combination of all these shopping times, you can still save money!
That’s the beauty of determining to have a debt-free Christmas: you’re in control!
Scope Out Savings Strategies
Ok, so the most popular stores for Christmas shopping are these:
- Best Buy
Since you don’t have 3 hours to read this post, I’m going to give you all the best resources for these popular stores, then put the tools to find resources for your favorite store that’s not on this list right in your hands.
- 17 Things Every Couponer Should Know About Walmart
- 15 Secrets You Need To Know About Shopping at Walmart
- How To Save Money at Walmart (5 Tips!)
- Target Cartwheel: 10 Insider Secrets
- 17 Easy Ways to Shop Smarter at Target
- 6 Secret Ways to Save 25% or More at Target
- 21 Secrets to Saving Money at Target
- 15 Secrets to Saving Money on Amazon
- 13 Brilliant Strategies for Saving Money at Amazon
- How to Use Amazon Prime to Save Big!
- How To Shop Sam’s Club & Costco Without a Membership
- Secrets to Saving Money at Sam’s Warehouse Stores
- 7 Awesome Insider Tips to Save Money at Best Buy
- 10 Secret Tips for Saving Money at Best Buy
- 5 Haggling Tips You Should Be Using at Best Buy
Obviously, please don’t read every single one of these articles – just choose the ones that apply to the stores you’ll be shopping at.
Better yet, pin or bookmark them for use later, or if you don’t have time today.
Now, where do you find the best deals?
The last component of your shopping strategy is to hone your vision to only the deals that are from your favorite stores.
Here are my favorite blogs:
Passionate Penny Pincher is very on it with deals. She is also very transparent about whether the price is the best one she’s seen, whether the sale will come around again, or whether the price is something you absolutely should jump on.
Personally, I LOVE her transparency because I can feel very good about anything I buy off of her recommendation.
The Krazy Coupon Lady is another great place to find deals in real-time. They don’t give quite as much information as PPP above, but their deals are more in real time, there are more of them, and they update posts faster.
If you’re shopping on Black Friday, The Penny Hoarder’s Purple Friday shopping feed is a great place to go. The staff vets all the deals before their posted, so you know the prices are great. The only downside? This portal is only constantly updating Black Friday weekend.
Money Saving Mom’s dedication to saving money extends to their deals. Check out their homepage for some deals and coupons codes that you may not see elsewhere.
Passion for Savings – another great deal with with a lot of transparency in pricing!
And – shameless plug – check out the 30 Days to A Debt Free Christmas page. I post 2-3 deals daily, and send out emails (sign up for the deal emails here) but I only post the BEST deals. No waiting or fooling around!
Sign up for emails from your favorite bloggers, follow them on Facebook, then be prepared to soak up the deals.
Finally, on your printable, make a note of the blogs you like under each store!
If you haven’t yet, get in on the 30 Days to A Debt Free Christmas Challenge and start today!
This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosures for more information.